We know that braces can seem complicated, and that there are several changes to your lifestyle that you may need to make once you start wearing them. If you have any questions about braces that are not answered on this page, and to schedule your next appointment with Dr. Chad Callahan, please call Shehee & Callahan Family Orthodontics at 850-478-8844.


The Components of Braces

There are several parts to your braces – brackets, wires, and elastic ties. Your brackets are glued onto your teeth. Wire is then placed through them to help with the alignment of your teeth, and elastics are then put over the wires and brackets to hold everything in place.

Caring for Your Teeth While Wearing Braces

You should brush and floss your teeth daily while wearing braces. Brush at least twice each day, or after every meal. It is especially important to floss before bed. Angle your toothbrush to properly clean around brackets and under the arch wire. When flossing, make sure to go behind the wires and brackets to ensure there is no food stuck in your braces. Continue visiting your general dentist for regular cleanings and checkups throughout your entire orthodontic treatment.

Foods to Avoid

We recommend that you avoid:

  • Chewy foods – such as bagels and licorice
  • Crunchy foods – such as popcorn, ice, and tortilla chips
  • Sticky foods – such as caramel and chewing gum
  • Hard foods – such as nuts and hard candies
  • Foods that require biting into – such as corn on the cob, raw carrots, and uncut apples
  • Sugary foods and drinks – sodas, sports drinks, and energy drinks

Foods You Can Eat

While there are a number of foods you should avoid while wearing braces, you can still enjoy many other types of foods during your treatment, including:

  • Dairy – such as soft cheese, pudding, and milk-based drinks
  • Soft breads – such as soft tortillas, pancakes, and muffins without nuts
  • Grains – such as pasta and soft-cooked rice
  • Meats/Poultry – such as soft-cooked chicken, lunch meats, and meatballs
  • Seafood – such as tuna salmon, crab cakes
  • Vegetables – such as mashed potatoes, steam spinach, and beans
  • Fruits – such as applesauce, bananas, and fruit juice
  • Treats – such as ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, soft cake, and Jell-O

We recommend that you chew with your back teeth as much as possible, as those teeth do not have brackets placed on them.


If your brackets come loose or the ties come off, we encourage you to call our office and let us know. You may use an eraser to push back in brackets that have come loose.

If you have a wire hurting the back of your mouth, you can cut it yourself using a small wire cutter. If a wire comes loose, you may try to reinsert it yourself. If you are uncomfortable with trying to fix the problem yourself or feel it needs professional attention, call our office to schedule an emergency appointment.

Please feel free to contact us about any orthodontic emergencies, or with any questions you may have. We are always happy to help you.

If you have any questions about life with braces, or to schedule your next appointment with our caring orthodontists in Pensacola, Milton, Pace, or Navarre, Florida, please contact our office today.