Getting Braces

What Do I Need to Know About Getting Braces?

Austin, TX – The day you get your braces placed is an exciting step on the journey to a straighter, better functioning smile. But you probably have some questions about what to expect. Dr. Silvana Gonzalez explains what you should know about getting braces placed on your teeth.

After your initial consultation, you’ll schedule your appointment to have your braces placed. While getting braces is a fairly simple procedure, make sure you plan your appointment on a day when you have plenty of time so you don’t feel rushed. And don’t worry – it’s pretty painless!

We’ll begin by cleaning your teeth. This will ensure we remove any bacteria or debris that could get stuck under the brackets. Once the teeth are thoroughly cleaned, they are prepared for the brackets. Each individual tooth will have a bracket adhered to it using a special bonding glue. We’ll use a special tool to help hold your tongue in place and keep your mouth dry while we are adhering the brackets. Once the brackets are all in place, a special light will be used to cure, or harden, the glue. This ensures the brackets stay in place. 

The next step is adding the wire that will do the heavy lifting of guiding the teeth. The archwire is carefully threaded through each bracket. Then, a tiny ligature elastic is wrapped around each bracket to hold the archwire in place. You can personalize your treatment by choosing colorful elastics. Then, Dr. Gonzalez carefully snips the archwire to ensure it won’t poke the back of your mouth.

The process of getting your braces placed can take between one to two hours. You may feel some sensations of pressure in different places in your mouth, but you should never feel any pain. If there is a sore spot, please be sure to let Dr. Gonzalez know so she can be extra careful in that area of your mouth.

Once finished, you may notice that your mouth feels a bit uncomfortable. That is totally normal, and this discomfort should go away within a day or so as your mouth adjusts. You may experience some minor pain or discomfort when eating, and you may have a bit of a headache or experience some jaw tenderness in the beginning. You can take an over-the-counter pain reliever to help ease any discomfort. Warm saltwater rinses and cold compresses are also helpful.

In the first few days after getting braces, you may want to stick to a diet of soft foods. We recommend foods such as:

  • Mashed potatoes
  • Oatmeal
  • Yogurt
  • Soft-cooked vegetables
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Soft fruits such as bananas
  • Pasta and macaroni and cheese
  • Smoothies

The inside of your mouth may experience some tenderness as well as your cheeks and lips get used to the brackets. Orthodontic wax can be applied on any areas that are tender to offer a bit of cushion. 

While the first few days after braces may seem a bit challenging, we promise that in no time you’ll be used to the new sensations, and you won’t even notice the braces anymore. Getting braces is an easy procedure that will have you on the path to a new smile in no time.