Life With Braces


When it’s time to get braces, there may be several things running through your mind. What will you be able to eat? How will you look? Will you speak differently? Will braces hurt? These are all questions that you’re able to discuss with our orthodontist, but once your braces are fitted to your teeth, there are definitely a few changes you can expect.

There will be foods that you shouldn’t eat

Your favorite foods may be off-limits due to the fact that they could damage your braces. Chewy foods, like bagels or licorice, as well as popcorn, chips, gum, apples, and carrots, all run the risk of getting stuck in your braces or could potentially damage your braces.

Food limitations make it seem as though braces are taking away the fun of eating, but it’s an important precaution that you should take to ensure your braces stay in place. Any oral health concerns or damage inflicted onto your braces can prolong treatment with us. So, we recommend that you keep your teeth as healthy as possible.

For all the foods that you can’t eat, there are plenty that you can! Feel free to indulge in dairy products, pancakes, muffins, chicken, lunch meats, fish, mashed potatoes, and bananas as well as occasional soft sweets — just make sure you’re brushing and flossing after every meal!

Braces need to be taken care of just like your teeth

Because you’re exposing them to the same bacteria as your tooth enamel, your braces also run the risk of building up plaque. Brushing and flossing are crucial with braces, and doing so on a regular basis will help keep your teeth strong and free of cavities.

We usually recommend that you brush your teeth after every meal, and we suggest that you floss once a day to remove the plaque from in between your teeth and braces. Our orthodontist can give you specific brushing and flossing instructions and recommend tools you can use to make the process much easier. Many of our patients invest in a water pik which will be a great adjunct to brushing and flossing while in braces.

You might feel some discomfort at first

In the beginning, your braces may feel foreign in your mouth. Speaking will take some getting used to, and you might feel some irritation along your gums and lips. Any tenderness that you feel is normal and should subside once your mouth develops the strength it needs to protect against the braces.

Our orthodontist may also give you some suggestions on how to alleviate any soreness. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water will soothe any sensitive areas, and there are specialty waxes that you can spread onto your braces to eliminate friction. Over-the-counter pain relievers are also effective at treating the irritation.

Slightly loose teeth are normal, but loose hardware is not

It may be shocking to feel your teeth becoming loose with braces, but we can assure you that it’s perfectly normal. For your teeth to move into a healthier position, they need to loosen and move according to the treatment plan outlined by Our orthodontist. Once your teeth reach their proper place, they will tighten up again.

On the other hand, if you have an archwire or bracket that has come loose, it’s important that you call our office as there are many ways to fix these issues over the phone without having to come in for a special trip.

Use caution when playing sports

Your braces shouldn’t stop you from doing the things you love! Feel free to participate in extracurricular activities like you always have, but if you play a sport, we recommend wearing a mouthguard to protect your teeth and braces from injury.

Braces take some getting used to, but in time, they will become a regular part of your life. If you have additional questions or concerns about your orthodontic treatment with braces, contact Charleston Orthodontic Specialists at 843-642-8100 and we will be glad to help you.