Life With Braces

With The Right Plan - It’s an Awesome Experience

For most patients, life with braces is no big deal. You may experience some discomfort the first day or two after each appointment, but that’s normal, since your teeth are on the move. Think of it as your confirmation that everything is going well! Some patients say they don’t experience any discomfort, others keep the Advil or Tylenol handy for a couple of days. At Smith Orthodontics, the wires we use are actually activated by the natural body heat in your mouth so having a cool drink or treating yourself to some ice cream is also a great way to send the discomfort packing.

When you first start orthodontic treatment in Durham or Mebane, we’ll set you up with a new patient kit designed to help you have a comfortable experience. You can also find information about cleaning your teeth while in treatment and making good food choices.

Helpful Tips

  • We recommend you use a soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head. Electric and sonic toothbrushes are also great choices.
  • Brush your teeth after meals and snacks.
  • If you have eaten while away from home, use your interdental brush to dislodge any food that may get caught around your braces.
  • Rinsing with water is another way to dislodge food from your braces, and to keep sugar from sitting on your teeth.
  • Floss your teeth at least once a day.
  • We recommend that you have a check up with your dentist every 6 months.


Eating With Braces

You’ve probably heard from friends and family members who have worn braces that you won’t be able to eat some of your favorite foods while you’re in treatment. That’s true - if your favorite food is hard candy:-). Truth is - you can eat most anything as long as you avoid anything that might cause you to lose a bracket, break a wire, or get tangled up in goo. Here’s a simple, helpful guide to help you avoid any issues. Feel free to print this list out and put it up on the fridge.


  • Foods to AVOID with braces:
  • Chewy foods — bagels, licorice
  • Crunchy foods — popcorn, chips, ice
  • Sticky foods — caramel candies, chewing gum (sugar-free gum is okay)
  • Hard foods — nuts, hard candies
  • Foods you have to bite into — corn on the cob, apples, carrots
  • Foods you CAN eat with braces:
  • Dairy — soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
  • Bread — soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts
  • Grains — pasta, soft cooked rice
  • Meats/poultry — soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
  • Seafood — tuna, salmon, crab cakes
  • Vegetables — mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans
  • Fruits — applesauce, bananas, sliced fruit, most berries (but watch out for seeds)
  • Treats — ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, cakes