First Days in Braces


The adhesive used for attaching braces to your teeth takes about 24 hours to completely set. You can eat any time after leaving the office. However, we ask that you eat soft foods during the entire treatment, especially during the first week while you are getting used to the braces.

Will Braces Cause Discomfort?

Initially, the braces will feel like they "stick out.” As you become accustomed to your braces and tooth alignment improves, this sensation will disappear and will cease to be a concern. Until your lips and cheeks have "toughened," you may find it helpful to use a small piece of soft wax around the bracket that is creating the irritation. If your supply of wax runs out, call our office for more. You will probably notice some discomfort 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 most have some soreness beginning during the first eight hours and dissipating within the week. Exactly when the discomfort ceases is impossible to predict and differs for each patient. You may wish to take non-prescription pain remedies (i.e. Tylenol or Ibuprofen) commonly taken for other discomfort 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 that we ask you to complete prior to leaving the office. These steps will minimize discomfort related to irritation from the braces and ensure an optimal response to treatment.

Please make these steps a part of each office visit:

  1. Using your finger and tongue, check that wire ends do not extend into areas that 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 an appliance or elastics as instructed, adjusting an expander, or following specific hygiene or diet instructions.

  3. Make sure you have an adequate supply of soft wax, elastic bands, or other related materials 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 the scheduling process, since appointments are programmed 4-8 weeks in advance. Postponing appointments is a common contributor to overtime treatment.

  5. Make sure that your questions about treatment are answered. Treatment goes better when everyone understands the treatment process.