Braces Are a Big Step

Congratulations on taking a big step towards a healthy, beautiful smile with braces at Dr. Duevel and Dr. Keim’s practice. While this is exciting, getting used to your new orthodontic treatment may require some adjustments.


During the initial placement of your braces, you may experience some tenderness or soreness in your teeth and mouth.

This is completely normal and temporary. You can swish and gargle a saltwater solution (one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water) for a few minutes to relieve the discomfort.

Should the pain persist, over-the-counter pain relievers can provide relief. It's common for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become slightly irritated as they adapt to the braces. If needed, we can provide wax to alleviate the tenderness.

Eating With Braces

While you'll be able to enjoy your favorite treats again after treatment, it's essential to avoid foods that could damage your braces.

Care & Maintenance

Brushing with braces may take a little practice, but it's crucial for maintaining your oral health. After each meal or snack, brush thoroughly to remove food particles and prevent bacteria growth.

Remember these tips for best results:

  • Use a fluoride toothpaste with a soft, rounded-bristle toothbrush.
  • Replace your toothbrush as soon as signs of wear appear.
  • Brush around all parts of your braces and teeth, ensuring clean and shiny brackets.
  • Floss every night before bed, using floss threaders or waterpiks if necessary.

Foods to Avoid

Steer clear of hard, sticky, and crunchy foods, such as popcorn, nuts, hard candy, and gum. Instead, opt for braces-friendly options like soft cheese, pasta, and mashed potatoes.

Loose Teeth

Experiencing slight looseness in your teeth is normal during orthodontic treatment. As your teeth adjust to their new positions, this will resolve on its own.

Loose Wires, Bands, & Brackets

If any part of your appliance becomes loose, contact our Fargo office promptly for repairs. In the meantime, you can temporarily fix a loose wire using a spoon or pencil eraser. Wax or a wet cotton ball can help relieve irritation.

Misplaced Archwire, Bracket, or Tie

Occasionally, archwires may move and irritate your cheeks. Using a pencil eraser or cotton swab can help adjust them. Apply orthodontic wax to cover any poking wires or brackets until we can fix the issue.

Caring for Your Orthodontic Appliance

Properly caring for your appliances is essential for effective treatment. Consistently wearing rubber bands, retainers, or other prescribed appliances will ensure the best results.

Tips for Athletes & Musicians

Sports enthusiasts should wear orthodontic-friendly mouthguards to protect their teeth during physical activities. Invisalign users should remove aligners during practices or games. In case of an accident, check for damages and schedule an appointment.

Musicians may need to adjust to playing with braces, but it's normal to experience some difficulty at first. Use wax and warm salt-water rinses to ease any discomfort or sores that may develop.

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