First Day in Braces

You can eat anytime after leaving our office; just remember to avoid the foods that can damage your braces. Until you become accustomed to eating with your new braces, you may find it beneficial to follow a diet consisting of soft foods.

Will the braces cause discomfort? Initially, the braces feel like they "stick out". This is normal. As you become accustomed to your braces and tooth alignment improves, this sensation will disappear and will cease to be a concern. Although the brackets have been rounded and smoothed, until the cheek tissues have "toughened", you may find it helpful to use a small piece of the orthodontic wax we have provided you around the bracket that is creating the irritation. You will probably notice some discomfort beginning a few hours after your braces have been placed. Some teeth, usually the front teeth, may be "tender" and sensitive to pressure.

Occasionally patients report they experience no discomfort, but most have some soreness during the first eight hours which dissipates over the next few days. Exactly when the discomfort ceases is impossible to predict and differs for each patient. If you experience this normal discomfort, it can usually be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt water solution (one teaspoonful of salt in a cup of warm water) before and after each meal. A mild over-the-counter pain reliever such as Motrin or Tylenol may be taken as directed if the tenderness continues. For maximum effectiveness, it may be best to follow these procedures at the initial sign of discomfort.

After every appointment, before leaving the office, use your tongue to check that the wire ends do not poke or abrade your cheek or tongue.

Make sure that you understand what you are to do until your next appointment. This could include wearing elastics as instructed, adjusting an expander, or following specific hygiene and diet recommendations.

Make sure you have an adequate supply of dental wax, special cleaning aids, elastic bands, or other related materials you may need between appointments.

If possible, always schedule your next appointment before leaving the office. Waiting one to two weeks after an appointment to schedule your next office visit often complicates the scheduling process, since adjustment appointments are normally scheduled four to six weeks in advance. Postponing appointments can contribute to prolonged treatment.