Guide to
Wearing Braces

CONGRATULATIONS! You are the proud owner of a shiny set of fixed orthodontic appliances – BRACES!! These “tooth straighteners” will be on your teeth for many months, so you’ll want to know all about them.

Oral Hygiene

One of the most important things that you can do is to keep your teeth and braces really clean. Your teeth will move faster when they’re clean and they’ll stay white and fresh smelling. Also, you’ll have healthy gums, your teeth won’t get cavities and, of course, they’ll look much nicer! What a deal! The only catch is that, with braces, you’ll have to work a lot harder to keep your teeth clean. One of our orthodontic assistants will show you how to brush with braces and give you a special oral hygiene kit to use at home. Never forget the importance of proper brushing. We will be checking at each visit and letting you know how well you do. Try to have your teeth clean when you come to the office: if this isn’t possible let us know and we’ll let you brush as soon as you arrive.


Eating may be a bit awkward at first, but you will soon adapt to this. It is very important to eat softer foods, which won’t harm your delicate braces. Avoid hard foods (raw carrots, nuts, ice cubes, hard candy, popcorn kernels, etc...) and sticky foods (gum, caramels, sticky candy, etc.…) These types of foods can easily break or damage your braces and cause you to keep them on longer than originally planned. So, be careful!


Some soreness of the teeth can be expected at certain times during orthodontic treatment. This usually occurs after the braces are initially placed and occasionally after adjustment visits. This soreness may last a few hours or so, everybody is different.

Your cheeks and lips may also become sore or irritated because they are not used to the braces. You will be given soft wax to be placed over the bands and brackets at night; this will act as a cushion for the lips and cheeks and allow them to adapt more quickly. We recommend using this wax for a full week every night while sleeping. After a week, use it only as necessary during the night and /or day. (Secret: If you dry off the band or bracket first with a tissue, it will stick much better to the metal). Also, quite helpful is the use of a warm salt-water rinse twice daily for the first week. (Use ¼ teaspoon of salt in 1/2 cup of warm water).


Occasionally you may find that a wire will shift and cause irritation to your lips or cheeks. It is important to look closely at the area and determine the cause of the problem. Often you can simply bend the wire out of the way with the end of your toothbrush or a similar blunt instrument. If this is not possible, place wax or sugar free gum over the sharp area and call the office.


There is usually little to no change in speech.

Bite Changes

You may notice that your teeth are hitting on the braces. This is a common occurrence that will go away as your teeth align.


Normally you will be seen about once every 3 to 5 weeks, but this can range from 1 to 8 weeks. All your appointments are important and it is essential that patients arrive on time so that we can accomplish all that is planned for each visit. This will also keep your treatment progressing on schedule.


We would like you to check your braces each day to see if any are loose or broken. This can happen occasionally and we want to know about it. If you notice a “brace” that is loose or broken, please call the office right away so we can schedule adequate time for repairs.

Parting Words

We take pride in the fact that the braces we use are the best that modern technology has to offer. When patients take care of them as we suggest and follow our treatment recommendations, the results have been excellent. Our best wishes to you as you begin an exciting journey towards a super smile! Also, remember that we are here for you. If you or a family member have any questions along the way, just ask!

Schedule an Appointment
The first step to a beautiful smile is scheduling an appointment!
Your First Visit
Know what to expect and view the first appointment checklist.
Patient Forms
Forms to print out, fill out, and bring with you to your first visit.
Kozak 101
Comprehensive view of our practice and our results.
What Our Patients Are Saying

"Thank you, Dr. Kozak, For making my children's smiles so fantastic. For fixing there teeth so that they are no longer self-conscious of there smiles. This is the first time in a long time that I've truly felt that "I've gotten my money's worth--and more". Dr. Kozak and his colleagues at Kozak Orthodontics exceeded my expectations 10 fold, while being a perfectionist with the eye of an artist and a stickler for detail my children's teeth are more beautiful than I could ever have expected . The team at Kozak Orthodontics takes the time to get to know there patients and develop a comfortable relationships with them. Visits are friendly and quick. Kozak Orthodontics offers incentives and rewards for good Orthodontic care. They also initiate fun contests for there patients throughout the year. And what more can you say about Dr. Kozaks staff. They make you feel that they are there for you and you leave feeling that you have known them for years even after the very first visit. Kozaks staff is more than just a team but as a group of good friends working together to make BIGGER SMILES!!!! After 9 years and two sets of braces I have one thing to say THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU ALL!!!"

David Blanchard

To the Team at Kozak Ortho, I'd first like to say, over the past 8 years, with my oldest daughter and now the past 2 years with my youngest daughter, your staff has been nothing but professional and it's been a pleasure to have you Dr. Kozak , and your wonderful staff to assist in creating unbelievable smiles for both of my daughters. The path with our oldest, has been long and trying and after 3 sets of braces and double madibular jaw surgery by your referred surgeon, the results have been remarkably worth it all! And to this day, Kayla still loves coming to see you all !! As far as my youngest, she wouldn't ever let the dentist near her, and then she found her oldest sisters ortho, and from the beginning was nothing but comfortable and anxious to get to her appointments and to get her "Kozak cash" for doing a good job! She just got her braces off in August 2011, and her smile is beautiful! For anyone who's hesitant about not knowing the Kozak team, I give you my word, there is no one I'd rather have spent all these years with. They have all become like family to us. Thank You, soo very much for all your care you have given my girls and I !

The Milliken Family

"My daughter was there earlier this week and had a great conversation with Casey, her technician. A few days later she received a card in the mail from her wishing her a great school year. Not only that but there were mentions of some of the personal topics they talked about. It really meant a lot to her and she was so excited!!! Thanks so much to Casey!!!!"

Robin R.
Read More