Life with Braces

What can I eat with braces?

During the first week of your treatment, as your teeth and gums are adjusting, you may want to choose softer foods, like pasta. Knowing what to eat your first week with braces takes some of your own discretion. You can integrate harder foods into your diet as soon as you’re feeling up to it.

Here’s a list of foods you can eat with braces:

  • Dairy — cream cheese, pudding, milk
  • Breads — tortillas, pancakes, muffins,
  • Grains — pasta, rice, cereal
  • Meats — soft chicken, soft meatballs, lunch meats
  • Vegetables — cooked carrots, peas, beans
  • Fruits — bananas, kiwis, strawberries, grapes
  • Treats — ice cream (no nuts), milkshakes, Jell-O, frozen yogurt

For all of our foodies out there, if you prefer a treatment option that doesn’t require any dietary restrictions, Invisalign or another clear aligner might be better suited for you. You can remove your aligners to eat, so you won’t have to make any adjustments to your diet.



What foods should I avoid with braces?

As a general rule of thumb, try to avoid foods that are considerably chewy, sticky, or hard. These food items are infamous for damaging brackets and wires and breaking orthodontic appliances.

Chewy, sticky foods can stick to your wires and pull them out of place. Hard foods can pop your wires out of place or break a bracket. Next thing you know, you’re visiting us for an emergency orthodontist appointment. As much as we’d love to see you, we want to keep your treatment on track.

Here are some examples of foods to avoid when wearing braces:

– Chewy foods — bagels, hard bread rolls, Twizzlers
– Crunchy foods — popcorn, ice, dried fruits
– Sticky foods — caramel, gum, Laffy Taffy, Starburst
– Hard foods — nuts, Jolly Ranchers, hard pizza crusts, Nerds
– Foods that require biting — corn on the cob, apples, carrots


How do I care for my braces?

Excellent oral hygiene is a critical aspect of orthodontic treatment. It’s important to brush your teeth at least 3 times a day.

To make keeping up with your oral hygiene easier, we’ve partnered with Crest and Oral-B to offer a comprehensive oral hygiene education and grading system with our Ortho Essentials program. The day your braces are placed, you’ll receive your complimentary Ortho Essentials Kit, and you’ll become a member of our hygiene program.

Your Ortho Essentials Kit will include:

1. Oral B orthodontic brush heads
2. Oral B interproximal brush head
3. Smart Guide (TM) — provides visual guidance and timing to promote proper brushing
4. Crest Pro Health Complete Rinse — alcohol free, anti-cavity fluoride rinse protects and strengthens enamel for a healthier mouth
5. Oral B Super floss (Ideal for braces with a stiff end to thread under the archwire)

The Ortho Essentials kit also comes with an easy-to-follow 5-level rating system that illustrates poor to excellent oral hygiene. At each office visit, we use this system to guide our patients toward optimal brushing and oral health.

How do I brush properly with braces?

It should take about 2 minutes to properly brush your teeth. Follow these steps for a thorough brushing:

  • Put toothpaste on your toothbrush, spanning the full length of the bristles.
  • Brush the area between your gum line and the brackets.
  • Brush the front surface of the brackets and your teeth.
  • Brush the edges of your teeth and the other side of the bracket.
  • Brush the tongue side of your teeth.
  • Brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth.

Here’s a visual to get you started:


How do I floss with braces?

You’ll receive super floss with your Ortho Essentials Kit! Here’s how to floss between your teeth and maneuver around your brackets and wires:

Use the stiff end to thread under the archwire.
Floss in between each of your teeth.
Start with your back tooth on the right side and systematically work to the left side then move to the other jaw and do the same.

Here’s a visual to get you started:

Is it normal if my teeth are wiggling during orthodontic treatment?

As weird as this sensation may be, this is normal. Your teeth and gums are adjusting to your braces. The purpose of your treatment is to shift your teeth into alignment, and with this shifting comes some minor tooth wiggling.

Toward the end of your treatment, once your teeth have shifted into the desired position and you enter the retention phase, your teeth will stabilize and stop wiggling.

If any of your teeth are wiggling considerably and it concerns you, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We want to calm your fears and ensure that you’re working toward the best possible results from your treatment.


Still have questions?

We have plenty of answers for you. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’re here to help guide you through your new life with braces. 

Ready to begin your new life with braces? Request your complimentary exam with us today.

Your Questions Make Us Happy

It’s no secret that your new life with braces will require some minor adjustments. But don’t stress! Our team is here to help you transition.

When you visit us for your complimentary consultation, we’ll tell you all the tips and tricks you need to know about how to live your day-to-day life with braces.

In the meantime, here are some tips on how to care for your braces. We encourage you to reference these at any time before, during, or after your treatment. We also have a more comprehensive list of frequently asked questions here


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