Life With Braces

Orthodontic Care in Westminster, MD

Now that you have your braces, how do you take care of them? The first couple days are the hardest and will take some time getting used to. Be sure to take some Advil or Motrin to decrease any pressure or pain caused by your new braces, and ONLY EAT soft foods for 24 hours after getting your braces.


Make sure to brush your teeth thoroughly and a minimum of 3-4 times a day to prevent decay or white marks, swelling, and inflammation (redness) of the gingival tissue.

Foods to avoid with braces:

  • Chewy foods - bagels, licorice, taffy, caramel
  • Crunchy foods - ice, hard pretzels
  • Sticky foods - chewing gum
  • Hard foods - nuts, hard candies, mints
  • Foods that require biting into - corn on the cob, apples, carrots
ALL OF THESE FOOD ITEMS ARE A BIG NO-NO! *These foods can be cut into smaller pieces and chewed with back teeth.

Foods you can eat with braces (Anything that is not hard, crunchy or chewy):

  • Dairy - soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
  • Breads - soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts
  • Grains - pasta, soft cooked rice
  • Meats/Poultry - soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
  • Seafood - tuna, salmon, crab cakes
  • Vegetables - mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans
  • Fruits - applesauce, bananas, fruit juice
  • Treats - ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake
*Or any other foods that are not hard and can easily be chewed

Soreness cause by braces & appliances

When you first get your braces, you may notice that your teeth and mouth feel a little tender or sore. This is perfectly normal and we promise your mouth will not be sore forever! To relieve the pain, we recommend dissolving one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water. Swish and gargle this solution in your mouth for just a couple of minutes (do not swallow the saltwater). If the pain is more severe and does not go away after rinsing, you can also try taking a pain reliever. It is also not uncommon for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and get used to the braces. We would be happy to give you some wax that you can put over your braces to lessen the tenderness. If you need some wax, 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, they will no longer be loose.

Loose wires & bands

The wires and bands on your braces may come loose. If this happens, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can check and repair your appliance. If any piece of your appliance comes off, be sure to save it and bring it to the office with you. You can temporarily fix the loose wire by using the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil to carefully and gently push the wire back into place. If the loose wire is causing irritation to your lips or cheeks, put wax or a wet cotton ball over the broken wire to relieve the pressure.

Playing sports with braces

You can still play sports even while undergoing orthodontic treatment! If you play sports, it’s recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and your appliance. Ask us and we will provide one for you! In case of a sports emergency, be sure to immediately check your mouth and appliance for damage. If you notice any loose teeth, please contact our office right away. You can temporarily relieve the discomfort by applying wax or rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater.

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