Life With Braces

Is Easier Than You Might Think

Orthodontic treatment is much more comfortable than it used to be, especially when you choose Arango Orthodontics because Dr. Arango offers the latest technologies designed to make orthodontics better than ever. If you choose Invisalign®, you’ll be able to eat, drink and brush normally. With choosing braces, taking a little extra care in cleaning your teeth and choosing what to eat is a good idea, see below for some helpful tips!

It’s not uncommon for some patients to feel minor discomfort for the first few days after they first get their braces on. Teeth might even feel a little loose (after all – they’re on the move.) While many patients say it’s no big deal, some patients choose to keep some pain reliever (just like you’d take for a headache) handy for a day or two after each appointment. Tenderness usually subsides within a few days. For more information on your first days in braces, take a quick look at our Treatment Options page.


First Days With Braces

What To Expect

The adhesive used to attach the braces to your teeth cures rapidly but takes several hours to completely cure. You can eat any time after leaving our office; however, we ask that you remember the list of foods that may be harmful to your braces that we have listed below. Until you become accustomed to eating with your new braces, you may find it beneficial to follow a diet consisting of all soft foods.

Initially, the braces may feel like they stick out. This is normal. As you become accustomed to your braces and tooth alignment improves, this sensation will cease to be a concern. Although the brackets have been rounded and smoothed and the cheek tissues have toughened, you may find it helpful to use a small piece of orthodontic wax around the bracket that is creating the irritation. If your supply of wax runs out, call our office for more. The wax may also be purchased at a local drug store.

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 most patients have some soreness beginning during the first few hours and dissipating within a day or two. Exactly when the discomfort ceases is impossible to predict and differs with each patient. Non-prescription pain remedies are recommended for discomfort. For maximum effectiveness, it may be best to take such medications before the discomfort begins.

Before Leaving the Office

There are routine steps that we ask you to take 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:

  • Using your finger tongue, check to see that the wire ends do not extend into areas which might poke or abrade the cheek or tongue.
  • Make sure you understand what to do until your next appointment. This could include wearing headgear or elastics as instructed, adjusting an expander or following specific hygiene and diet instructions.
  • Make sure you have an adequate supply of dental wax, special cleaning aids, elastic bands, or other related materials you may need in between appointments. Always schedule your next appointment before leaving your current appointment, since appointments are programmed 4-8 weeks in advance. Postponing appointments is a common contributor to overtime treatment.

Helpful Tips

Hygiene With Braces

  • Use a soft bristled toothbrush with a small head. Electric and sonic toothbrushes are also acceptable.
  • Brush your teeth after meals and snacks.
  • If having eaten while away from home, use your interdental brush to dislodge any food that may get caught around your braces.
  • Rinse with water to dislodge food from your braces and to keep sugar from sitting on your teeth.
  • Floss your teeth at least once a day.
  • Have a check up with your dentist every 6 months.

Eating with Braces

Is Easy

Don’t worry, you’ll be eating popcorn and snacking on potato chips again in no time! However, before you can start enjoying some of the treats you love, you will need to take special care to avoid any foods that could damage your new appliances. We have created a few of the top things to avoid below along with things that are wiser to eat as well.


Foods to Avoid

  • Chewy foods — bagels, licorice
  • Crunchy foods — popcorn, chips, ice
  • Sticky foods — caramel candies, chewing gum (sugar-free gum is okay)
  • Foods you have to bite into — corn on the cob, apples, carrots
  • Hard foods — nuts, hard candies


Foods That You CAN Eat With Braces

  • Grains — pasta, soft cooked rice
  • Seafood — tuna, salmon, crab cakes
  • Dairy — soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
  • Breads — soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts
  • Fruits — applesauce, bananas, sliced fruit, most berries (but watch out for seeds)
  • Meats/poultry — soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
  • Vegetables — mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans
  • Treats — ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, cake

Patient Care

Taking Care of Braces & Aligners


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