Life With Braces

Life with braces is an exciting step towards the smile you’ve always wanted. Orthodontics in Woodland Hills is committed to exceptional care, guiding you every step of the way.

Our experienced orthodontist is committed to ensuring that you receive the highest quality treatment and personalized care throughout your orthodontic treatment. Our state-of-the-art facilities and warm atmosphere create a comfortable, supportive environment where you’ll feel confident about your decision to improve your smile.

Braces 101: Understanding the Basics

Braces are dental devices that correct misaligned teeth and jaws. They come in metal, ceramic, lingual, and clear aligners. Each applies continuous pressure over time to move teeth into their correct positions gradually.

Teen first days of wearing braces

Types of Braces

The choice of braces largely depends on your dental needs, lifestyle, and personal preferences. In this section, we’ll look deeper into the different types of braces and discuss their unique characteristics, advantages, and potential drawbacks.

  • Metal Braces: These are the traditional and most common types of braces. They consist of durable metal brackets and wires that an orthodontist adjusts regularly to gently align and correct the position of the teeth and jaws. Metal braces are known for their effectiveness in treating a wide range of orthodontic issues, such as overcrowding, gaps, and misalignment.
  • Ceramic Braces: Ceramic braces function similarly to metal braces but with a twist. These braces are designed using tooth-colored or clear ceramic materials, allowing them to blend seamlessly with the natural color of the teeth. This discreet appearance makes ceramic braces popular for patients who want a less noticeable orthodontic treatment.
  • Lingual Braces: For those seeking the ultimate in discreet orthodontic treatment, lingual braces offer a compelling solution. Unlike traditional braces, lingual braces are attached to the back of the teeth (lingual side), making them virtually invisible when you smile. These customized braces provide an effective way to correct dental misalignments without compromising your appearance. With lingual braces, you can confidently go about your daily activities without self-consciousness.
  • Clear Aligners: Clear aligners are a modern orthodontic treatment option that provides a discreet and convenient way to straighten teeth. These custom-made trays gradually shift teeth into their aligned position and offer an alternative to traditional braces. Clear aligners are removable, allowing for easy oral hygiene and the ability to enjoy your favorite foods during treatment. Experience the benefits of clear aligners and achieve a confident smile with a comfortable and virtually invisible solution.

Getting Started with Braces: The Initial Consultation

During your initial consultation, Dr. Zarrinnia will start with a thorough examination of your teeth and jaws. He’ll carefully evaluate your dental health while assessing the alignment of your teeth and the positioning of your jaws. Dr. Zarrinnia will take the time to discuss different treatment options and will also provide detailed information about the associated costs.

Don’t hesitate to ask any questions or share concerns – our orthodontist is here to make sure you feel fully informed and confident about your orthodontic treatment plan. As part of the initial assessment, he will take a digital scan of your teeth to aid in the precise planning of your treatment.

Advanced orthodontics technology

The Early Days: Managing Discomfort and Soreness

Feeling some discomfort or general soreness when you first get your braces or after adjustments is normal and temporary. You might feel two types of discomfort: a general soreness (which can also happen after orthodontic wire adjustments) and irritation from the wires and brackets. The overall soreness typically fades within a few days. Meanwhile, applying a warm, wet compress to your jaw can provide relief. Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®) or acetaminophen (Tylenol®) can also help. During the initial days, stick to a softer diet with foods like oatmeal, pasta, and soup.

If wires or brackets cause discomfort inside your lips and cheeks, use the special wax provided by your orthodontist. Apply a small piece of this wax over any protruding parts to smooth them out and reduce irritation. This type of discomfort will lessen as the inside of your mouth becomes accustomed to the braces. Rinsing with warm saltwater (mix 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of water) can also soothe irritation. If a wire needs trimming, contact our office to arrange an appointment. We’re here to help with any adjustments you need.

Loose Teeth

If you notice your teeth feeling a little loose, don’t worry. This is a normal part of the process! Your braces are designed to gently loosen your teeth to guide them into the correct alignment. Once your teeth have adjusted to their new positions, they will stabilize and feel secure again.

Loose Wires and Bands

The wires and bands on your braces may come loose. If this happens, please contact us as soon as possible so we can check and repair your appliance. If any piece of your appliance comes off, be sure to save it and bring it to the office with you.

You can temporarily fix the loose wire, gently push the wire back into place using a clean pencil eraser or a Q-tip. If you are unable to reposition the wire, it is important not to force it. Instead, cover the end of the wire with orthodontic wax to prevent irritation or injury to your gums and cheeks.

Regular check-ups and adjustments are essential for successful orthodontic treatment. These visits allow Dr. Zarrinnia to monitor the progress of your treatment closely and make any necessary adjustments to your braces. Attending these visits ensures that your braces work effectively and that your teeth move into their desired positions. Plan ahead and schedule these appointments at convenient times to stay on track with your orthodontic journey.

What To Do During Emergency Care 

In the event of emergencies such as broken brackets or wires, it’s important to reach out to Orthodontics in Woodland Hills as soon as possible. We have the expertise to provide prompt assistance and ensure that your braces remain in their best condition throughout your treatment. Taking these extra precautions and staying prepared will help you maintain the health and effectiveness of your braces, leading to a beautiful and confident smile in the end.

