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Our Guide to Life with Braces: What You Should Know

Our Guide to Life with Braces: What You Should Know

How to Live With Braces

If you are about to get braces or have recently had them put on, you may be wondering what life will be like with these orthodontic appliances. While there may be some adjustments to make, such as learning how to eat certain foods and taking extra care of your teeth, the end result of a straighter, healthier smile is worth it. This guide provides tips and advice for navigating life with braces.

Understanding the Different Types of Braces

There are several types of braces available, each with their own unique benefits and drawbacks. Traditional metal braces are the most common and affordable option, but they are also the most noticeable. Ceramic braces are less noticeable but can be more expensive. Lingual braces are placed on the back of the teeth, making them virtually invisible, but they can be more difficult to clean. Invisalign is a popular alternative to traditional braces, using clear aligners to gradually straighten teeth. We also offer our very own patented Skarin System braces system, which is up to 5x faster than aligners. Learn all about the different types of appliances here and the different kind of braces here.

Please schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Skarin to determine which type of braces is best for your specific needs.

Preparing for Life with Braces

Before getting braces, it is important to prepare for the changes they will bring to your daily routine. This includes adjusting to eating with braces, learning how to properly clean your teeth and braces, and understanding the potential discomfort that may come with the initial adjustment period. Dr. Skarin will provide you with specific instructions and tips to help make the transition as smooth as possible.

Eating with Braces: What to Avoid and What to Enjoy

Eating with braces can be a bit of a challenge, but it is important to maintain a healthy and balanced diet during your orthodontic treatment. Avoid hard, sticky, and chewy foods that can damage your braces or get stuck in them. Instead, opt for softer foods like cooked vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins. You can still enjoy some of your favorite foods, but it is important to cut them into smaller pieces and chew carefully to avoid damaging your braces. Also, remember to always brush and floss after meals to keep your teeth and braces clean and healthy.

Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene with Braces

Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial when you have braces. Food particles and plaque can easily get trapped in the brackets and wires, leading to tooth decay and gum disease. Make sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste. Use a floss threader or interdental brush to clean between your teeth and braces. You may also want to use a mouthwash to kill bacteria and freshen your breath. Regular visits for check-ups and adjustments are also important for keeping your braces and teeth in good condition.

Dealing with Discomfort and Adjusting to Life with Braces

When you first get your braces, you may notice that your teeth and mouth feel a little tender or sore. This is perfectly normal, and we promise your mouth will not be sore forever! To relieve the pain, we recommend dissolving one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water. Swish and gargle this solution in your mouth for just a couple of minutes, but do not swallow the salt water.

If the pain is more severe and does not go away after rinsing, you can also try taking a pain reliever. Also, we suggest sticking to softer foods to help minimize pain. It is not uncommon for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become used to the braces. We would be happy to give you some wax you can put over the braces to lessen the tenderness. If you need some wax, please let us know.

Loosening of Teeth

When starting with braces, do not be alarmed if your teeth feel a bit loose at first. This is completely normal and expected. In fact, it is necessary for the teeth to loosen up so they can move and be properly moved into their new positions. Rest assured, once your teeth have been repositioned, they will no longer be loose as the bone that maintains the position of the teeth matures and becomes more dense and firmly holds your teeth in place again.

Loose Wires and Bands

The wires and bands on your braces may come loose. If this happens, please contact us as soon as possible so we can check and repair your appliance. If any piece of your appliance comes off, be sure to save it and bring it to the office with you.

You can temporarily fix the loose wire by using the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil to push the wire carefully and gently back into place. If the loose wire is causing irritation to your lips or cheeks, put wax or a wet cotton ball over the broken wire to relieve the pain.

Take Care of Your Appliances

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


Wearing braces can be a big adjustment, especially when it comes to playing sports. We recommend wearing a mouth guard during contact sports. Let us know if you need help finding the right mouthguard for the best protection.

If an accident does happen to your mouth, check your teeth and braces. If anything is anything damaged or loose, please call us to schedule an appointment. You can temporarily relieve the discomfort by applying wax or rinsing your mouth with warm salt water. If there is bleeding or trauma to the face, stay calm and apply ice to the affected area. Seek help from us or the emergency department of a hospital if necessary.

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