Life with Braces

Once you have braces, it is important to properly care for them during your orthodontic treatment. Our team at Almond Orthodontics is here to help you learn how to care for your braces!

Eating with Braces

While you have braces, you need to be careful to avoid certain foods that could damage your new braces. But don’t worry; you’ll be enjoying your favorite snacks again soon!

Foods to avoid with braces:


  • Hard foods (nuts and hard candies)
  • Sticky foods (chewing gum, caramel candies, gummy candies)
  • Chewy foods (bagels, licorice)
  • Crunchy foods (popcorn, chips, ice)
  • Foods that require biting into (corn on the cob, apples, carrots)

Foods you can eat with braces:

  • Fruits – bananas, applesauce, fruit juice
  • Seafood – tuna, salmon, crab cakes
  • Dairy – pudding, milk-based drinks, soft cheese
  • Grains – pasta, soft cooked rice
  • Meats and poultry – meatballs, lunchmeats, soft cooked chicken
  • Breads – soft tortillas, muffins without nuts, pancakes
  • Vegetables – steamed spinach, beans, mashed potatoes
  • Treats – milkshakes, Jell-O, ice cream without nuts, soft cake

Soreness Caused by Braces and Orthodontic Appliances

Your teeth and mouth may feel a bit sore or tender when your braces are first placed. This is normal, and the soreness will go away soon. We recommend dissolving one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water to help relieve the pain. Swish and gargle (but do not swallow) this solution in your mouth for a couple of minutes. If swishing the saltwater does not help to relieve pain, our team at Almond Orthodontics suggests you take a pain reliever, like Advil or Tylenol. Your lips, cheeks, and tongue may be irritated for one or two weeks after you get your braces as they become used to the braces. You can place wax over your braces to lessen the tenderness. If you would like some wax, just call or visit us at our Richland, Washington orthodontic office. We are happy to care for you!

Loose Wires and Bands

The wires and bands on your braces may become loose during your orthodontic treatment. Please contact us at Almond Orthodontics as soon as possible so we can check and repair your braces. If any piece of your orthodontic appliance comes off, make sure you save it and bring it with you when you visit us at our office in Richland.

To temporarily fix a loose wire, use the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil to carefully and gently push the wire back into place. You may want to put wax or a wet cotton ball over the broken wire if it is irritating your lips or cheeks.

Loose Teeth

If your teeth begin to feel a little loose when you have braces, don’t worry! This is normal, as your braces must first loosen your teeth in order to move them into the correct position. Your teeth will not feel loose after they have been repositioned.

Care for Your Orthodontic Appliances

Make sure you take care of your orthodontic appliances; damaged appliances can increase the length of your treatment process. Consistently wearing the rubber bands, retainer, headgear, or other appliances prescribed by your orthodontist, Dr. Almond, will ensure that your teeth and jaw move into their correct positions. If you have any questions about how to care for or properly wear your orthodontic appliances, please call or visit our orthodontic office in Richland, Washington today!

Playing Sports with Braces

Good news, athletes: you can still play sports while wearing braces and undergoing orthodontic treatment! Our orthodontist, Dr. Almond, recommends that you wear a mouthguard while playing sports to protect your orthodontic appliance and your teeth. For more information about mouthguards, just ask our friendly team at Almond Orthodontics!

If a sports injury or accident occurs, be sure to check your mouth and orthodontic appliance for damage. Please contact our Richland orthodontic office immediately if you notice any loose teeth or damage to your appliance. To temporarily relieve discomfort and pain, you can apply wax to your orthodontic appliance, rinse your mouth with warm saltwater, or take a pain reliever. Call our orthodontic office with any questions; we look forward to caring for you and your smile!