Initially you may experience some tenderness of your teeth and mouth for the first week. You may need to take some form of pain relief similar to what you would normally take for a headache. You can expect this tenderness to subside within 2 to 3 days.  Try to eat soft foods during this time such as soup, eggs and yogurt.

Occasionally your new braces may cause sore spots inside the mouth. To prevent these sore spots from developing you can use the wax provided in your kit.  Ensure that the area is dry before placing the wax to make sure it sticks properly.  If sore spots have developed you can rinse your mouth with warm salty water to prevent them getting worse.  Also an ulcer cream such as Bongela can also be purchased from your local pharmacy to help resolve discomfort.

Tooth Brushing and Oral Hygiene

We recommend using a soft bristled tooth brush with a small head to allow easy manipulation to all areas of your mouth. This can be either a manual or electric powered toothbrush.

It is important to continue brushing twice a day, after breakfast and before bed as usual. Ideally if you are at home or when possible it is advised that you brush your teeth after every time you have something to eat to prevent dental plaque collecting around your braces. Alternatively swishing a mouthful of water around your mouth will also help dislodge caught food if you don’t have access to a toothbrush.

It is important to floss your teeth before bed each night with a floss such as Super Floss which is easy to thread beneath your wires.  Interdental brushes (Pixters) are also an effective way to clean between your teeth when you have braces on.

An adjunctive plaque disclosing agent is recommended to assist in highlighting plaque deposits and promote their removal.

It is recommended to continue your 6 monthly check up with your regular dentist as you normally would without braces.

Colgate Brochure

Taking Care of Problems

Poking wires

As your teeth straighten your arch wire may begin to poke out of the last bracket. In this situation cover the wire with wax to protect your cheeks.  If irritation persists please call our office to arrange a time to trim the wire for you.

Broken or Loose brackets

Broken brackets can have an adverse effect on the progress of your treatment.  It is therefore important to avoid breakages by avoiding sticky and hard foods. If a breakage occurs you are required to contact our office to have it repaired as soon as possible. Please do not leave it until your next appointment as this can delay the progress of your treatment.

Missing colored modules or ligature

Colored modules and ligatures are used to hold the wire in your brackets.  If one comes off it is not an urgent problem however to make sure your treatment stays on schedule it is best to contact us to arrange an appointment to have it replaced.

Also see the section on emergencies

Eating with Braces

Certain foods should be avoided when wearing braces or eaten carefully as they may break or loosen your braces.

Sticky Foods such as: Bubble gum, Toffee, Chocolate bars with nuts and caramel, roll ups, redskins, minties, fantails, lollipops.

Hard Foods: Corn chips, Pork crackling, hard biscuits, ice, nuts, raw carrot.

Don’t bite into large pieces of food (e.g. apples, corn on the cob).  Instead cut the food up into smaller portions and place it in your mouth to be chewed to avoid breaking your braces.

All soft drinks should be completely avoided during treatment as they have a very high sugar and acid content which will quickly damage your teeth.


All chocolate bars. For example: Mars, Snickers, Picnics, Milky Way, Crave, Kit-Kat etc. You can still have soft plain chocolate as long as it has no filling in it.

Muesli bars & roll-ups, Nuts, CC’s & Doritos, Bubble Gum, Ice cubes, Ice Blocks, Frozen cups, Raw 2 minute noodles, Salty Plums, Popcorn, Twisties, Cocopop and Rice Bubble Bars.

(These all break braces, most of them cause tooth decay also)


Most contain phosphoric acid together with high sugar levels, which etches enamel from around the braces, leaving unsightly white circles on the teeth.

You can still have juice, milk, cordial and flavoured mineral waters.

  • Carrots (raw) and apples – cut into thin slices or grate up
  • Stone fruits. e.g.: peaches & plums – the seed needs to be cut out before eating
  • Corn on the cob – scrape corn off the cob
  • Chicken wings and T-bones – cut meat from bones. Don’t chew bones as this breaks braces
  • Hard biscuits
  • Sugar free chewing gum like ‘Extra’ is ok to have