When you begin orthodontic treatment, you will need to learn how to take care of your braces and other appliances. Dr. Daniel Bradshaw and Dr. John Hathaway have provided the following information on life with braces. To make your appointment with our orthodontists, and to learn more about life with braces in Johnson City, Tennessee, please contact Bradshaw & Hathaway at 423-929-1126.

Food and Braces

  • Chewy foods – such as bagels and licorice
  • Crunchy foods – such as popcorn, ice, and chips
  • Sticky foods – such as caramel and chewing gum
  • Hard foods – such as nuts and hard candies
  • Foods that require biting into – such as corn on the cob, raw carrots, and uncut apples

But don’t worry! There are still many types of foods that you can enjoy while wearing braces:

  • Dairy – such as soft cheese, pudding, and milk-based drinks
  • Soft breads – such as soft tortillas, pancakes, and muffins without nuts
  • Grains – such as pasta and soft-cooked rice
  • Meats/Poultry – such as soft-cooked chicken, lunch meats, and meatballs
  • Seafood – such as tuna salmon, crab cakes
  • Vegetables – such as mashed potatoes, steam spinach, and beans
  • Fruits – such as applesauce, bananas, and fruit juice
  • Treats – such as ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, soft cake, and Jell-O

Loose Teeth

As you progress through your treatment, your teeth may start to feel a little loose. This is normal. Your teeth will need to loosen a little bit before they can be moved into their proper positions. After they have been repositioned, your teeth will no longer be loose.

Loose Wires and Bands

If the wires and bands on your braces become loose, contact our office immediately so that we can repair and adjust your braces. If any part of your appliance breaks off, please save it and bring it with you to your appointment.

If you are unable to meet with our orthodontists immediately, there are a few temporary fixes you can try at home. You can use the back of a spoon or a pencil eraser to very carefully push your wire back into place. If the loose wire is causing irritation, place wax or a wet cotton ball over it to relieve the discomfort.

Playing Sports with Braces

You can participate in sports and other athletic activities while wearing braces. We do, however, recommend that you be fitted for a sports mouth guard to protect your teeth, mouth, and your appliances.

Taking Care of Your Appliances

If your appliances are damaged, it will add more time to the length of your treatment. Your teeth and jaw can only move into their correct positions if all appliances are working correctly, and if you consistently wear the rubber bands, headgear, retainer, or other appliances as directed by our orthodontists. Please take good care of your orthodontic appliances so that they remain in good condition and work properly.

Soreness Caused by Braces

Your teeth and mouth may feel tender or sore for a few days after you begin wearing braces, and for a few days following adjustments. This is normal, and should go away within a few days. There are several options for relieving discomfort during this period. You can use a warm washcloth or a heating pad. You may also dissolve one teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of lukewarm water, and swish and gargle this solution. Mild pain relievers may also be used if needed.

If your discomfort persists beyond a few days, please contact our office.

If you have further questions about day-to-day life while wearing braces, or to make an appointment with our orthodontists, please contact our office.