Life with Braces

How to take Good Care of Braces and Improve Your Results?

Taking good care of braces is important throughout your orthodontic program. Understanding what you need to do when eating with braces; when cleaning your teeth and your braces; when taking care of your orthodontic appliances; playing sports; and doing other activities with braces, helps you to function comfortably during your orthodontic treatment.

teenage girl smiling with bracesEating with Braces

While you do need to take special care to avoid some foods that might damage your new braces, you will be able to enjoy many of your favorite foods.

Foods to AVOID with braces

because they might break or bend the brackets or loosen the bands:

  • Chewy foods such as bagels, licorice
  • Crunchy foods such as popcorn, chips, ice or biscotti
  • Sticky foods such as caramel candies, chewing gum, wine gums
  • Hard foods, such as nuts, hard candies
  • Foods that require you to bite directly into them, such as corn on the cob and particularly hard foods such as apples and raw carrots.

Foods you CAN eat with braces:

  • Dairy products such as soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
  • Breads, including soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins w/o nuts, cookies such as shortbread, oatmeal and chocolate chip
  • Grains such as pasta and soft cooked rice
  • Meats/poultry, such as soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
  • Seafood, such tuna, salmon, crab cakes and prawns
  • Vegetables, such as mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans
  • Fruits, such as applesauce, bananas, fruit juice berries
  • Treats, such as ice cream w/o nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake

Try to eat foods that are soft, tasty and healthy: there are lots of foods that you can eat.

Soreness Caused from Braces and Dental Appliances

At the beginning of your orthodontic treatment, you will find that your teeth, and your mouth, may feel somewhat sore or tender. This feeling goes away over time, as you adjust to the feeling of your braces. To help relieve the soreness, and to reduce the tender feeling, swish your mouth with warm salt water (one teaspoon of salt for each eight ounces of lukewarm water) for a couple of minutes at least several times a day (spit the water out – don’t swallow the salt water).

After a couple of days, if the pain is persistent, you can take a pain reliever but if the soreness continues for more than a couple of weeks make an appointment for a check-up with your orthodontist to ensure that everything is all right.

It is also quite normal for your lips, inside of your cheeks and/or your tongue to become sore or irritated over the first one or two weeks as your mouth becomes used to the new braces. Putting clear wax over the braces can lessen the tenderness; if you need it, we can provide you with wax – make sure to ask at your orthodontic appointment.

Do Your Teeth Feel Loose?

Your teeth may begin to feel a bit loose; this is a necessary part of the treatment process. Your braces will loosen the teeth first to help them move into the correct position. Once correctly positioned, your teeth will become fixed or rooted again.

Loose Wires or Loose Bands

The wires and bands on your braces may come loose over time. It’s important for the care of your braces that you contact us if this occurs so that we can ensure that your orthodontic appliance is in good condition. If a piece of your dental appliance breaks off, please save it and bring it with you to your orthodontic appointment.

Sometimes you can temporarily fix a loose wire on your braces – until you come to our office – by using the back of spoon to gently push the wire back into place. If you find that the loose wire is irritating your lips, tongue or the inside of your cheeks, try rubbing clear wax on the loose wire or put a small, wet cotton ball over the sharp end of the broken wire to protect your mouth until you get an appointment with our office to repair the broken piece.

Care of Braces and Related Dental Appliances

Taking care of dental braces and appliances is important to your treatment process. Untreated, damaged braces or appliances may result in a longer orthodontic program because your teeth and jaw need the support and positioning provided by consistently using fully functioning braces, rubber bands, headgear, retainer, and other appliances that we prescribe for your treatment.

Your Braces and Sports

If you are an athlete or actively involved in sports, we recommend that you wear a mouth guard over your braces to protect them – and your mouth. We can fit you for the right mouth guard for the best protection.

If you encounter a sports injury or emergency to your mouth or face, check your teeth and your dental braces immediately for potential damage or injury. If you feel that your teeth have loosened or that your appliance has been damaged, book an appointment with our office right away – it’s important to ensure that your teeth and your braces are all right. If the injury results in soreness or tenderness in your mouth, it is important to rinse your mouth well with lukewarm saltwater or use wax on any sharp brace edges until you come and see us.

Related Resources:


Sonicare’s toothbrushes are designed to deliver exceptional cleaning action to reduce plaque along your gum line and to improve for cleaning your teeth and your braces.


PacificWest Dental Group has Orthodontics Offices in Surrey and Vancouver, BC.  Our skilled Orthodontist can help you enjoy life with your braces.

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