Life with Braces

Braces can do so much to improve your quality of life; they create a more beautiful smile, increase self-esteem, and help achieve better overall dental health. You’ll be reaping the benefits of your orthodontic treatment for many years to come, which makes the dietary restrictions and need for fastidious home hygiene totally worth it!

As a patient of Dr. Cserna, you’ll be treated like an individual, with a treatment plan specifically tailored to you. Plus, we offer advanced Damon® Smile braces, as opposed to traditional braces, for a more comfortable, faster treatment. In fact, we are the only Damon provider in the Lincoln and York, Nebraska areas!

Eating With Braces

Don’t worry, you’ll be eating your favorite sticky and crunchy foods again in no time! However, before you can start enjoying some of the treats you love, you will need to avoid any foods that could damage your new appliances.

Sticky: caramel, toffee, starbursts, skittles, taffy, gummy worms, gummy bears, suckers, mints, jolly ranchers, bubble gum, fruit snacks, fruit roll-ups, etc.

Crunchy: nuts, sun flower seeds, popcorn, ice, bagel chips or hard pieces in snack cracker bags or Chex mix, jaw breakers, mints, crunchy granola bars, croutons, tortilla chips, hard pizza crusts, hard breading on fried foods etc.

Eating Tips

  • Chew all foods gingerly
  • Pay attention to what you are eating before you put it in your mouth
  • Cut up hard fruits and vegetables into bite-size pieces
  • Do not rip and tear foods with your teeth; cut them up instead
  • Refrain from bad habits like chewing on fingernails, toothpicks, pen caps, etc.
  • Chew sugar free gum

Caring for Your Braces with Brushing & Flossing

Brush after every meal and floss daily!

Poor oral hygiene habits, like not brushing and flossing daily, can accentuate the dental disease process.  Decay, gingivitis, and periodontal disease are all risks that you take by not flossing daily and brushing after every meal—whether you have braces or not.

Brushing your teeth with braces is a bit more difficult because there are more things on your teeth to clean around. It’s more time consuming but well worth the reward of a healthy smile once orthodontic treatment is complete.

Extra attention spent brushing around each bracket and under the archwires is important. Also, brushing the gumline with a light pencil grip in small circular motions keeps your gums healthy. Flossing keeps the gums healthy as well. To floss with braces you need to place the floss underneath the archwire before pulling the floss between your teeth.


Braces are more versatile and comfortable today than they were even ten years ago! Even so, after your braces are placed, your teeth will be tender for about a week’s time, give or take. The tenderness is nothing that will keep you from your daily activities.

Following that, you may experience some tenderness sporadically throughout the course of treatment depending on how and when the teeth are moving with the placed appliances. After archwire adjustments, you will usually experience a day or two of tenderness. Treat all tenderness with an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen or Motrin and follow dosage instructions on the bottle. You’ll notice soreness the most when your teeth are in use, so chewing can accentuate the tenderness, but know that it is only temporary.

Loosening of Teeth

You teeth will start to feel loose over time. That is all a natural and expected process of braces. Your teeth will not fall out, nor will they stay loose. During the retention phase of treatment, your teeth will become more stable in the bone.

Loosening of Wires and Bands

On occasion, your wires will appear loose after the memory in them is completely expressed, which means the teeth have moved accordingly to the archwire. Sometimes the wire will shift with ease throughout the brackets which makes the wire appear to be loose. Sometimes, bands can get loose if you have eaten a sticky food that has broken the bond that the band has to the tooth. If this happens, contact our Lincoln or York offices immediately so we can replace the band.