First Day in Braces

When can I eat?

The adhesive that Dr. Fenderson uses for attaching braces to your teeth cures immediately. You can eat anytime after leaving our office, but please be careful and eat foods that are easy to chew. Until you become accustomed to eating with your 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 as tooth alignment improves, this sensation will disappear. Although the brackets have been rounded and smoothed, you may find it helpful to apply a small piece of wax on your brackets until the cheek tissues have “toughened,” which should take 3-14 days. You will probably notice some discomfort the first few hours after your braces are placed. Some teeth may be tender and sensitive to pressure. Occasionally, patients report that they experience no discomfort, but most have some soreness during the first four days, with the third and fourth day being the most sore. You may wish to take non-prescription pain remedies such as Advil, Tylenol or Aleve one hour before banding. Continue to take pain medication four times daily for three to four days after the initial banding if needed.

Foods To Avoid:

Avoid hard, sticky foods that may damage or break your orthodontic appliances. Chronic breakage of brackets will significantly extend your treatment time. We reserve the right to charge for chronic breakage due to poor appliance care. Please avoid the following:

  • Hard/crunchy foods, such as nuts or peanut brittle, will bend and damage your wires. Hard foods can also loosen the cement of your bands or brackets.
  • Sticky chewy foods, such as Gummy Bears, Laffy Taffy, Tootsie Rolls, etc., will wrap around your bands and brackets and pull them loose or severely weaken the cement that holds your bracket to your teeth, eventually causing your bracket to come off. It is not uncommon to hear “I was only eating soft bread.” It was not the soft bread that broke the bracket, but the food that should have been avoided that may have been eaten days before. Those same foods can pull your wires out of the tubes of your bands, causing a wire to poke.
  • Foods/beverages high in sugar should be avoided if possible. If you do eat a lot of sugary foods, you must brush your teeth immediately after. Then rinse your mouth out with water.
  • You must brush your teeth after every snack/meal/beverage (other than water). Each time you eat or drink, your teeth and braces collect plaque and food particles. If those particles stay on your teeth, you will get white stains called decalcification and/or cavities. All of this can be avoided by simply brushing your teeth after eating or drinking.
  • Any type of food that you would normally bite into with your front teeth such as carrots, celery, apples, beef jerky, pizza, corn on the cob, etc., must be cut up into small pieces and eaten with your back teeth. If you bite directly into them, your braces will come loose from your teeth and will need to be re-cemented.
  • With or without braces, you should stay away from lemons. Lemons will eat away at the enamel on your teeth, causing the enamel to weaken, thin out and even chip away.
  • Popcorn should be avoided. Period! The shell around the seed of the popcorn can get lodged/stuck either in your braces or in the bands around your molars and can cause inflammation or eventually infection.
  • Sugarless gum is okay to chew. It is actually recommended. The clenching of your jaws will help to loosen the ligaments around the roots of your teeth and allow them to move more easily through your bone. (It massages your teeth)
  • Please call us if you feel something is not right (i.e., if you feel something is loose or broken.). If a bracket comes loose, it is no longer attached to your wire like the rest of your teeth and will not move into alignment with the rest of your teeth. Treatment can be delayed or prolonged depending on your specific situation.
  • If you get hit in the mouth, please call us immediately. Even if nothing appears to be loose or broken, a wire or a bracket may be bent. If something is bent, it will need to be replaced or repaired to prevent your teeth from moving the wrong way.