The Process of Applying Braces – What You Should Expect on the Day

Treatments & Care

Orthodontist applying braces to young female patient

The day you get your braces is a big day. You might be excited to start your journey to a brilliant new smile and possibly a little anxious about the unknown. We’ll support you at every point along the way. Below is the process for applying regular or lingual braces – before, during and after they’re applied. 

Before Your Appointment

A little planning can make all the difference to the first few days after your braces are on.

Prepare Easy Food Options

Your teeth might be sensitive or sore for a few days after your braces are on. So you will want to eat only soft foods, it’s a good idea to stock the fridge with soft foods options. You don’t want to be thinking about what you can eat when you’re already hungry! 

Soups, stews (savoury and sweet), mashed potatoes, macaroni, milkshakes, custard, yoghurt are all good meal and snack options. Anything you can eat with little chewing is ideal. Your very soft food diet won’t last for long. After a few days, you should feel like chewing again and you can start on your braces-friendly diet

Pain Relief 

While getting your braces fitted isn’t painful, your teeth will most likely ache after you leave the clinic. It’s best to take an over-the-counter pain killer like paracetamol before you come into the clinic. Just follow the directions on the packaging.  

During Your Appointment

Your therapist will greet and take you through to the chair. The appointment is 40-60 minutes to fit the braces and go through the home-care instructions.  


We start by removing the separators fitted between your back teeth a week or two earlier. The small elastics have made room for the steel anchor bands that will be placed around the teeth. 

Preparing the Teeth for Braces

Once the separators are out, we polish your teeth. Next, we select the right sized metal bands for the correct fit on the back teeth and cement them in. We thoroughly clean the teeth and condition them with a solution to prepare your teeth for the braces. 

Braces Are Now Applied

You’re now ready for the orthodontist to fit your braces. We attach the brackets to the face of the teeth (or backs of the teeth with lingual braces). The flexible wires are inserted to start moving your teeth into alignment.  

Cleaning Demonstration

Once the braces are fitted, your therapist will show you how to brush your teeth with braces. You will also receive eating instructions. 

Home-Care Goody Bag

Before you leave the clinic, we’ll give you a bag of goodies to take home with you. It contains everything you need to keep your mouth clean and healthy. In the bag you will find:

  • Written instructions

  • Wax

  • Floss

  • Toothbrush

  • Toothpaste

  • Interdental brushes 

  • Lip balm 

After Your Appointment

It’s best not to make any plans for the rest of the day. You may not feel like returning to school or work and want to head home to put your feet up. Keep up with the pain killers if your teeth are feeling a little sensitive and sore (following the directions on the packet). However, you should always follow the instructions from your Orthodontist.

Enjoy some of the soft foods you've prepared and gently clean your teeth. 

FAQs About Applying Braces & Aftercare 

Here are the answers to some of your questions you may have after your braces are applied. 

What Should I Eat During the First Few Days? 

If your teeth are still sore, keep up with your (very) soft food diet. It won’t be long before you can chew and eat a ‘braces friendly’ diet. You can read more about the foods you can and can’t eat with braces here

Will I Be in Any Pain After Fitting the Braces?

You may experience mild discomfort for up to five days after fitting, while your teeth and gums are getting used to the new braces. But they will settle down and not be so uncomfortable. Continue with over-the-counter pain relief and try to avoid any foods that require chewing.  

The inside of your lips and cheeks are also getting used to the braces and may be sore in some areas. Salt water rinses can provide relief and you can use the supplied wax to cover any parts of the braces that are aggravating the inside of your mouth. Take a small piece of wax between your fingers, pat dry the bracket then smooth the wax over the bracket. The wax will fall off when you brush or eat your next meal so you may want to replace it later. 

If you need more wax, call the clinic and we will put some more in the mail for you.    

What Should I Do If I Have a Breakage? 

A breakage may be a broken bracket, loose band, broken or loose archwire, a broken or lost elastic. If you notice a breakage with any part of your braces, call the clinic as soon as you can to make an appointment. Don’t leave any breakage until your next visit, call the clinic to organise a time to come in and have it fixed. If you already have an appointment scheduled in the next few days, call to let us know you need a longer appointment to fix the breakage. You don’t want to undo any movement of your teeth.  

Will I Need a New Mouthguard If I Play a Contact Sport?

Braces won’t protect your teeth from a knock on the field. So, if you play a contact sport, it’s important you organise a new mouthguard before your next game or training session. We can help with fitting your mouthguard at the same time we fit your braces. Before your fitting appointment, buy an Elastoplast adult size mouthguard from a pharmacy. The best colour for moulding is clear. 

You won’t need a custom mouthguard while you have braces because your teeth will be moving. You can remould your Elastoplast mouthguard at home as needed or you can schedule a short appointment at the clinic and we’ll help with re-moulding whenever your mouthguard isn’t fitting.  

After your braces are off, you should use a custom mouthguard rather than a pharmacy one as it will provide better protection for your new smile.  

Considering Orthodontic Treatment as an Adult?

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Will My Speech Change after Braces?

The braces take up some room in your mouth so they can impact on your speech. If you are having regular braces applied, your speech won’t be affected much. Lingual braces impact on patients speech more than regular braces. 

Being on the inside of the teeth, lingual braces take some room where your tongue usually sits. It will take a little time getting used to speaking with your braces. Lingual braces patients may need to practise their speech to get used to their braces.     

When Will I Attend the Clinic Next? 

We will schedule an appointment with an oral health therapist one week after we fit your braces. At this appointment we’ll do a quick review of your braces, check they aren’t causing you too much discomfort and your brushing technique is working. 

Any Questions About Your Braces?

If you have any concerns before or after fitting your braces, don’t hesitate to contact the clinic. An oral health therapist is happy to answer any questions you may have.

Category: Treatments & Care