All About Braces

Brushing and Flossing

It’s more important than ever to brush and floss regularly when you have braces, so the teeth and gums are healthy during orthodontic treatment. Patients who do not keep their teeth clean may require more frequent visits to the dentist for a professional cleaning. Adults who have a history of gum disease should also see a periodontist during orthodontic treatment. Watch the two videos below on the proper care of braces during orthodontic treatment.

Eating with Braces

What can you eat? Let’s talk about what you shouldn’t eat! For the first day or so, stick to soft foods. Avoid tough meats, hard breads, and raw vegetables. You’ll need to protect your orthodontic appliances when you eat for as long as you’re wearing braces. At the time of your bonding appointment, we will provide you with a full list of foods and habits to avoid during treatment.

Foods to Avoid

  • Chewy foods: bagels, hard rolls, licorice
  • Crunchy foods: popcorn, ice, chips, takis, uncooked veggies
  • Sticky foods: caramels, gum (sugar-free gum is okay)
  • Hard foods: nuts, candy, chips
  • Foods you have to bite into: corn on the cob, apples, carrots

Chewing on things (for example, pens, pencils, drawstrings, or fingernails) can damage the braces. Damaged braces will cause treatment to take longer.

General Soreness

When you get your braces on, you may feel some general soreness in your mouth and your teeth may be tender to biting pressures for 3 – 5 days. Take Tylenol, Ibuprofen, or whatever you normally take for headache or discomfort. The lips, cheeks, and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the braces. We will supply dental wax to put on the braces in irritated areas to lessen discomfort.

Loosening of Teeth

This is to be expected throughout treatment. Don’t worry! It’s normal. Teeth must loosen first so they can move. The teeth will firm up in their new — corrected — positions after treatment is completed so long as you wear your retainers as instructed.

Loose Wire or Band

Don’t be alarmed if a wire or band comes loose. This happens occasionally. If it is not bothering you and you have an appointment scheduled within the next two weeks it is okay to wait to address the issue until then. If a wire sticks out and is irritating, use your dental wax to relieve the area until you can get in to see Dr. Bentley. Call our office as soon as possible for an appointment to check and repair the problem.

Rubber Band Wear

To successfully complete orthodontic treatment, the patient must work together with the orthodontist. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected positions if the patient consistently wears the rubber bands or other appliances as prescribed. Lack of cooperation following instructions and damaged appliances lengthen the treatment time… so please … help us help you by following and instructions given by Doc.


If you play sports, it’s important you let us know. An orthodontic-specific, protective mouthguard is recommended for playing contact sports. Please do not use the mouthguards that need to be boiled and molded to your teeth. Your teeth will be constantly changing position and using this type of guard can compromise the treatment and even break your brackets off.