Life With Braces

Orthodontist Northbrook IL

At Thometz and Uhland Orthodontics we believe it’s important for you to have all the information you need to properly take care of your braces. Damaged appliances can increase the length of your treatment. Here are some important tips that will help you become adjusted to your new orthodontic appliances:


It is completely normal to experience general soreness within the first couple days after getting your braces on. If you are experiencing any pain on your lips, cheeks, or gums from the braces while your mouth is becoming adjusted, apply some wax on the areas where it is tender. For pain relief, we recommend taking a pain reliever such as Tylenol and eating soft foods such as a smoothie, ice cream, applesauce, or soup.

Eating with Braces

What you eat and do not eat will directly affect the condition of your teeth during orthodontic treatment. Here are some tips on what kinds of foods you should avoid and how to carefully enjoy some of your favorites.

Hard Foods

At times, it is difficult to break and chew certain foods. Eating hard foods can be harmful during orthodontic treatment because they can bend or break wires and even displace brackets. Avoid them entirely after you have had your wires changed, since teeth are the most tender at this stage.

Tips for eating hard foods:

  1. Fruits are an essential part of a balanced diet. If you want to eat apples, pears and peaches, do not directly bite into them. Instead, cut them into small pieces before consuming.
  2. If you enjoy eating almonds, cashews or peanuts, consider grinding them and adding it to cereals and yogurt.
  3. While eating chicken wings or ribs, remove the bones before consuming your meal. This prevents you from accidentally chewing on a bone and dislocating a bracket.
  4. While eating corn, remove the kernels from the cob to help prevent damage to your braces.
  5. Avoid chewing on ice. You can suck on ice cubes but never bite them.

Sticky and Sweet Foods

Sticky foods can get stuck to your teeth and braces, and can even result in the braces getting pulled off. Sweet, sugary foods are high in sugar and their consumption can lead to tooth decay.

Tips for eating sticky and sweet foods:

  1. If you enjoy eating candy, try sucking on them instead of chewing them. Be sure to rinse your mouth with water to avoid sugar buildup on your teeth.
  2. Avoid chewing on gum. Gum can stick to braces and may be difficult to clean. It can also loosen the wires and brackets.

Brushing & Flossing Your Teeth

To keep food from getting stuck in your braces it is important to brush and floss after every meal. For more tips or a demonstration on how to brush and floss with braces, talk to our Northbrook orthodontists, Drs. Uhland and Thometz!