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Soxman & Buzzatto


Life with Braces

Eating with Braces

The teeth always become sore after the braces have been placed. This usually begins several hours after the appointment and may last for 3-5 days; adults will find that this initial discomfort will last even longer.

A softer diet is especially important for the first few days of treatment due to the general soreness of the teeth. Pasta, yogurts, cottage cheese, soup and soft vegetables and breads are a good idea during the initial period with braces. Avoid tough meats, hard breads and raw vegetables. As the initial soreness subsides, you will be able to return to a normal diet except for unusually hard and sticky foods and you must limit your intake of soft drinks, both regular and diet.

Things to Avoid:

  • Chewy foods: bagels, hard rolls, licorice
  • Crunchy foods: popcorn, ice, thick pretzels
  • Sticky foods: caramels, gum
  • Hard foods: nuts, candy
  • Foods you have to bite into: corn on the cob, apples, and carrots
  • Chewing on hard things (for example, pens, pencils, ice cubes and fingernails) can damage the braces. Damaged braces will cause treatment to take longer.

General Soreness

An analgesic is recommended, one that would typically be used by the patient for relief of a headache along with a softer diet. Warm saltwater rinses, a teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, swished in the mouth vigorously usually helps with gum tenderness. Ulcer discomfort may be alleviated by placing Orobase or Vitamin E gel from a capsule on the ulcer. Irritation caused from rubbing with the braces can be alleviated by wax placed over the offending bracket. Within a short period of time the tissues of the mouth will toughen and become accustomed to the braces.

Loosening of Teeth

You should expect the teeth to become loose throughout treatment. Don’t worry! It’s normal. Teeth must loosen first before they can be moved. The teeth will again become rigid when fixed in their new corrected positions.

Loose Wire or Band

Don’t be alarmed if a wire, bracket or band becomes loose. This happens occasionally. If a wire protrudes, using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or place wax on it to alleviate the discomfort. A loose bracket or band if uncomfortable can usually be addressed by placing wax over the bracket or removing the band if it is on the last tooth. You should not remove a loose bracket if it is not uncomfortable. If a bracket or band is separated from the wire, just bring it with you to the next appointment.

Care of Appliances

To successfully complete the treatment plan, 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, headgear, or other appliances as prescribed. Damaged appliances lengthen the treatment time.


It is much more difficult to brush and floss with braces but it is even more important to do so. Clean teeth and especially healthy gums allow the teeth to move faster. Poor brushing and flossing may result in decalcification or white spots on the teeth and gum recession and disease. More frequent visits to the dentist/periodontists (adults) may be necessary during orthodontic treatment


A protective mouthguard is recommended for any contact sport whether organized or in the back yard. Mouthguards help protect against facial and tooth trauma. Special mouthguards are available for our patients, to allow the teeth to move with braces.

Orthodontist, Dr. John Buzzatto, provides comprehensive orthodontic care for children, teens and adults and pediatric dentist, Dr. Jane Soxman, provides comprehensive dental care from infancy through 21 years of age..

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