What to Expect

What is it like to wear braces? Below are a few popular questions. If you need more information, please visit a Carus Orthodontics location near you and talk to one of our experienced specialists.

What can I eat and drink?

You can eat most foods without damaging your dental braces; however, special care must be taken. We ask you to avoid hard, chewy, sticky foods because they are likely to loosen brackets and bend archwires. Following a few simple guidelines will help minimize your need for repairs.

Raw fruits and vegetables and chewy breads and pizza crust need to be cut into small pieces and chewed with your back teeth. High sugar content foods such as candy, cakes, cookies, soft drinks, etc. should be avoided or limited, as these foods tend to promote tooth decay. If you eat these foods brush your teeth or rinse your mouth out with water right afterwards.

Will my braces hurt?

Initially the braces feel like they "stick out." This is normal. As you become accustomed to your braces and tooth alignment improves, this sensation will disappear. Although the brackets are rounded and fairly smooth, you may find it helpful to use a small piece of wax around the bracket that is creating irritation until the cheek tissues have toughened. If your supply of wax runs out, you may stop by the office to pick up more or you can purchase it at your local drug store.

Slight loosening of the teeth during treatment is normal and should not alarm you. Your teeth must first slightly loosen before they can be orthodontically moved to a new position. They will once again become tight as tooth movement stops. During this movement, it is normal to experience "sore teeth." This soreness may last a few days to a few weeks and can be minimized with a soft diet and/or over-the-counter pain relievers.

Can I play sports?

You can continue to participate in any sport you choose. When playing sports where there is a possibility of getting hit in the mouth, a specially designed mouthguard will need to be worn. The mouthguard, made of durable plastic, is designed to fit comfortably over your braces and will protect the soft tissues inside your mouth.

Can I smoke cigarettes, cigars, or pipes with braces on my teeth?

Yes, you can smoke or chew tobacco, but both of these habits will stain your ligatures and may possibly stain ceramic brackets. It is recommended that these habits be minimized during treatment.

Is it OK to have braces if you are pregnant, or plan to become pregnant?

Yes, many pregnant women have had orthodontic treatment. Your teeth may be a bit looser than average because of the hormonal changes and the effect on your periodontal ligaments. But as long as you maintain good periodontal health, it shouldn't be a problem to wear braces if you're pregnant.

Can you wear braces if you snorkel or scuba dive?

Yes, you can. It's probably best to have the braces on for a few months before snorkeling or scuba diving, so you can get used to the extra hardware in your mouth.

Can you wear braces if you play a wind instrument?

Yes, you can. Several companies make mouth guards and lip protectors specifically for this purpose. Ask a Carus Orthodontist for the best recommendation.