Braces Advice in Louisville & Mt. Washington

You’ve taken a big step by getting braces from Jennings Orthodontics. You're now officially on the road towards a healthy new smile.

It’s a thrilling time, but it also comes with a bit of a learning curve for patients around Louisville and Mt. Washington.

Tips for Living With Braces

As you get used to your new orthodontic treatment from Jennings Orthodontics, you may need to make a few adjustments, but it'll become second nature before you know it.

Caring for Your Orthodontic Appliance

If your appliances are damaged, your treatment can take longer at Jennings Orthodontics. Be sure to take care of 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 Dr. Jennings.

Care & Maintenance

Brushing with braces can take some getting used to. It takes a little practice to expertly maneuver about brackets and wires. Be sure to brush thoroughly after every meal or snack, so any food particles are removed before bacteria has a chance to grow.

If you can't brush right away, rinsing your mouth with water will help until you can get to a toothbrush.

Follow these tips for the best results:

  • Use a fluoride toothpaste with a soft, rounded-bristle toothbrush.
  • Braces wear toothbrushes out quickly, so be sure to replace yours as soon as it begins to show signs of wear.
  • Brush around every part of your braces, as well as every surface of your teeth.
  • Look for clean and shiny braces, with the edge of the brackets clearly visible. Fuzzy-or dull-looking metal are a sign of inadequate brushing.
  • Floss every night before you go to bed. Tools like floss threaders and waterpiks are helpful if you’re having difficulty with getting a good floss underneath the wires.
metal braces being brushed


It’s normal for your teeth and mouth to feel a little tender when you first get your braces on. We promise your mouth won't be sore forever.

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 just a couple of minutes (do not swallow the saltwater).

If your pain is severe and doesn't go away after rinsing, you can also try taking a pain reliever.

It's also normal for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become used to 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.

Eating With Braces

Don't worry, you'll be eating popcorn and snacking on potato chips again in no time. However, before you enjoy some of the treats you love, you'll need to avoid any foods that could damage your new braces.

Foods You Can Eat

  • Dairy - soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
  • Breads - soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without 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 without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake


Foods to Avoid

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


Tips for Athletes & Musicians

You can still play sports at schools around Louisville and Mt. Washington like normal during your treatment.

Dr. Jennings reminds you to protect your teeth with an orthodontic-friendly mouthguard or to remove your Invisalign aligner during practice or the game.

If you have an accident during your athletic activity, check your appliances and your mouth immediately. Schedule an appointment at Jennings Orthodontics if your appliances appear damaged or your teeth feel loose.

Orthodontics in Mt Washington

If you play an instrument in a band around Louisville or Mt. Washington, you may find it harder to adjust your playing now that you have braces. It’s normal to experience some difficulty with proper lip position.

You may feel sores develop, but just use plenty of wax and rinse often with warm salt water to help your lips and cheeks toughen up more quickly.