Braces: A Beginner’s Guide

braces: a beginners guide

A Beginner’s Guide to Braces

Braces are often an essential path to the perfect smile. If you have taken the initiative to improve your smile then go you! This guide will let you know our top tips to help you sail through your journey as smoothly as possible!

 The first couple of days may bring a little tenderness to your teeth. This is completely normal and is simply your teeth letting you know that the brace is starting to do it’s job. After a few days, your teeth will become used to the braces and any soreness will subside.

Brush Your Teeth Extensively and Frequently

This is super important. When you consume food and drink it is easy to get bits stuck in the crevices of your braces. This food can be difficult to clean and if left, can lead to a build up of plaque. You may not notice this until your braces are removed. In which case you may see colour differences around where the brace was once fitted. This is easily combatted if you brush your teeth extensively. It is also recommended to brush after eating meals so that nothing gets lost in the braces.

Tips For Brushing With Braces

  • Try to brush as thoroughly as possible after eating a meal. If you do not happen to have access to a toothbrush then make sure to rinse out your mouth with water.
  • It is recommended to use a fluoride toothpaste and to brush using a soft bristled toothbrush.
  • Due to the composition of the brace itself, your toothbrush will wear out much more quickly than usual. Due to this, you will need to keep a vigilant eye on the wear and tear of your toothbrush.
  • Make sure to take your time when brushing your teeth. There are many extra gaps and crevices to clean and if rushed, they can easily be overlooked.

Think About What You Are Eating

Don’t worry, you can still eat the majority of things once your braces are fitted. Although there are a few types of foods to dodge. The worst things that torment your braces are hard, sticky sweets such as toffees. You should try to cut up any harder foods such as apples into bitesized chunks before eating them. Here are a few examples of the different types of foods that are either friends or foes to your braces.

Brace’s Friends:

  • Ice Cream
  • Steamed Vegetables
  • Pasta
  • Potatoes
  • Jelly
  • Soup
  • Sandwiches
  • Cheese

Brace’s Enemies:

  • Nuts
  • Popcorn
  • Chewing Gum
  • Pizza Crusts
  • Caramels
  • Chewy Sweets
  • Pens and Pencils!

Drinks to Avoid

It is in your benefit to limit the consumption of drinks that are high in sugars and acids. These can include juices, energy drinks and flavoured milks. They can stick to the edge of your braces and pose the problem of discolouration. If you can’t resist the odd energy drink then it’s important to keep them to a minimum and to always brush your teeth as soon as possible afterwards. For more information about how to adapt your diet contact your local dentist.

Discomfort Can Be Controlled

It is normal to feel a little discomfort after having your braces fitted or adjusted. However there are ways you can manage this effectively. As your teeth start their journey to a straighter future, there may be small aching discomfort. You can take a paracetamol to help this subside. There may also be times where your braces are irritating your lips or cheeks. The common remedy for this is to rub a little orthodontic wax onto the inflicting bracket. This will smooth over any rubbing that is causing you irritant.

There’s Something Wrong With My Brace!

On occasion, you may have something go wrong with your brace. There is no need to worry as most problems are easily fixed by your dentist.

Loose Bracket

The bracket is the part of the brace that is attached to the front of each tooth. A form of composite resin is used to fix the bracket to your tooth. It is possible that the resin could become loose or break. This is most common with people who have been eating sticky or chewy foods such as toffee. If you are undergoing Six Month Smiles treatment then only the front 6 brackets are vitally important. If any of these have broken then you should see your dentist as soon as possible to get your brace fixed and back to full working order. If another bracket is broken then you should contact your dentist for advice. However, this is less urgent and you may be okay to wait until your next scheduled appointment.

Protruding Wire

A common issue is that the wire which is attached through your brace may be sticking out at the end. If this is the case then you may feel the wire rubbing on your cheek. This can make it sore if ignored. Apply some orthodontic wax to the area. This will smooth over the friction that was causing pain. Let your dentist know at your next appointment so they can sort out the problem for you.


Anything worth having is worth working for. It may take some time to get used to your new brace but at the end of your treatment you will be happy that you stuck with it. Any issues that can come from having a brace are relatively small and usually very easy to rectify. So if you have been putting off booking an appointment to have your teeth straightened, there is nothing to worry about. It will be one of the best decisions you will make and certainly not one that you will regret.