Brushing and Flossing with Braces

Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial when wearing braces. Consider using a soft-bristle or orthodontic toothbrush to clean around brackets and wires. A water flosser can be effective in cleaning between teeth to remove food and plaque buildup. Additionally, prescription-strength fluoride can prevent decalcification, which can occur if plaque is not removed from around brackets.

Gum Health and Braces

Bleeding gums could indicate gum inflammation or gingivitis, which is a common concern for patients with braces. To maintain good oral hygiene, it’s important to brush gently and thoroughly, using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. If you notice persistent bleeding, you should schedule a visit with our orthodontist or your dentist for a thorough evaluation and guidance on proper oral care.

Eating with Braces

When you have braces, it’s important to be mindful of the foods you consume to avoid damaging the brackets and wires. Hard, sticky, or chewy foods can potentially cause brackets to break or wires to loosen. However, there are still plenty of delicious and braces-friendly options available. Consider incorporating soft foods like mashed potatoes, yogurt, scrambled eggs, and steamed vegetables into your meals. You can also choose softer fruits like bananas, berries, and melons as a healthy and safe snack.

Foods to eat

  • Dairy — soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
  • Breads — soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts
  • Grains — pasta, soft cooked rice
  • Meats/poultry — soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
  • Seafood — tuna, salmon, crab cakes
  • Vegetables — mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans
  • Fruits — applesauce, bananas, fruit juice
  • Treats — ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake

Foods to avoid

  • Chewy foods — bagels, licorice
  • Crunchy foods — popcorn, chips, ice
  • Sticky foods — caramel candies, chewing gum
  • Hard foods — nuts, hard candies
  • Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob, apples, carrots

It’s always wise to limit sugary foods and beverages for oral health, but it’s especially crucial while wearing braces. Cleaning your teeth is more challenging with brackets and wires, and if sugary substances like donut bits or candy stick in your braces, or if you can’t remove plaque from certain areas, you risk rapid tooth decay. Avoid these pitfalls to ensure your oral health remains top-notch during your orthodontic treatment.

Regular Orthodontic Visits in Woodland Hills, CA

Regular check-ups and adjustments are essential for successful orthodontic treatment. These visits allow Dr. Zarrinnia to monitor the progress of your treatment closely and make any necessary adjustments to your braces. Attending these visits ensures that your braces work effectively and that your teeth move into their desired positions. Plan ahead and schedule these appointments at convenient times to stay on track with your orthodontic journey.

Playing Sports with Braces

Having braces doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite activities! You can still enjoy most sports and physical activities, but taking some precautions is important. If you participate in contact sports, wearing a mouthguard to protect your braces and teeth from any potential impact is recommended. Remember, with a little bit of patience and adaptation, you can maintain your active lifestyle and achieve a beautiful, confident smile!

In case of a sports emergency, be sure to immediately check your mouth and appliance for damage. If you notice any loose teeth or appliance damage, please contact our office right away. You can temporarily relieve the discomfort by applying wax or rinsing your mouth with warm salt water.

Playing sports with braces

Playing Music with Braces

If you play a wind or brass instrument, it may take some time to adjust to playing with braces. It can be helpful to practice at home and gradually get used to the sensation of playing with braces.

Traveling With Braces

Proper care is crucial when it comes to braces.  When you’re traveling, it’s a good idea to pack a small care kit containing essential items like a toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, and orthodontic wax. This way, you can maintain your oral hygiene routine and address any minor issues that may arise during your trip.

Building Confidence with Braces

  • Focus on the Benefits and the End Result: Remember that braces are temporary, but the results are lasting. Keep in mind the beautiful smile and improved dental health you’ll have at the end of your treatment.
  • Talk to Others with Braces: Connect with people who are also undergoing orthodontic treatment. Sharing experiences and tips can provide support and reassurance.
  • Celebrate Small Milestones: Orthodontic treatment can be long, so celebrate the small victories along the way, like getting adjustments or when you start to notice changes in your teeth’s alignment.
  • Seek Inspiration: Look for celebrities or public figures who have had braces. Seeing how they handled it with grace and confidence can be encouraging.
Patient looking confident wearing braces

Life After Braces: The Retention Phase

Once your braces are removed and you enter the retention phase, you’ll be provided with retainers. These retainers play a vital role in holding your teeth in their newly aligned positions and ensuring the longevity of your newly aligned smile. Wearing your retainers as directed by our orthodontist is crucial, as it helps maintain the results achieved during your orthodontic treatment.

Schedule Your Appointment Today

Schedule a consultation with Dr. Zarrinnia at Orthodontics in Woodland Hills. Remember, finding the perfect orthodontist is key to a smooth and successful journey. We’re here to answer your questions and create a personalized treatment plan tailored to your unique needs.

Patient last orthodontics appointment for removing braces


We can’t wait to see you soon!


22600 Ventura Blvd., Suite 202
Woodland Hills, CA 91364



Contact Hours

Monday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Tuesday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Wednesday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Thursday: 8:00 AM – 5:00PM