Columbia Office: (803) 738-9715 | Irmo Office: (803) 781-5253

Life with Braces

You have braces! Now what?

After getting your braces or an adjustment, try to eat soft foods for a few days. So enjoy some ice cream or mac-n-cheese! You will get used to eating a normal diet with braces in the first couple weeks. However, there are certain foods you have to avoid eating to prevent breakages and an increased treatment time.

Foods to Avoid

  • Sticky foods- caramel, bubble gum, jolly ranchers
  • Chewy foods- gummy bears, licorice
  • Hard and Crunchy foods- popcorn, hard chips or pretzels, candy, nuts
  • Ice- Don’t chew on it!
  • Foods that you have to bite into with your front teeth- apples, carrots, corn on the cob (you can still enjoy these foods if you cut your apples and carrots into small bites and cut your corn off of the cob first)

Foods you CAN eat with braces:

  • Dairy - soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
  • Breads - soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins w/o 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 w/o nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake

General Soreness

When you first get your braces, you may notice that your teeth and mouth feel a little tender or sore. This is perfectly normal for patients who have just gotten their braces put on, 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).

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 wax, please let us know!

Keep Your Teeth Clean

It is VERY important to keep your teeth and gums clean during orthodontic treatment. We will show you how to brush and floss after your braces are put on. If you don’t clean your teeth, they will get white and brown stains that will not go away after the braces come off. Patients who don’t keep their teeth clean enough may have to see their general dentist more frequently during treatment. Any adult with a history of gum disease should regularly see their dentist or periodontist during orthodontic treatment.

Tompkins Orthodontics