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Braces Instructions


The adhesive used for attaching the braces to your teeth dries rapidly initially but takes 24 hours to completely cure. You can eat any time after leaving our office. However, we ask that you be mindful of the No-No food list to avoid damaging 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.

What will braces feel like?

As you become accustomed to your braces, your lips may feel full during the first few days. This sensation will disappear. Although the brackets have been rounded and smoothed, you may find it helpful to use a small piece of orthodontic wax or Gishy-Goo™ around the bracket to create a smooth surface. We will provide you with orthodontic wax the day you get your braces. 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. Occasionally, patients report that they experience no discomfort, but some have mild tenderness during the first 8 hours that should ease within a few days. Exactly when the discomfort ceases, however, is impossible to predict and differs for each patient. You may wish to take non-prescription pain remedies commonly taken for other discomforts such as headaches. For maximum effectiveness, it may be best to take medications before the discomfort begins.

Before Leaving the Office

There are routine steps we ask you to complete before leaving the office. These steps will minimize discomfort related to irritation from braces and ensure an optimal response to treatment.

Please make these steps part of each visit:

  1. Using your finger and tongue, check that wire ends do not extend into areas where they might poke or abrade the cheek or tongue.
  2. Make sure 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 or diet instructions.
  3. Make sure you have adequate supply of dental wax, special cleaning aids, elastic bands, or other related items you may need between appointments.
  4. Always schedule your next appointment before leaving the office. Waiting 1–2 weeks after an appointment before scheduling your next office visit complicates your scheduling process since appointments are reserved 8–10 weeks in advance. Postponing appointments is a common contributor to prolonged treatment and possible extended treatment fees.
  5. Make sure your questions about treatment are answered. We achieve best results when everyone understands the complete treatment process.