The First Week with Braces

What should you expect to see and feel during the first week.


Now that you have your braces, what should you expect during the first week? It's important for you to know what issues you may face and how to properly take care of your braces.

Eating with Braces

For the first few days after getting your braces, you will want to eat a softer diet (soups, pasta, rice, fish) until the initial soreness settles. You should then be able to enjoy most foods, just as you did before braces! However you will need to protect your braces from breakage (as this tends to prolong treatment) and there are a few things which should be avoided:

Foods to avoid with braces

  • "chewy foods" such as bagels, granola, hard rolls
  • "crunchy foods" like popcorn, thick chips, chewing on ice
  • "sticky foods" such as gum, caramel, taffy, dried fruit
  • "hard foods" like nuts, candy, peanut brittle, suckers

Corn must be removed from the cob. Carrots and apples should be cut up. Chewing on fingernails and pens/pencils will also break braces and lengthen treatment time!

Foods you CAN eat with braces

  • Dairy - soft cheese, milk-based drinks
  • Breads – soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins w/o 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, fruit juice
  • Treats – ice cream w/o nuts, milkshakes, soft cake

Soreness caused from braces and appliances

When you first get your braces, you may notice that your teeth and mouth feel a little tender or sore. This is perfectly normal for patients who have just gotten their braces put on, and we promise your mouth will not be sore forever! To relieve the pain, we recommend dissolving one teaspoon of salt in a cup of lukewarm water. Swish and gargle this solution in your mouth for just a couple of minutes (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.

The lips, cheeks, and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they start to "toughen up" and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. We would be happy to give you some wax that you can put over the braces to lessen the tenderness. If you need some wax, please let us know! Also use topical anaesthetics similar to those recommended for mouth ulcers.

Loose Teeth

This is normal! Teeth must be loosened slightly in order to move them. You will find any 'loose' teeth will firm up.

Take Care of your Appliances

To ensure the most optimal result, the orthodontist and patient must function as a team. Tooth movement is possible only if the braces are not broken (by poor diet and/or oral habits), and if rubber bands and appliances are worn as directed! Appointments need to be kept on a regular basis. Anything less will lead to increased treatment time.

Playing Sports with Braces

You can still play sports even while undergoing orthodontic treatment! If you do play sports, it's recommended that you wear a mouthguard in order to protect your teeth and your appliance. You cannot use mouthguards that are softened in warm water and moulded to the brace. If you purchase one from a shop, make sure it stipulates it can be used with orthodontic braces. Let us know if you need help finding the right mouthguard for the best protection.