Braces Are a Big Step

You’ve taken a big step by having braces put on. You're now officially on the path towards a healthy, beautiful smile. It’s an exciting time, but it also comes with a bit of a learning curve.

As you get used to your new orthodontic treatment, you may need to make a few adjustments, but it'll become second nature before you know it.


The path toward a healthy smile is exciting, but it comes with a learning curve. As you get used to orthodontic treatment, you need to make a few adjustments.

You might be sore the first few days from your new appliances, but the discomfort usually subsides within a week.

Care and Maintenance

There will also be a difference in brushing and maintenance, and you’ll have to be more conscious of the foods you eat, so your treatment goes smoothly. It’s also a normal feeling for your teeth to feel slightly loosened during this process.

That just means the appliance is doing what it’s supposed to do. Overall, it’s crucial to take care of all of your orthodontic appliances to keep your treatment time to a minimum.

Follow these tips for the best results:

  • Use a fluoride toothpaste with a soft, rounded-bristle toothbrush.
  • Braces wear toothbrushes out quickly, so be sure to replace yours as soon as it begins to show signs of wear.
  • Brush around every part of your braces, as well as every surface of your teeth.
  • Look for clean and shiny braces, with the edge of the brackets clearly visible. Fuzzy-or dull-looking metal indicates poor brushing.
  • Floss every night before you go to bed. Tools like floss threaders and waterpiks are helpful if you’re having difficulty with getting a good floss underneath the wires.

Plan Ahead

Your braces will be attached quickly and easily to your teeth, but the bands need a full day for the bands to completely affix.

It's a good idea to wait several hours after getting braces before eating solid food. You may find it easier to eat soft foods for the first couple of days while you’re becoming accustomed to eating with your new braces.

Emergency Care

Orthodontic emergencies are listed in order from least severe to most severe. Only the most severe emergencies require Dr. Frank Hann and Dr. Kristen Hann’s attention but don’t be afraid to call for major orthodontic emergencies.

Comfort Concerns

The braces may feel a little awkward at first, and the teeth may be tender or sensitive to pressure. This is completely normal and will go away soon.

It may feel as though the braces are “sticking out,” but this sensation will also soon pass. Small pieces of orthodontic wax may be used if the brackets irritate cheek tissues. The orthodontic office always has extra wax if you run out, so call them if you need more.

Many patients will experience some discomfort at first, but the soreness will go away within the first few days or even hours of getting braces.

It's impossible to predict exactly when the tenderness will end. Some patients choose to take over the counter pain relievers on the first day of treatment to lessen the discomfort. To ensure the best result, take the medications before your appointment.

Eating Right

Braces are attached to your teeth with a strong adhesive but may become loose due to eating certain foods. It's also possible that wires could become bent or broken without proper care.

Since it is best to achieve orthodontic treatment goals with as few disruptions as possible, a well-balanced diet is important to ensure a healthy environment for your teeth.

Patients should avoid foods that are sticky, hard or chewy. They should also avoid any food and drinks that are known to cause cavities. Patients should brush, floss and rinse their mouth regularly between meals.

Foods to Avoid

The foods below are known to cause breakage of orthodontic appliances and are examples of what NOT to eat:

  • gum
  • beef jerky
  • nuts
  • hard or sticky candy
  • corn chips
  • crisp taco shells
  • whole apples
  • celery
  • caramel
  • taffy
  • popcorn
  • soft drinks
  • candy bars

Eating restricted foods may cause problems and result in extra visits for repairs and will ultimately extend the length of treatment. You’ll have plenty of time to enjoy these restricted foods after completing your treatment.

Any specific questions about food choices should be directed to Dr. Frank Hann or Dr. Kristen Hann and our team.

Caring for Your Orthodontic Appliance

Damaged appliances can increase your treatment process length, so be sure to take care of all your appliances. Your teeth and jaw can only move into their correct positions if you consistently wear the rubber bands, headgear, retainer, or other appliances prescribed by your doctor.

For example, Invisalign’s clear aligner system will only work if the aligners are worn 20-22 hours per day, as recommended. Being compliant is the only way to ensure your treatment is effective and help you achieve the smile you’ve always wanted.

Tips for Athletes & Musicians

You can still play sports like normal during your treatment, but remember to protect your teeth with an orthodontic friendly mouthguard or to remove your Invisalign aligner during practice or the game.

If you have an accident during your athletic activity, check your appliances and your mouth immediately. If the appliances appear damaged or the teeth loosened, schedule an appointment.

If you play an instrument, you may find it a little challenging to become adjusted to playing with your braces. It’s normal to have some difficulty with proper lip position.

Sores can also develop, but liberal use of wax and warm salt-water rinses will help your lips and cheeks toughen up more quickly than you’d think.