Wearing Braces


At Esthetic Partners Dental Group, we understand that wearing braces is definitely an adjustment! Our team is happy to provide you with tips about some things you’ll have to do a little differently to ensure that you’re taking proper care of your braces and your teeth during treatment.

Eating with braces

Eating certain foods can damage your braces and require additional trips back to the orthodontist’s office, so you need to be careful and selective when choosing foods. In general, any foods that are hard and makes a crunchy sound when you bite into it sound be avoided.

Some foods you should avoid with braces are:

  • Crunchy foods like potato chips, popcorn, and ice
  • Chewy foods like soft candy, licorice and bagels
  • Sticky foods like gum and caramel candy
  • Hard foods like hard candies and nuts
  • Hard foods that you bite into like apples, carrots, and corn on the cob
  • Carbonated drinks like soda

Some foods you can still enjoy with braces are:

  • Dairy like pudding, soft cheese, and milk-based drinks
  • Breads like pancakes, soft tortillas, muffins without nuts
  • Grains like soft cooked rice and pasta
  • Meats and poultry such as meatballs, lunch meats, and soft cooked chicken
  • Seafood like salmon, crab cakes and tuna
  • Vegetables like beans, mashed potatoes, and steamed spinach
  • Fruits like oranges, strawberries and bananas
  • Treats like ice cream (without nuts), milkshakes, cake and Jell-O
  • Non-carbonated drinks like fruit juice, Gatorade and lemonade

Cleaning your teeth with braces

It is important to brush and floss regardless if you have braces on or not. But it is even more critical to brush and floss with braces on. We recommend to brush at least twice a day for a minimum of 2 minutes and floss once a day. Not brushing and flossing can lead to tooth decay, gum disease and permanent staining on your teeth. Before starting braces there are many oral hygiene aids given to you to make brushing and flossing easier. Please watch the videos in the Common Orthodontic Devices Used section on how to brush and floss with braces on.

How can I deal with soreness or discomfort caused from braces and orthodontic appliances?

Often, you will feel some soreness when braces and expanders are first started or after an adjustment. Don’t worry! The soreness does go away after a few days. This soreness that you feel is normal. The misconception is that your teeth are moving when there is soreness and pain. In fact, it is the opposite, when your teeth are sore and feel pain that is when your teeth are not moving at all. It is the period when there is no pain at all that your teeth are moving. At Esthetic Partners Dental Group, we precisely calibrate your next progression of treatment based on your level of soreness to maximize teeth movement. It is our goal to move your teeth as fast as possible with little or no pain at all.

On occasion, if the pain is severe, over the counter pain relievers will relieve any discomfort. Just be sure there are no medical allergies before taking the pain relievers.

You’ll feel your teeth wiggle just a bit during treatment, and you should know that it’s perfectly normal. To move your teeth into the right position, they must loosen just a bit first. After your teeth have been positioned and are in the right place, they will become stable again.

It is also common to have cuts and sores in your mouth from the braces. If your tongue, cheeks, lips, or gums are sore while they adjust to the braces, we can give you some wax to apply to your braces. It’ll cover up any parts of the braces that are irritating the inside of your mouth. Just let a team member know if you need some. To speed the healing process, we also recommend dissolving one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water. Swish and then gargle the solution for 30 seconds morning and night until the cuts and sores are healed.

What happens if the wires or elastics become loose?

Sometimes, the elastics and wires that help hold the braces together will become loose. If this happens, call us as soon as possible so that we can get you into the office to check your appliance. If a repair is necessary, we’ll fix it.

How can I deal with soreness or discomfort caused from braces and orthodontic appliances?

We can share some temporary, do-it-yourself fixes too. Use the eraser end of a pencil or the back of a spoon to gently push a wire that has popped out of the bracket into place again. If the wire is sharp and is irritating the inside of your mouth, cover it with wax until you can get in to see us again.

Can I play sports with braces?

Sports are a huge part of many of our patients’ lives. While in treatment you will be able to play your sport of choice. However, we recommend that you wear a mouth guard so that both your teeth and braces are protected while playing. If you have any questions about how to find the right mouth guard, ask a team member.

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