Tips for Surviving Your First Week With Braces

Young girl with glasses and braces smiling

You have consulted with your orthodontist to discuss the treatment plan that is best for you. And now it is time to get your braces put on. This can be a nerve-wracking experience for most — you’ve probably heard rumors that you can’t eat your favorite foods and that your mouth is going to hurt.

We are here to give you the tips you need to survive your first week with braces and take the next step in getting a smile you adore.

What to Expect

The day is finally here! Today you are getting braces. So what should you expect? Whether you have decided upon traditional braces or a clear aligner like Invisalign, this initial appointment may be longer than regular future appointments, as placing braces on your teeth can be a tedious process.

During the actual process of getting your braces, your teeth will be cleaned and conditioned to provide a place to cement on the brackets. Once the cementing takes place, the brackets are put on, and then (if you went the traditional braces route), the wires will be placed.

Get a Head Start

While braces themselves don’t hurt, the process of getting them put on is known to cause mouth sensitivity and soreness. The pain may only last a few days, but we recommend taking an over-the-counter pain reliever before your first appointment to prevent that first-day discomfort as much as possible.

Stock Up on Braces-Friendly Food and Drinks

It is no secret that your teeth will be sensitive during your first week with your braces. That is why you should stock your kitchen with soft foods and cold drinks that will be easy to consume. For example, mashed potatoes, smoothies, jello, and soup are great options to ensure you are still getting your nutrients while not bringing any added discomfort to your mouth. Cold beverages will also help numb your mouth, which will also help take away any residual pain.

Use Orthodontic Wax and Salt Water Rinses

When you get braces, it is not just your teeth that have to adjust. You may notice that your mouth feels irritated during your first week with braces as it gets used to having a new appliance. It may take a few days, but as your skin begins to toughen, your brackets and wires won’t bother you anymore.

In the meantime, your orthodontist will provide you with wax that you can place on the most bothersome areas. This will help soften the area and put a buffer between your appliance and mouth.

Saltwater rinses are also highly effective at relieving irritation. Add a teaspoon of salt to a warm glass of water and swish it around your mouth for 30 seconds at a time. Repeat this process up to 5 a day or as needed to provide relief.

Don’t Panic

If your teeth feel loose, don’t panic! This is normal. As your teeth begin to shift and adapt to the braces, they may feel looser. We promise your teeth won’t fall out — they have to loosen to move to their new position. Once your treatment is over, they will lock into place.

We also understand that accidents happen which may cause a bracket to break or wire to poke out. If you are experiencing an orthodontic emergency, call your orthodontist as soon as possible.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene

One of the significant differences you may notice after getting your braces put on is that brushing and flossing feels a little funny. You also may recognize that food gets caught in your teeth more easily.

To maintain good oral hygiene with braces, brush your teeth after every meal and snack. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, you will want to brush above and below your brackets with a toothpaste that has the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

Flossing may be a little tricky, but using a floss threader will make this process easier. Because it is easier for food to get stuck in your braces, flossing is not a step you want to skip in your nighttime routine. Getting rid of the food debris and plaque at the end of each day will make for good oral health throughout your orthodontic treatment.

Contact Holistic Orthodontics To Schedule Your Consultation

If you are ready to start the road to a healthy smile, call our office (818) 626-3632 today to schedule your free consultation. We are excited to work with you on improving your smile!

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