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The First Few Days After Getting Braces


Dr. Mark Rykiss


February 13, 2023

The adhesive that attaches the braces to your teeth dries rapidly but takes 24 hours to dry completely. You can eat anytime after leaving our office. However, we would ask that you be mindful of the suggested eating list for food that will be discussed with you. Until you become accustomed to eating with your new braces, you may find it beneficial to follow a diet consisting of soft foods.

Will the Braces Cause Discomfort?

Initially, the braces feel like they "stick out". This is normal. As you become accustomed to your braces and tooth alignment improves, this sensation will cease. Although the brackets have been rounded and smoothed, until the cheek tissues have "toughened" you may find it helpful to use a salt water rinse (dissolve one teaspoon of salt into 8 ounces of warm water and rinse your mouth vigorously 2 to 3 times daily). If you find it necessary, you may also use the wax that we give you.

You may notice some discomfort beginning a few hours after your braces are placed. Some teeth, usually the front teeth, may be "tender" or sensitive to pressure. You may wish to take non-prescription pain remedies commonly taken for other discomforts, such as headaches.

Before Leaving the Office

There are 5 routine steps that we ask you to take prior to leaving our 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:

  • Using your index finger and tongue, check that the wire ends do not extend into areas that might poke the tongue or cheek. 
  • Make sure that you understand what is expected of you between appointments. This could include wearing headgear or elastics as instructed, activating an expander or following specific hygiene or diet instructions. 
  • Make sure you have an adequate supply of orthodontic wax, toothbrushes floss, rubberbands or other related materials you may need between appointments. 
  • Always schedule your next appointment before leaving the office. Waiting 1 or 2 weeks after an appointment to schedule your appointment lessens your options for available appointment times, since appointments are scheduled 4 to 6 weeks in advance. Postponing appointments is a common contributor to extended treatment. 
  • Make sure that your questions about treatment are answered. Treatment goes better when everyone understands the treatment process.


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