Young man with braces

Navigating Your First Days with Braces

Congratulations—you have taken the first steps in achieving the white, straight smile you have always wanted! Wearing braces is a unique situation, so you’re probably wondering what to expect in the coming days. Don’t worry, I have some guidelines for you! 

Your first week with braces will feel different based on the type of orthodontic treatment you select. Clear aligners, traditional or ceramic braces, and lingual braces will each affect your mouth and eating habits differently. 


Traditional braces 

Your first day with traditional braces will undoubtedly feel different—a bit weird, but not painful. Your lips, tongue, and cheeks will require some time to get used to the new feeling of the brackets placed onto your teeth. Moving your mouth will create a different sensation due to the fact that metal is in your mouth that was not there before. As the week progresses, the once weird feeling will shift to general soreness. While your mouth is still adjusting to your brackets, a dull, aching pain is likely as the braces are actively working to align your teeth into the desired locations. Taking over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, is helpful during this time. 


Lingual braces

If you choose lingual braces, the brackets will be attached to the backside of your teeth. On the surface, no one will even know you have braces, which is what makes this option so popular, especially for adult patients. Since the brackets are placed on the tongue side of your teeth, some patients experience a slight difference in their speech. This is temporary and your tongue will adjust to the treatment in a few days. Getting used to lingual braces generally takes longer than braces on the outside of your teeth.


Clear aligners

If you decided on clear aligners, the adjustment period may be longer because of your brain saying “get these things out!” The aligners cover your entire tooth, including part of your gums which can be a challenging feeling for some. Your speech may also be temporarily affected with this treatment due to the top and bottom aligners. However, once your mouth is adjusted you will hardly notice you have aligners in!   

To ease in the transition of these treatments, eating soft foods such as soups, smoothies and even ice cream will provide added comfort. If a bracket is causing discomfort, use wax to provide relief. It is also paramount to brush and floss your teeth efficiently to keep bacteria at bay. This will prevent gum disease and ensure that your smile is white and shiny at the end of your orthodontic treatment. Be mindful that a beautiful smile is a healthy smile. 


As you can see, each type of orthodontic treatment requires an adjustment period, but they are all temporary! The first week with braces can be tricky—remember that you are investing in a beautiful, straight, and healthy smile that will last a lifetime. For more information, visit my website at!