life with braces

From our family to yours

“Great experience, great staff, FANTASTIC results!!” ~ Dianne W.

“Dr. Diane and her team were exceptional through the whole experience! We felt like part of a big family.” ~ Michelle W.

“Best group of professionals ever! Would highly recommend to all our friends in the area! No doubt my son will be coming soon!” ~ Wendy T.

“We have enjoyed every moment of working with Dr. Diane and her staff! Thank you SO much!” ~ Lyn N.

“I’ve never had such an enjoyable experience. Always courteous, informative, and pleasant. Love the WHOLE staff!” ~ Connie D.

“Overall a great experience! Fantastic care and communication.” ~ Kristin M.

“The staff is wonderful. Right when you walk in you are greeted like an old friend. You really get the sense they know you here.” ~ Cynthia M.

“Braces can be very challenging and your team made this a wonderful experience, so much so that my daughter wants to be an orthodontist!!” ~ Tina D.

“I was treated with care every time I came in and I know that everyone who walks through the doors will be treated just as I was.” ~ Kyle O.

“The team at AO has been fabulous. The Appointment Shuttle made the periodic check-ups easy to schedule. The driver made the trips fun. The results are great.” ~ Jack W.

Life with Braces In Amherst and Bedford, NH

stock photo of a girl


I am so proud of my team!  They all work hard to maximize progress for you at each visit.  After all, we actually want the same thing you do - to finish with a great smile and healthy bite!  You are actually part of our team, too.  In fact, doing your part with brushing, flossing, avoiding certain food, wearing elastics - all keep your treatment moving well too.  We can't do it alone.

Proper care of your braces and teeth keeps your treatment trouble-free and moving as planned, and this helps you finish with the best results. Please call my office if you have any questions or would like additional in-office instruction at any of your visits.

What should having braces feel like?

When you first get your braces, everything is new. Give yourself a few days to get used to everything.  
  • Your lips and cheeks will feel bigger to you, but you actually look the same.
  • You may notice that your teeth and mouth feel tender or sore, especially by the end of the day. This is perfectly normal. After two to three days, the general soreness will lessen. You can follow the Comfort Recommendations that were given to you.
  • You may develop irritations on your lips, cheeks, and tongue. Warm salt water rinses (1/4 teaspoon of salt dissolved in 8 oz of lukewarm water) work very well to heal these. Great brushing and flossing will keep the bacteria at bay, and don’t forget to use wax.

Foods and Habits

We are committed to helping you stay on track for your treatment so you’ll be eating popcorn, chewing gum, and biting into apples again! Here are some braces-friendly recipes that have a twist on something familiar! There are still MANY foods you can still enjoy. Click here to see a list of items we recommend avoiding.

Foods you CAN eat with braces

  • Dairy: soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks, yogurts, cottage cheese, eggs
  • Breads: soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts
  • Grains: pasta, soft cooked rice
  • Meats/poultry: tender meats, meatballs, lunch meats
  • Seafood: any and all!
  • Vegetables: mashed potatoes, steamed veggies, beans
  • Fruits: applesauce, bananas, fruit juice, smoothies, berries
  • Treats: ice cream (no nuts please), milkshakes, Jell-O, plain chocolates, peanut butter cups, brownies, soft cookies.

Habits to avoid with braces

  • Pen chewing
  • Nail biting
  • Chewing on your mouthgaurd
  • Smoking
  • Picking at your appliances

Brushing & Flossing with Braces

It is very important to brush two to three times per day (two minutes each time) and to floss once a day. Keeping your teeth and gums healthy means a healthy bite and a beautiful smile at the end of treatment.

But did you know that consistently average to poor oral hygiene can actually slow down tooth movement? We all know plaque leads to tartar and cavities, but before it gets that far, your gums react by turning red and puffy. When this happens, your teeth will have more tissue to move through. This takes longer, and requires more force. Healthy teeth and gums will also make your adjustments more comfortable, and efficient.

Please continue to see your dentist and hygienist for routine cleanings.  Sometimes more frequent cleanings are advised.

Printable instructions >


Elastics are prescribed to move groups of teeth together; braces and wires cannot do it alone. Following our instructions on these will help you finish well, and avoid lengthier treatment times. If you ever need more, we can even mail them to you.  For more information, click here!

Athletes and Musicians

Athletes. We recommend wearing a mouthguard to protect your teeth and braces. Ask us for your complimentary orthodontic mouthguards while you are in treatment.

In case of a sports emergency, be sure to check your mouth and your appliance immediately for any damage that may have occurred. If you notice any loose braces or broken wires/appliances, please contact our office to seek advice on what to do.  If you are not in braces and have loosened teeth, please contact your dentist.

After your treatment is finished, please return to a more fitted moutguard, such as a boil-and-bite type; these are typically found in any sports store. You can also ask your dentist if their office makes custom mouthguards.

Musicians. The advice from all our wind and horn instrument players is: Don’t shy away from practicing because that will prolong your adjustment period. It is normal to have to re-learn proper lip position, and sores can develop, but using wax and warm salt-water rinses will help your lips and cheeks adjust.

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