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(559) 431-5750
Consult with Donald E. Snyder
Specialist in Orthodontics in Fresno, CA

Life With Braces

During your treatment, it is important that you know how to take care of your braces. Below are instructions for properly caring for your braces to help ensure that you get the best possible results.


As long as you are wearing braces you will need to protect them when you eat. When you get your braces installed you will want to stick with eating soft foods. As teeth start to move, your teeth are likely to be a little tender and soft food will make things feel like normal more quickly.

mouth with braces


  • Chewy food- jerky, bagels, licorice
  • Crunchy foods- popcorn, chips, hard taco shells
  • Hard foods- hard candies, nuts, ice
  • Sticky foods- caramel candies, chewing gum
  • Foods that require biting into- apples, corn on the cob, carrots


  • Dairy- yogurt, soft cheese
  • Breads- soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins (without nuts)
  • Grains- pasta, rice
  • Meats/poultry- soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meat
  • Seafood- salmon, tuna, crab cakes
  • Vegetables- mashed potatoes, cooked vegetables, steamed spinach
  • Fruits- applesauce, bananas, canned peaches, grapes
  • Treats- ice cream, Jell-O, soft cake


When you get your braces on, you may experience some general soreness in your mouth. It is normal for your teeth to be tender to biting pressure for three to five days. 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 a couple of minutes (do not swallow the saltwater). If your pain does not diminish after rinsing, you can also take a pain reliever.

You should expect that your lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they are becoming accustomed to your new braces. Orthodontic wax can be placed on any rough surfaces until your mouth has gotten use to the new braces.


If your teeth begin feeling a little loose, don’t worry; this is perfectly normal! Your braces must first loosen your teeth in order to move them into the right position. Once your teeth have been repositioned, they will no longer be loose.


If the wires and bands on your braces come loose, it is important that you contact our office as soon as possible so that 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.

If you need a quick fix for a loose wire, you can carefully push the wire back into place by using the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil. 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.


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 consistently wear the rubber bands, headgear, retainer, or other appliances prescribed by your orthodontist.


If you are an athlete we have great news for you! Wearing braces will not hinder you from participating in your favorite sport. However, it is recommended that you wear a mouth guard in order to protect your teeth and your appliance. Let your orthodontist know if your need help finding the right mouth guard for the best protection.

In the event of a sports emergency, be sure to check your mouth and your appliance for any damage that may have occurred. If you notice any loose teeth or if your appliance has been damaged, please contact our office right away.

girl wearing braces