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What can you eat?

For the first day or so, stick to soft foods. Avoid tough meats, hard breads,
and raw vegetables. Eventually you will be able to eat the crunchy foods and vegetables. But you'll need to protect your orthodontic appliances when you eat for as long as you are wearing braces.

Foods to Avoid

  • Chewy foods: bagels, hard rolls, licorice
  • Crunchy foods: popcorn, ice, chips, nahos
  • Sticky foods: caramels, gum
  • Hard foods: nuts, candy
  • Foods you have to bite into: corn on the cob, apples, carrots
  • Chewing on hard things like pens, pencils, or fingernails can
    damage the braces and will cause treatment to take longer.
    Also, be sure never to chew on ice!

General Soreness

When your braces are placed you may feel general soreness in your mouth and your teeth may be tender to biting pressure for 3-5 days. This
can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt water mouthwash. Dissolve one half teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water and rinse your mouth vigorously. Do not swallow. If the tenderness is severe, take medicaiton you normally take for headache or similar pain. The lips, cheeks, and tongue may also become irritated up to two weeks as they become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen the scratching.

Loosening of Teeth

This is to be expected throughout treatment and is normal. Teeth must loosen first so they can move. The teeth will again become rigidly fixed in their new, corrected positions.

Loose Wire or Band

Don't be alarmed if a wire or band comes loose. This happens occasionally. If a wire protrudes and is irritating, use a blunt instrument, like the back of a spoon or eraser tip of a pencil and carefully push the irritating wire under the archwire gently back. This will temporarily get it out of the way. If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place wax or wet cotton on the wire to reduce the annoyance. Call our office as soon as possible for an appointment to check and repair the appliances. If any piece comes off, save it and bring it with you to the office.

Care of Appliance

To successfully complete the treatment plan, the patient must work with
the orthodontist. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected
positions if the patient consistantly wears the rubber bands, headgear, or
other appliances as prescribed. Damaged appliances lengthen the
treatment time.


It's more important than ever to brush and floss regularly when you have
braces for the teeth and gums to remain healthy after orthodontic treatment. Patients who do not keep their teeth clean may require more frequent visits to the dentist for a professional cleaning. Adults who have a history of gum disease should also see a periodontist or their general dentist during orthodontic treatment.


If you play sports, it is important that you consult us for special precautions. A protective mouthguard is advised for playing contact sports. In case of any accident involving the face, check your mouth and the appliance immediately. If teeth are loosened or the appliances damaged, call the office for an appointment.

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