life with braces

Life With Braces

Eating With Braces

Take special care to avoid any foods that could damage your new appliances (and make your treatment take longer). The adhesive used for attaching your braces hardens rapidly but takes 24 hours to achieve its full strength. You can eat any time after leaving our office, being mindful of the foods below that may be harmful to the braces. Until you become accustomed to eating with your new braces, you may find it beneficial to eat soft foods only.


Foods to Avoid:

•Chewy Foods – bagels, licorice, jerky

•Crunchy Foods – popcorn, chips, ice

•Sticky Foods – caramel candies, gummy candies

•Hard Foods – nuts, hard candies

•Biting Into Foods with the Front Teeth – corn on the cob, apples, carrots


Soreness Caused by Braces

When you get your braces and each time we adjust them, you may notice your teeth feel a little sore. This is perfectly normal, and we promise your mouth will not be sore forever! To relieve tooth discomfort, you may take a pain reliever (e.g. whatever you would take for a headache – ibuprofen, Tylenol, etc.).


To relieve mouth soreness or irritated gums during treatment, we recommend a saltwater rinse: dissolve one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water, swish and gargle in your mouth for just a couple minutes (don’t swallow the saltwater).


To relieve soreness from the braces rubbing your lips or cheeks, we will provide you with some wax that you can put over the braces. If you need more, please let us know.


Loose Teeth

If your teeth begin feeling a little loose, don’t worry; this is normal! Your braces must first loosen your teeth to move them into the right position. Once your teeth have been repositioned and are held there with a retainer, they will no longer be loose.


Loose Wires and Brackets

If something breaks or is bothering you, please see our emergency care info (add link to emergency care page) for tips on how to make things comfortable until we can get you in for a repair appointment.


Take Care of Your Appliances

Damaged appliances can increase the length of your treatment process, so be sure to take care of them. Your teeth and jaw can only move into their correct positions if you consistently wear the rubber bands, appliances, or retainers prescribed by your doctor.


Playing Sports with Braces

Great news for athletes – you can still play sports while undergoing orthodontic treatment! We recommend that you wear a mouthguard during sports to protect your teeth and your appliance. Let Drs. Kessel and Bouwens know if you need any help finding the right mouthguard for the best protection.