Braces Guide


Frequently asked Questions and Answers about Braces

The Basics of Braces

A guide to navigating your first day of braces and beyond

How soon can I eat after getting my braces on?

The adhesive used for attaching the braces to your teeth cures rapidly initially, but takes 24 hours to completely set. You can eat anytime after leaving the office. We ask that you be mindful of the suggested eating list. Also, until you become accustomed to eating with your new braces, you may find it beneficial to follow a diet consisting of soft foods.

Will my braces hurt?

Initially, the braces will feel like they stick out. As you become used to them and tooth alignment improves, this sensation will disappear and you’ll find that you’ll forget that the braces are even there. Although the brackets have been rounded and smoothed, sometimes they can irritate the sensitive cheek tissues. You may find it helpful to place a small piece of orthodontic wax over the bracket that is creating the discomfort.

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 which usually begins during the first 8 hours and dissipates within a week. Exactly when the braces will stop hurting is impossible to predict. You may wish to take non-prescription pain medication commonly taken for other discomfort such as headaches.

Checklist before leaving the orthodontist

These steps will minimize discomfort and ensure an optimal response to your treatment:

  1. Using your finger and tongue, check that wire ends do not extend into areas where it might poke or abrade the cheek
  2. Ask questions until you understand what you are to do until your next appointment: i.e. Wearing elastics, activating an appliance, or following specific hygiene or diet instructions.
  3. Make sure you have an adequate supply of dental wax, special cleaning aids, elastics or related materials you may need between appointments
  4. Schedule your next appointment before leaving the office.

    NOTE: Waiting several weeks after an appointment before scheduling your next visit complicates the process and may postpone availability for your appointment which may result in extended treatment time.

  5. Ask question: Treatment goes better when everyone understands the treatment process
Teen girl on her computer looking up the FAQs about metal braces and clear braces


 Pediatric orthodontic patient eating watermelon because he knows there are foods to avoid when wearing braces

Foods to Avoid

Young girl holding a toothbrush and proxy brush as she learns how to care for braces, your dental appliances

Appliance Care

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