Braces FAQ

Orthodontic FAQs

What are braces?
Is it going to hurt?

For a few days, after each appointment, your teeth may be mildly sore. During this time, eating a diet consisting of softer foods such as yogurt, scrambled eggs, or mashed potatoes will minimize discomfort. An over-the-counter analgesic, such as acetaminophen can also be taken according to package instructions.

What kinds of foods should I avoid when I have braces?

There are three general categories of food that you should avoid: crunchy foods, sticky foods, and foods that are high in sugar.

The first category is foods that are crunchy, such as peanut brittle, ice, or Life Savers. When you bite down on these kinds of foods, brackets can come off of the teeth.

The second category of foods that should be avoided is sticky foods such as taffy, Tootsie Rolls, and carmels. Sticky food can be difficult to remove from the braces, which can lead to plaque buildup and tooth decay.

A third category of foods that should be avoided during orthodontic treatment are foods that are high in sugar, such as candy and soda pop. These high sugar foods coat your teeth in sugar and, if the sugar residue is not removed, can lead to permanent white spots on your teeth and eventual cavities.

Is there a special technique that I need to use when brushing and flossing with braces?
What about mouth rinses?

We recommend that you use a fluoride-containing mouth rinse while you have your braces on. This mouth rinse should be used once a day at night before going to bed. It should be swished around in your mouth for 30 seconds, then spit out. After spitting it out, you should not eat or drink anything for at least 30 minutes.