Life With Braces

It’s important for you to know how to properly take care of your braces throughout your entire orthodontic treatment. Most of our patients find it really easy to adjust – and many carry their new good habits forward even after treatment is complete. Below are some helpful guidelines for you to keep in mind throughout your treatment.

Foods to avoid with braces:

• Chewy foods — bagels, licorice

• Crunchy foods — popcorn, chips, ice

• Sticky foods — caramel candies, chewing gum

• Hard foods — nuts, hard candies • Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob, apples, carrots

Foods you CAN eat with braces:

• 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

Soreness Caused from Braces and 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 (unless you want to pretend you’re a fish)! 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 become used to the braces. We would be happy to give you some wax that you can put over the braces to lessen the tenderness. If you need some more 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 and 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 pain.

Take Care of your Appliances!

Damaged appliances can increase the length of your treatment process, so be sure to take care of all your appliances. Your teeth and jaw can only move into their correct positions if you consistently wear the rubber bands, headgear, retainer, or other appliances prescribed by Dr. Alan Jensen or Dr. Douglas Anderson.

Playing Sports with Braces

There are no limitations to the activities you can enjoy while undergoing orthodontic treatment! If you play sports, it’s recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and your appliance. Let Dr. Sarver know if you need help finding the right mouthguard for the best protection. In case of a sports emergency, be sure to immediately check your mouth and appliance for damage. If you notice any loose teeth or appliance damage, please contact our office right away. You can temporarily relieve the discomfort by applying wax or rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater.

Brushing Your Teeth with Braces

When you have braces it’s very important to brush and floss after every meal in order to keep your teeth and gums healthy throughout your treatment. If you need help choosing the right toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss, please ask us and we can help you choose the right products for your teeth and your appliance


If you play sports, it’s 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 appliances immediately.  If teeth are loosened or the appliances damaged, call our office as soon as possible to schedule an appointment to be checked.  In the meantime, treat your discomfort as you would treat any general soreness.

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