What to Expect

After your braces have been placed, you may eat immediately, however, we ask that you be mindful of the suggested list of foods that may be harmful. Until you become accustomed to eating with your new appliances, you may find it beneficial to follow a diet consisting of soft foods.

Initially the braces may feel like they “stick out”. This is normal. As you become accustomed to your braces and tooth alignment improves, this sensation will disappear and the braces will feel like a normal part of your mouth. Although the brackets have been rounded and smoothed, until the cheeks have become used to them, you may find it helpful to use a small piece of orthodontic wax around any component that is creating irritation. You will probably notice some discomfort beginning a few hours after your braces are placed. Some teeth, usually the front teeth, may be tender and sensitive to pressure. You may feel as though your teeth are loose. Occasionally, patients report that they experience no discomfort initially, but have some soreness by the second day, which dissipates within the week. Exactly when the discomfort ceases is impossible to predict and differs for each patient. You may wish to take non-prescription pain remedies commonly taken for other ailments such as headaches. If you find that you are usually sore soon after an adjustment visit, it may be helpful for you to take the medication just prior to your appointment. This will provide maximum effectiveness before the discomfort begins.

There are routine steps that we ask you complete before leaving the office. These will minimize discomfort and ensure an optimal and efficient response to orthodontic treatment. Please make these steps a part of each visit:

  • Using your finger and tongue, check to see that there is nothing poking your cheeks, tongue or lips.
  • Make sure you understand what you are to do until your next appointment. This could include wearing elastics (rubber bands) as instructed, adjusting an expander or following specific hygiene or diet instructions.
  • Make sure you have an adequate supply of orthodontic wax, elastic bands or other related materials that you may need between appointments.
  • Always schedule your next appointment before leaving our office. Waiting weeks after an appointment before scheduling your next visit complicates the scheduling process, as appointments are made 6 to 10 weeks in advance. Postponing appointments is a common contributor to treatment running overtime.