First Day Of Braces

It’s your first braces and you are flooded with emotions from excitement about how great your smile will look to anxiety because you don’t know what to expect. Having your braces applied to your teeth is not a painful process at all. However it may take some time to adjust to talking and eating with braces, but you will quickly learn how to chew and speak with them. As your teeth begin to move, you may be a bit more sensitive to certain foods and drinks and you may feel a bit of discomfort, but this will all subside after a couple of days. We recommend during the first couple of days, to avoid crunchy foods, to allow time to adjust to your braces. Instead, eat softer foods like yogurt, soups, mashed potatoes, and macaroni and cheese.

You may still feel some discomfort as your teeth begin to shift and you’re not used to the pressure of the braces, but don’t worry. That means it is working! Use wax to help alleviate wire irritations on the lips and cheeks. We’ll be sure to show you how to use it before you leave our office. You can also use Advil or Ibuprofen to help reduce your discomfort. Be sure to follow the dosage instructions on the bottle. Another option is to use salt-water rinses to bring your mouth relief.


Toothbrush bristles should be soft. Brush after every meal. If you cannot brush right away, rinse well with water.

Use a dry brush with a small amount of toothpaste. Place the bristles where the gums and teeth meet.

Use circular vibrating motions around the gum lines, 10 seconds on each tooth.

Slowly brush each arch separately, every tooth.

Brush the lower teeth up and the upper teeth down. Also brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth too.

Special brushes can be used for hard-to-clean places.


Gently pull unwaxed floss between wire and braces.

Floss carefully around the braces.

Carefully floss around the gum area.

Floss carefully around each tooth.

Discomfort from Orthodontic Treatment

It is common for patients to experience some discomfort or soreness during the first week after having braces placed or having an archwire adjustment. Therefore we recommend taking acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil), or another non-aspirin pain reliever while you get used to your new braces. A warm washcloth or a heating pad may also be used to reduce your soreness and make you more comfortable. A soft food diet will also be helpful to reduce soreness that initial 3-7 days after.

Foods to Avoid:

Sticky Food & Candies

Hard Candy & Food

Modify the following:

Apples  |  Cut into slices

Corn on the Cob  |  Cut corn off the cob

Ice |  Don’t chew on ice

Raw Carrots  |  Cut into thin slices

Raw Broccoli or Cauliflower |  Only thin or small pieces

Hard Crusty Pizza, Chips, Etc.  |  Break into small pieces

French Bread, Tacos, Bagels, Etc  |  Break or cut into small pieces

Urgent Care

Loose Bracket

Loose Band

Lost Tie Wire or Elastic Tie

If the bracket or band is still attached to the wire, leave it in place. Cover it with wax if uncomfortable. If it comes out completely, bring it with you to the next appointment. DO NOT CONNECT HEADGEAR OR ELASTIC TO A LOSE BAND. Please ask if an appointment is necessary. Notify the assistant at your next appointment.

Please ask if an appointment is necessary. Notify the assistant at your next appointment.

Headgear or application does not fit

Call for an appointment.

Soreness from Braces 

Rinse the mouth with warm salt water. If necessary, take the pain reliever that you would use for a headache or similar discomfort.

Wire Out of Tube

Try to place wire back into tube with tweezers. Place wax if uncomfortable, call for an appointment. This tooth position does not improve with time and can be more challenging to correct as the patient becomes older.

Rotated Archwire

Crowding occurs when teeth have insufficient room to erupt. This can cause the teeth to be positioned in the wrong place and the wrong angle, resulting in chipped and worn front teeth. It also makes it more difficult to clean the teeth and gums, which can result in inflamed, red puffy gums and cavities.

Poking Wire Tie

Try to slide wire back around to the other side. If unsuccessful, place wax and call for an appointment.

Poking Archwire

Try to slide wire back around to the other side. If unsuccessful, place wax and call for an appointment.

First Days With An Expander

The first few days with an expander can take a while to get used to.  You can expect the following:

  • Temporary lisp or change in speech for 5-7 days
  • Excess saliva and difficulty chewing/swallowing for 1-2 days
  • Slight pressure on the teeth, roof of mouth, and nose when turning
  • Temporary irritation of the tongue
  • Space opening between the upper front teeth – this is a good sign that the suture is opening!
  • The bite may feel “off”
  • The expander will be left in place for approximately 6 months after turning in complete to prevent relapse and allow time for healing. Partial braces may be placed during this time to begin aligning the teeth.

How to Turn the Screw

  1. Have your child lay on their back on the bed or sofa (make sure you have good lighting).
  2. Have your child lift their chin up high and open their mouth as wide as possible.
  3. Insert the key carefully into the center hole and gently turn the expander screw by pushing the key from the front towards the back of their mouth until you can’t push anymore AND you see the next hold appear.
  4. Carefully remove the key by wiggling it in a down-and-back direction (be careful not to rewind the turn you just made).
  5. Turn your expander once per day, unless otherwise instructed.

Loose parts – If you or your child notice that the expander is loose, please STOP turning and contact our office to let us know.