What to Expect

Eating with braces


For the first couple of days after braces are placed, a soft diet is recommended. Avoid tough meats, hard breads and raw crunchy fruits and vegetables. Throughout treatment, you should not bite into food as this can break off the brackets on the front teeth

Foods to avoid:

  • Chewy foods such as licorice, caramels, Laffy Taffy, Tootsie Rolls, etc
  • Hard foods such as nuts, hard rolls or hard candy
  • Sticky foods such as caramel, chewing gum
  • Crunchy foods such as popcorn, ice, corn chips
  • Foods you have to bite into such as corn on the cob, apples, and carrots. Instead of eating them in their regular form, cut them up and place them by your back teeth.
  • Foreign objects, such as pens, pencils, fingernails are not allowed as these can damage or break brackets. Broken or damaged brackets will prolong the duration of treatment.

General soreness

Do warm saltwater rinses to toughen your gums as much as possible. (1 tbsp. of salt in a glass of warm water).

Take Tylenol for any pain – not Ibuprofen (such as Advil).  The reason for this is that Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory, and we need your gums to swell a little in order for your teeth to move.  However, if Ibuprofen is the only thing that helps with your pain, then please feel free to take it.

Use your wax to cover any brackets or wires that are poking you.  If a wire is poking you during business hours, call us and we’ll work you into our schedule.

Loosening of teeth

This is normal and is to be expected. Teeth must loosen up in order to move. The teeth will again become fixed in their new corrected positions.

Oral hygiene

It is very important that you keep your teeth clean throughout the duration of treatment. You should keep your 6 month appointment with your dentist, just like you did before orthodontic treatment. You should brush your teeth every time you eat in order to keep food and plaque off your teeth.

All the steps involved in keeping oral hygiene will be discussed with you at the initial banding appointment


It is important to brush after every meal. Food turns into plaque in about 24 hours.  Use a soft toothbrush. Brush above and below the braces using a circular motion. Be sure to brush the insides and biting surfaces. And take your time!


Daily flossing is part of a good oral hygiene regimen. Insert floss behind the wire with a floss threader or use superfloss. Gently clean sides of your teeth and under gums with an up-and-down motion. Floss at least once a day.


Wear them as directed. Wearing those retainers after your braces are removed is the best way to preserve that healthy, beautiful smile you worked so hard to get. 
Keep them clean and handle them with care. Whenever your retainer is not in your mouth, make sure it is in its case for safety.