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Life with Braces FAQ

We’re here to help you transition into your new life with braces!

When you start treatment with us at any of our four locations in North Tampa, South Tampa, Wesley Chapel, or East Bradenton, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about your orthodontic treatment. In the meantime, take a look at some of our traditional braces FAQs to familiarize yourself with some common questions and answers.

If you don’t see your question listed, you can reach out to us and we’d be more than happy to answer any questions!

The initial placement of your braces on your teeth does not hurt! Your orthodontist is simply bonding brackets to your teeth and attaching your archwires.

The first day you have your braces, you may feel some tenderness or soreness. This is normal! Your teeth and gums are going through a temporary adjustment period while they get used to your new braces.

To relieve the soreness, you can gargle a mixture of salt (one teaspoon) and lukewarm water (8 ounces) several times a day. Over-the-counter pain relievers, like Tylenol® or Advil®, can also alleviate tender gums.


Your treatment plan is personalized to you! That means there is no fixed amount of time for your treatment period. The length of your treatment will depend on your specific condition, the severity of your condition and your progress throughout your treatment.

The average treatment period with metal braces can range from 12 to 24 months, but yours may be longer or shorter. It all depends!

When you visit us for your complimentary consultation, we will complete an examination that’ll give us some insight into your expected treatment length. (We may adjust your treatment length as time goes on, depending on your progress. Teeth can be unpredictable sometimes!)


Yes! We offer metal braces, ceramic clear braces, and Invisalign® clear aligners! We know that our patients’ lifestyles and preferences are unique, so we provide different types of braces to suit different needs.

If you prefer a less-noticeable treatment option than metal braces, you can choose ceramic braces or clear aligners. We are the #1 most experienced Invisalign practice in North Tampa and South Tampa, and we’re able to treat patients who were previously told they weren’t a good candidate for Invisalign!

We even offer same day braces, so you can get braces the same day as your consultation. The day you decide you’re ready to live your best life, you can begin treatment!


The cost of braces is affordable at Blue Wave Orthodontics! We don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to payment, because everyone has a different financial situation. We are here to accommodate our patients’ different needs!

Our flexible payment plans with low monthly payments and free orthodontic exams (valued at $300) make orthodontic treatment affordable for all budgets!


Nobody is too old for braces! That’s like saying, “am I too old to improve my quality of life?” There is no braces age limit. Braces are for children, teens, and adults.

That’s why we offer a variety of different types of braces and Invisalign clear aligners to meet the needs and preferences of all of our patients.

The AAO (American Association of Orthodontists) advises that children be brought in for their first orthodontic screening around the age of 7. While the baby teeth are shedding and the permanent teeth are erupting, our highly-skilled orthodontists are able to detect conditions that are likely to become problematic in the near future.

Regardless, the best age to get braces is the age you decide to transform your smile and change your life!


With traditional braces (metal braces and ceramic braces), you’ll have to adjust your diet to accommodate your brackets and wires. (If you prefer a treatment option that doesn’t come with any dietary restrictions, consider Invisalign!)

Although your braces are strong and durable, it’s still important to avoid foods that can damage your treatment and your teeth. Foods that are sticky, chewy, or considerably sugary should be avoided while you’re wearing braces.

Here’s a list of foods you can eat with braces:

  • Soft breads: Pancakes, tortillas, soft rolls
  • Vegetables: Any soft cooked vegetable (mashed potatoes, carrots, beans)
  • Dairy: Yogurt, pudding, soft cheese
  • Meats: Any soft meat (lunch meat, pulled pork, meatballs)
  • Fruits: Bananas, applesauce, orange slices
  • Desserts: Ice cream, milkshakes, cheesecake

Those are just some examples of foods you can eat! You have tons of tasty foods to choose from. The main foods to avoid during your treatment are:

  • Crunchy foods (nuts, popcorn, ice)
  • Hard foods that require biting into (hard candies, apples, corn on the cob)
  • Sticky foods (caramel, laffy taffy, toffee)

Any food that’s crunchy, hard or sticky can get stuck in your braces, dislodging your wires or popping a bracket loose.


We would love to answer your questions! Our amazing orthodontic team is here for you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us by calling or sending us a message!

We want you to be as excited about your smile transformation as we are!

Ready to take the first step? Request your complimentary consultation with us in North Tampa, South Tampa, Wesley Chapel, or Bradenton today.