Your teeth may be sore in the beginning as they start to move. At times it may seem that only two or three teeth strike when you bite together. This initial discomfort can usually be handled by the use of a mild analgesic (Commonly what you would take for a headache) and will pass in a few days.

Small abrasions on lips or cheeks may turn into a ‘canker’ sore. Warm salt water rinses and placing some wax on the offending bracket may help until the lip and cheek tissues are toughened and become used to the appliances.

If any of these possible initial problems do not subside in 4-5 days, please call.

Loosening of teeth

This is a common occurrence throughout the treatment period. Teeth must loosen so that they can be moved to their new positions and will tighten up after the removal of appliances, during the first 3-4 months of the retention period.


Your chewing efficiency will be reduced, particularly at first.

Try to eat a well balanced diet by cutting up harder foods or by using a blender. Limit your consumption of soda pop (high in sugar and acid) and sweets to protect against decalcification and cavities (see fluoride rinsing below).

The appliances can be broken or bent by biting very hard or sticky foods. Bent or broken appliances will slow your progress and add considerably to the treatment time. Accidents can happen; however, please be careful.

Please avoid chewing the following: pens or pencils, ice or hard candy, raw vegetables that are not cut up, gum, caramels or other sticky candy

Brushing and flossing

It will take you about twice as long to get your teeth and appliances clean. You have been shown a method which seems to work best for most people but may be different than suggested by your family dentist. Plan on spending at least one 5-10 minute session of brushing and flossing daily.

Fluoride rinsing

All patients with braces should use a daily fluoride rinse to minimize the chance of decalcification (white spots on the teeth in areas where plaque is not removed) if possible. This is not mandatory- brushing and flossing are primary concerns.

We suggest Phos Flur for daily one minute rinsing (Dr. Streem has samples if you want to try it). No Rx is necessary, but you may have to ask the pharmacist if it is not on the shelf. Please follow the instructions and continue to use it daily throughout the treatment period.


Your appliances


Although some discomfort is to be expected initially or right after adjustment, you should not have to suffer!

Irritating wires- The pigtailed steel ligature ties can usually be tucked back against the tooth with the mirror handle, the end of a toothbrush, or a broken Q-tip. Other protruding wires should be covered with a ball of wax- call for an emergency visit if still a problem.

Loose bands or brackets- this can happen accidentally, however, if you are not due for a visit within a week, please call for an emergency visit.

Accidents- A blow to your teeth can be serious, especially if you can see that a tooth has been moved or the appliances bent. Although lips could be cut, the braces may actually keep a tooth from being knocked out. Please call if you are not sure. If you have an accident, make sure you see your dentist as soon as possibly because an xray is usually needed to see the condition of the teeth. They will let us know if we can put the bracket back on if it is knocked off.