Life with Braces

Now that you have your braces, how do you take care of them? It’s important for you to know how to properly take care of your braces throughout your entire orthodontic treatment.

Soreness caused from braces and appliances

When you first get your braces, you may notice that your teeth and mouth feel a little tender. This is normal for patients who have just gotten their braces put on, and it generally goes away quickly! To relieve the discomfort, we suggest dissolving one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water. Rinse this solution in your mouth for just a couple of minutes (do not swallow the saltwater).

If the soreness is more severe and does not go away after rinsing, you can also try taking a pain reliever. It is 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 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 are where they need to be, 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 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.

Take Care of your Braces

Broken wires and brackets 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, retainer, or other appliances prescribed by your orthodontist.

Playing Sports with Braces

You can still play sports even while wearing braces, but we do recommend that you wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth and your appliance. Let Dr. Speaks know if you need help finding the right mouth guard for the best protection.

In case of a sports emergency, be sure to immediately check your mouth and your braces for any damage that may have occurred. If you notice any loose teeth, or if your brackets or wires have been damaged, please contact our office right away. You can temporarily relieve the discomfort with wax or by rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater.

Eating with Braces

Poor eating habits during orthodontic treatment may have three adverse effects:

  • Pulling or forcing the bands or brackets loose.
  • Bending archwires out of place.
  • Possible decay on parts of the teeth that are exposed.


  • Apples, peaches, pears, carrots, etc.
  • Pizza crust
  • Corn on the cob
  • Meat on a bone (like ribs)


  • Peanuts, Hard tacos or nacho chips
  • Popcorn, Granola/Granola bars
  • Corn nuts, Ice – Jawbreakers


  • Jolly Ranchers, Baby Ruth bars, Snickers
  • GUM (NO gum! Not even sugarless!)
  • Caramel, Licorice, Jelly beans, Hot tamales
  • Taffy, Gummie bears, Skittles, Fruit rollups
  • Star burst, Bit-o-honey


  • Nail biting
  • Chewing on pens and pencils
  • Excessive drinking of soda (especially sugared)

High sugar content foods increase the danger of cavities. We recommend that sweets be eliminated as much as possible. If deserts are eaten, brush teeth immediately.

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