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Why can't I bite down with braces?

Feb 23, 2024

"Why can't I bite down with braces?" This question may have crossed your mind if you're experiencing discomfort or difficulty while biting down with braces. Whether you're new to braces or have been wearing them for a while, understanding the reasons behind this issue is crucial for managing your orthodontic treatment effectively.

Transitioning to life with braces brings a significant change to your everyday routine, particularly when it comes to chewing and biting down. Before braces, you were accustomed to the natural movements of your teeth while eating. However, with the introduction of wires, brackets, and rubber bands associated with traditional metal braces, your biting experience undergoes a transformation. While these components exert pressure to align your teeth properly, they also introduce discomfort, especially during the initial stages of treatment. As your teeth begin to shift, so does your bite, making you think, "Why can't I bite down with braces?"

In this blog, we'll explore the common reasons why biting down with braces can be challenging and provide insights into how to address this issue for a more comfortable orthodontic experience.

Why Do My Braces Hurt When I Bite Down?

Following are the reasons why your braces hurt when you bite down:

Your Braces are Still Settling In

Your braces are new, so your mouth isn't used to the pressure yet. Your ability to bite down effectively may take more time, depending on how your braces are installed. In these new circumstances, your teeth may meet in different places when chewing.

Your increased sensitivity may also stem from the pressure your teeth experience while chewing anything but soft food. When you bite or grip food, the braces may interfere, and you may worry they'll snap off.

Your Teeth are Moving

Feeling soreness from braces might not feel great at first, but it's a sign they're working. Your teeth are shifting from their current spots to better positions in your mouth.

But your teeth aren't eager to move, so they need some coaxing. Just like any part of your body under stress, it might hurt initially, but the pain will ease as you get used to it.

Your Bite Alignment is Off

Braces do more than just fix misaligned bites; they also address various other dental issues. Your bite is influenced by how your upper and lower jaws come together – ideally, your upper and lower teeth should fit together properly. However, misaligned bites can lead to overbites, underbites, crossbites, and open bites, disrupting your normal bite and making it harder to fully bite down.

Your Orthodontist Installed Bite Blocks

Sometimes, orthodontists place bite blocks when the top teeth touch lower braces to prevent contact between the two sets of teeth. This helps protect your brackets from breaking when you bite down and assists your braces in moving your teeth when you close your mouth.

Eating Hard Foods

With braces, eating hard or chewy foods becomes more challenging. For instance, biting down completely on granola bars may be difficult and could cause discomfort or messiness. Therefore, it's best to stick to soft foods like mashed potatoes for a while or cut your food into smaller pieces that require less chewing.

Wearing Braces: What to Avoid?

Be mindful of what you eat, especially avoiding hard and crunchy foods that put pressure on your upper and lower teeth, such as:

  • Chewing ice: Hard, cold foods can damage your braces.
  • Chewing gum: Chewing gum and other sticky foods can stick to your braces and potentially loosen them.
  • Sugary foods and drinks: Consuming sugary foods and beverages can loosen your braces.
  • Biting foods with front teeth: Foods like corn on the cob can loosen brackets if bitten with the front teeth, so it's better to cut them into smaller pieces before eating.

Avoiding Bad HabitsWhy Do My Braces Hurt When I Bite Down

It's important to avoid certain habits that can harm your braces:

  • Stop chewing on pencils, pens, or other objects, as this can damage and break your braces.
  • Avoid nail biting, as it can also cause damage to your braces.
  • Find healthier ways to manage stress, as habits like thumb sucking can cause teeth to shift out of alignment, especially when wearing braces.
  • Whether you have braces or not, avoid smoking and chewing tobacco, as they can lead to discoloration, gum disease, sore throat, and even cancer. Smoking can also stain your braces.
  • Don't use your teeth as tools to open bags or bottles, as this can chip your teeth and damage your braces. Choose safer methods for these tasks!


Understanding why you can't bite down with braces is essential for managing discomfort and adjusting to your orthodontic treatment. It's crucial to prioritize your orthodontic appointments and dental care, especially when you have braces. Food particles and bacteria get stuck in braces, leading to various health issues like tooth decay and gum disease if not properly cleaned.

Attending your orthodontic appointments is essential for your orthodontist to monitor the progress of your treatment and detect any potential problems early on. Don't skip your appointments to ensure that your teeth are moving into their proper positions as expected.

Ready to address your concerns about "Why can't I bite down with braces?" Book an appointment with Dr. Afroz Burges DDS, PA, today! New patients can call at 281-547-2632, while all other callers can call at 713-340-2889.


Why Can't I Bite Down Fully with Braces?

Your ability to bite down completely may be affected by how your braces are installed, which may require more time for adjustment. As a result, your teeth may meet differently when chewing under these new circumstances. Additionally, the pressure exerted by your teeth while chewing anything other than soft food may contribute to your newfound sensitivity.

Will I Be Able to Bite Normally with Braces?

As your gums toughen with scar tissue and you adjust to chewing and eating differently, you'll notice that food won't be as troublesome as before. In a few months, you'll find that you can handle crunchy foods better, and wearing braces won't feel as painful as it did initially.

Is It Normal if I Can't Close My Mouth with Braces?

During the first few days of having braces, it's common to feel like they "stick out," making it challenging to get your lips around them. This is a normal sensation.



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