Braces Patient

Life With Braces




Eating with Braces

It’s not going to be easy at first, and in the beginning foods you can eat will be limited. You’ll want to stick to foods that are soft, fluffy and easily mashed up. Pancakes, oatmeal, bananas, soups, cooked vegetables, applesauce, mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, and soft ice cream – just to suggest a few. Stay away from foods that are hard, crunchy, sticky or tough.

Foods to Avoid

  • Chewy foods: bagels, hard rolls, licorice
  • Crunchy foods: popcorn, ice, chips
  • Sticky foods: caramels, gum
  • Hard foods: nuts, candy
  • Foods you have to bite into: corn on the cob, apples, carrots
  • Chewing on hard things (for example, pens, pencils or fingernails) can damage the braces. Damaged braces will cause treatment to take longer.

There are a few tricks around some problem foods. You can cook your vegetables to make them softer, cut your corn off the cob, and slice apples and sandwiches into small, bite sized pieces.

If you’re in doubt about a particular food, ask Dr. Walker and the WO team.


Separators (or spacers, as they are often called) are small donut shaped rubber rings or wire springs that fit between your teeth. They are used to create small spaces to allow for the fitting of orthodontic appliances or bands. Separators should remain between the teeth until your next appointment (usually 1-2 weeks).

  1. Avoid sticky or chewy foods such as candy and gum that could stick to separators and pull them out.
  2. Avoid using floss or toothpicks in the area where the separators have been placed. Please brush thoroughly and floss all other areas.
  3. If you are uncomfortable, consider taking an over the counter pain reliever (such as Tylenol or Advil) and rinsing mouth with warm salt water.
  4. Call our office if a separator falls out so we can determine if you will need to have it replaced.

Spacers may:

  1. Make you feel like you have food stuck between your teeth and you can’t get it out. This is annoying, but please do not play with them or they may fall out.
  2. Make your teeth feel sore. Usually this discomfort is mild and can last anywhere from one to four days. Remember everyone is different- so they might not hurt at all or only a little. Soreness is an indication the separators are doing their job.
  3. Feel like you’re biting on them. This is normal as the spacers may get in the way of your bite. This may also feel a little bit annoying.
  4. Get pulled out or fall out. Remember to check your spacers every night and count to be sure they are all still there! If not, please give us a call so we can determine if they need to be replaced. Generally if the spacers fall out the day of or day before your next appointment, we will not need to replace them. However, a lost spacer may make it impossible to fit a band or appliance around your tooth, so please call us to ask.
  5. Be the worst part of orthodontic treatment for some patients. Hang in there!