What to Expect


On the day your braces are fitted everything is going to feel a bit awkward.  There will be minor discomfort that usually occurs a few hours after your visit.


The braces will soon begin shifting your teeth, as this occurs you will feel a certain tightness followed by a little soreness from the teeth shifting.  The first night will be the most uncomfortable and then each day after the soreness will lessen.  The soreness is not extreme pain very much like sore muscles after a workout, you will feel it but its not horrible.  Taking ibuprofen or aspiring will help diminish the discomfort.


For the first few days eating softer foods will help with the soreness.  Soups, smoothies, rice and pastas are a great way to start out.  Foods that require a lot of chewing should be avoided at first until your soreness diminishes and you become more comfortable with your new braces.


In the beginning it is very common for your lips and cheeks to get scratched by the braces. This is very common and in some cases you may get small canker sores from the irritation. By using wax to adhere to the braces where the scratching is occurring will help eliminate this irritation.  Warm salt water rinses can help with soreness and promote faster healing.


For most the scratchy pokiness of the braces subsides after a few weeks, and most patients are no longer bothered by the braces for the remaining duration of the braces.  There will be regularly scheduled appointments for tightening of the braces.  Following the appointment you will have a small amount of soreness from the tightening procedure.


In some cases patients will notice that there teeth are a little loose after getting their braces.  This is very common and completely normal.  The teeth must become a little loose in order to move them into the desired position.  Once the teeth have moved into the desired position they will stabilize and will no longer feel loose.


Eating Restrictions aka The NO-NO List


Below is a list of foods to avoid during your treatment:


  • Chewing gum
  • Popcorn
  • Sticky, chewy candy such as taffy, gummy bears or caramel
  • Nuts, including candy with nuts
  • Hard breads or rolls and pretzels
  • Thick, crunchy chips, like Doritos, Cheetos, Tostitos
  • Hard taco shells
  • Beef jerky
  • Suckers
  • Pizza crust
  • Raw carrots
  • Meat on bones, like ribs need to have the meat cut off the bone
  • Apples need to be cut into bite sized pieces
  • Limit sodas and sugary, carbonated drinks


Oral Hygiene


Taking care of your teeth is always important but while having braces it is more important than ever.  Braces make it easy for food and bacteria to lodge into the braces, so normal brushing and flossing is required to keep your teeth and gums healthy and is essential in preventing the development of stains, streaks or other evidence of structural damage on the teeth. This damage can be in the form of permanent white spots, brown spots, cavities, and/or gum disease. To prevent this from happening, you must develop a system of cleaning every surface of your teeth.


At your initial braces or appliance placement appointment, a staff member will teach you how to brush and floss your teeth and appliances.


There are 10 rules of hygiene during orthodontic treatment to ALWAYS remember:


  1. Brush after EVERY meal, and AT LEAST 4 times a day
  2. Floss EVERYDAY
  3. Brush every surface of your tooth
  4. Brush every surface of your braces, including in between them
  5. Brush your gums, and concentrate on the ones between the teeth and braces
  6. Brush in a circular motion
  7. Brush your tongue
  8. Rinse with Fluoride fortified mouthwashes
  9. A Waterpik is a great cleaning tool
  10. It only takes 1 day of improper cleaning to cause BIG problems!


Sports and Braces


For some contact sports, we recommend you use a mouth guard that allows tooth movement to continue while protecting the skin tissue from getting impinged in the braces from hits to the head.  Never use the boil and bite mouth guards with braces as your braces may get stuck when you bite into the mouth guard.