Fixed braces are more practical

Photo of two girls

Olivia, 14 years old

“I would recommend eating well before having braces fitted. I could only eat soup and other liquid foods for two days afterwards.”

I had braces fitted two years ago when I was twelve. I only had the braces for a year in total. I had them taken out five months ago and I now only wear removable braces once a week to make sure my teeth stay where they are.

I used to have a slight overbite, and my teeth were so far apart from each other that the enamel was getting worn away when I bit and chewed. But I didn't have any problems or pain. My dentist spotted it during a routine check-up and asked if I had ever seen an .

I was the first person with fixed braces in my class

Having fixed braces wasn't a problem for me. I had already had removable braces for one and a half years and knew that I would be getting fixed braces at some stage. I was pretty relaxed about it from the get-go and wasn't all that worried.

I was the first person in my class to get fixed braces. The others got them after me. It was a bit weird being the only one at first. But it wasn't a problem, nobody teased me or anything. Actually, they were more curious than anything else. They asked me to show them my new braces so they could see what they looked like. And that was it, nobody spoke about them after that.

I had to be careful when eating at first, but later on I could even chew gum

I had to be a bit careful when eating. Bits of food often got stuck in the braces, so I had to check to make sure I didn't go out with food stuck between my teeth. That doesn’t look too pretty.

I could eat almost everything, I just had to cut hard things into small pieces. But I was definitely more careful. I later dared to chew gum again. It's fine, you just can’t put it between your cheek and your teeth. But if you chew it in the middle of your mouth it’s no problem at all.

I couldn’t clean my gums as thoroughly because of the braces

Brushing my teeth was actually totally fine, I didn't have the feeling that it took me any longer. But I did notice that I couldn't clean my gums as thoroughly as I used to. And then my gums bled more when I went to the dentist.

I always had brief pain after the braces were adjusted at routine check-ups. I had thicker wires fitted and my jaw was pulled closer together. But after a while it was okay again.

Definitely have a really good meal before having the braces fitted!

If a friend of mine was going to have fixed braces fitted, I would definitely recommend eating a good meal before the appointment. I couldn't chew for the first few hours after, and then I could only eat soup and other liquid foods for two days. It was still really painful to eat hard things like apples or normal food. A friend of mine had her appointment in the morning and she wasn’t hungry. So she didn’t have breakfast and was then hungry for two days.

I find removable braces annoying

There are different types of braces, and I think different braces suit different people. Some people don't want fixed braces and prefer those strange invisible or clear aligners that have to be replaced every week. But you have to wear them a lot as well, which takes quite a bit of discipline.

I preferred fixed braces from the get-go. I didn't want to keep taking aligners out when eating and putting them back in again. I thought that would be annoying and a pain.

I put a tea bag in the case so the braces don’t smell funny

One really great tip was to put a tea bag in the braces case. I used a fruit tea bag and put it between the braces. Then the braces don't have that horrible musty or dentist smell, but just smell slightly like tea and fruit.


Our real-life stories summarize interviews with people who are affected by the medical condition. Our interview partners have given us permission to publish their stories. We would like to express our sincere thanks to them.

The real-life stories give an insight into how other people cope and live with a medical condition. Their opinions and comments are not recommendations by IQWiG.

Please note: The names of our interview partners have been changed to protect their identity. The photos are of models.

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Created on February 13, 2023

Next planned update: 2026


Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG, Germany)

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