Life With Braces

A woman with braces and a man

You're probably wondering just what life with braces will be like. Questions such as, "What can I eat?" "Will they make my mouth hurt?" and "What about playing sports?" are common. Continue reading to find out more about what life with braces will be like, and don't forget to check out our Frequently Asked Questions for additional information.

Eating With Braces

While there isn't a person who has braces that doesn't wish they could eat whatever they wanted without concern, it's important to remember that the situation is only temporary, and you'll be back to eating your favorite foods in no time, but now with a brand new smile!

To help you know what foods are good, which foods you should use caution with, and what foods you should avoid all together - we use the traffic light system below.

STOP - Avoid these and similar foods at all times!

A red traffic signal


  • Nuts, Peanut Brittle
  • Ice (not even if you're careful)
  • Lemons (pure lemon juice can hurt your tooth enamel)
  • Taffy
  • Caramels
  • Bubble Gum (or any type of gum is a definite no)
  • Milk Duds
  • Fruit Roll-ups
  • Gummy Bears
  • Jolly Ranchers
  • Jaw Breakers
  • Any Kind of Suckers
  • Hot Tamales (the candy)
  • Slow Pokes
  • Frozen Candy Bars

YIELD - Proceed with caution when eating these and similar foods!

Yellow traffic signal


  • Sodas (diet or regular)
  • Corn Chips
  • Crisp Tacos (break into smaller pieces)
  • Corn On The Cob (cut the kernels from the ear first)
  • Popcorn (eat fully popped kernels only)
  • Crunch Vegetables (cut into strips or smaller pieces)
  • Apples (cut into wedges)

GO - Enjoy anything healthy that isn't listed above, or that is similar to the foods below!

Green traffic signal

  • Milk and Milkshakes
  • Cheese (a little gooey when melted, but usually okay)
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich (cut up and dunked in milk)
  • Fish (tuna)
  • Creamy Peanut Butter
  • Eggs (scrambled, etc.)
  • Baked Beans
  • Chili
  • Scrambled Hamburger/Sloppy Joe
  • Vegetables cut or shred, and cooked soft
  • Salads (MUST BE CHOPPED FINELY)
  • Mashed Potatoes 
Snacks
  • Fresh Fruits (hard fruits are great blended)
  • Cookies (dunked in milk)
  • Ice Cream
  • Pancakes


A Sore Mouth From Braces and Appliances

Some minor soreness for the first few days after receiving your braces or other orthodontic appliances is to be expected, but this will pass once your mouth has grown accustomed to things. Rinsing your mouth with 8oz. of warm water and a teaspoon of salt, numbing gels, and pain relief medicine can help to keep discomfort to a minimum. We can also provide you with wax to place on areas of the braces that are of particular discomfort for you. 

Loose Teeth

Your teeth may begin to feel loose while you are undergoing treatment, and this is normal while your teeth are being repositioned in your mouth. Once their new position has been established, they will no longer feel loose. 

Loose Wires and Broken Bands or Brackets

In the event a wire, or other part of your braces or appliances gets broken, be sure to contact our office as soon as you can so we can setup an appointment to inspect and repair the damage. Be sure to save any broken pieces to bring them into the office, and if broken off wires cause you pain, you can use wax or cotton to shield your mouth from the sharp point. 

Keep Treatment Time As Short As Possible

Make sure you follow all of the directions Dr. Sonneborn and his staff give you regarding your treatment, and make sure you take care of your braces and appliances. Broken appliances, and failure to follow instructions can lead to longer treatment times to get the desired results. Dr. Sonneborn and his staff want to see you with the new smile you've always wanted, in as little time as possible! 

Playing Sports

You are still able to play sports if you have braces, just be sure you're wearing a protective mouth guard to keep your teeth and your braces safe! In the event of an emergency during play, check your mouth, braces and appliances for trauma or damage. If you have loose teeth or broken appliances, be sure to contact the office as soon as you can.