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Cohlmia Orthodontics Tips for Wearing Braces

Wearing Braces

It is important to know how to properly take care of your braces. Your teeth and jaw can only move into their correct positions if you consistently wear the rubber bands, headgear, retainer, or other appliances prescribed by Dr. Jeff. Damaged appliances can increase the length of your treatment process, so be sure to take care of all your appliances.

Here is some basic information to follow during the time you are wearing braces. Be sure to contact our office with any questions or concerns you may have while wearing your braces.


You can still have some of your favorite foods while wearing braces, but some other favorites may have to wait until your treatment is complete. Chewy, hard and sticky foods can bend wires or break brackets, so they are definitely foods to AVOID! Also AVOID foods high in sugar ­— they can cause cavities, staining of your teeth and prolong your treatment. If you do eat something high in sugar be sure to immediately brush or rinse your teeth.

Examples of foods you CAN eat:

Healthy Foods
Breads: tortillas, pancakes, muffins (no nuts)
Grains: cooked rice, soft cooked pasta
Dairy: soft cheeses, mikshakes and other milk-based drinks, pudding
Meat & Poultry: cooked chicken, lunch meats, meatballs
Seafood: tuna, crab cakes, salmon
Vegetables: mashed potatoes, beans, soft steamed vegetables
Fruits: bananas, applesauce
Sweets: soft cakes, ice cream (no nuts), Jell-O

Examples of foods to AVOID!!! (and we mean AVOID!):

Chewy foods — bagels, licorice
Crunchy foods — popcorn, chips, ice
Sticky foods — caramel candies, taffy, chewing gum, dried fruit
Hard foods — nuts, hard candies, jerky, corn nuts,
Foods that require biting into (or cut into very small pieces) —
corn on the cob, apples, carrots

Habits to AVOID:

Chewing ice, biting on pencils, pens and fingernails


It can be very difficult to clean your teeth with braces. Food residues get between teeth and braces, and traditional flossing will not be able to get to many of the spots and crevices from all angles when the brace is in the way. You must be careful using your toothbrush on the brace as well, as not to bend or snap the wires and brackets.

ALWAYS remember to brush your teeth after every meal and floss at least once a day. Use toothpaste that contains fluoride, and ask Dr. Cohlmia or your family dentist if you need a fluoride rinse. This can help prevent cavities.

Be sure to schedule your routine checkups with your family dentist every six months.


Your teeth and mouth may feel a little sore or tender when you first get your braces. This is normal and you won’t be sore forever. Swishing and gargling with warm saltwater (one teaspoon of salt in one cup of lukewarm water) for a couple minutes may help relieve the pain. If the pain does not go away after rinsing with the saltwater solution, you can also try taking a pain reliever. Your lips, cheeks, and tongue may become irritated as well for a week or so until they get used to the braces. We can give you some wax that you can put over the braces to lessen the tenderness. Please let our staff know if you need some wax.


Sometimes the wires and bands on your braces may come loose. Contact us as soon as possible so that we can check and repair your appliance. Be sure to save any part of your appliance that comes off and bring it with you to the office. You can put wax or a wet cotton ball over the broken wire if the loose wire causes pain or irritation to your lips or cheeks.
Please call our office as soon as you notice a loose wire or bracket so we can schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience.