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All About Braces

Mililani, HI Orthodontist Dr. Carlton Shiraki and Dr. David Dung

Mililani Orthodontics serves the Mililani, Hawaii area with two convenient locations and a friendly, professional staff. Dr. Shiraki, Dr. Dung, and their team are committed to providing you the highest quality treatment options, from traditional braces to the Invisalign system, and more! Read on for tips on caring for braces and other orthodontic appliances.

Eating with Braces

For the first day or so you should stick to soft foods, as your teeth and gums will likely be sore or tender. It is a good idea to avoid tough meats, hard breads and raw vegetables during this time, but before long, you’ll be able to comfortably bite into regular foods. After your mouth has recovered you will still need to protect your orthodontic appliances every time you eat as long as you’re wearing braces.

Foods to Avoid

  • Chewy foods – bagels, hard rolls, licorice
  • Crunchy foods – popcorn, ice
  • Sticky foods – caramel, gum, candies
  • Hard foods – nuts, candy
  • Other foods you have to bite hard into: corn on the cob, apples, carrots

Chewing on hard things like pens, pencils, and fingernails can damage braces, causing treatment to take longer.

Brushing and Flossing

It is important to brush and floss regularly, especially when you have braces, to keep teeth and gums healthy during orthodontic treatment. Patients who fail to properly clean their teeth may require more frequent visits to the dentist for professional cleanings. Adults who have a history of gum disease should also see a periodontist during treatment to prevent problems.

General Soreness

Shortly after you get your braces on, you may feel soreness in your mouth, and teeth may be sensitive to biting pressures for up to five days. Take Tylenol or similar medication according to the directions on the bottle to help alleviate this discomfort. Your lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the braces. We will supply orthodontic wax that you can put on the braces in irritated areas to reduce discomfort.

Loosening of Teeth

Some loosening of the teeth is to be expected throughout treatment, and is completely normal. Teeth must loosen somewhat before they can move, and will firm up in their new, corrected positions after treatment is completed.

Loose Wire or Band

Occasionally a wire or band will break off or disconnect, and is normally not a major problem. If a wire is irritating your lip or cheek, use a blunt instrument, such as the eraser end of a pencil, to carefully push the wire back under the archwire to get it out of the way. If irritation continues, place wax or wet cotton on the wire to cover the exposed section. Call our office as soon as possible for an appointment to check and repair the problem.


It is important to let us know what sports you play, if any, so that we can help prevent problems. A protective mouth guard is provided for playing contact sports.

Rubber Band Wear

The success of orthodontic treatment depends heavily on proper use by you, the patient. Make sure to wear rubber bands as directed by your orthodontist, and let us know as soon as possible in the event any orthodontic appliance is lost or broken.

Schedule An Appointment Today!

The Mililani Orthodontics team is dedicated to making your treatment as quick and comfortable as possible. Proper care of your orthodontic appliances will ensure the fastest treatment time possible! If you have any questions about treatment, have a broken or loose appliance, or wish to begin treatment please contact us. One of our team members will be happy to assist you. We look forward to hearing from you!