While getting new braces can be exciting, it can also be a little nerve-wracking. You may wonder what they will feel like and how long it will take to adjust to them. Many patients are worried they will be in pain or they won’t be able to follow the diet plan.
This is why we made this guide for adjusting to braces, reviewing what to expect when you begin treatment and how to deal with the challenges you may face.
Want to find out if you or your child needs braces? Visit Reese Orthodontics in Charleston, SC for leading orthodontic care.
Adjusting to Braces: Will Braces Hurt?
Many patients’ worst fear is that new braces will hurt, but they are not supposed to. At your first appointment, you may feel a tightening sensation when the wire has been affixed to the brackets. This is the pressure of the braces beginning to work on your teeth, and it may be uncomfortable for a few days.
However, braces should not produce pain. If you feel any stabbing or pricking pain, a part of your braces may be broken or loose and should be addressed as soon as possible.
Since braces are a brand new sensation in your mouth, you may develop sores at first on your lips, especially if you play an instrument. To mitigate this discomfort, gargle salt water to soothe inflammation. If necessary, you may take an OTC pain reliever for the first few days. You can also ask your orthodontist for a special wax that you can put on your braces to prevent them from rubbing against tender spots.
Another great way to lessen this discomfort is to stick to soft, chewable foods for the first few days of treatment and after each adjustment. Your teeth may be sensitive to harsh chewing for a few days as they adjust to the pressure of your new braces.
Adjusting to Braces: Why Am I Salivating So Much?
It’s common for patients to notice extra salivating when they first get their braces. They realize they have to swallow much more often and wonder if something is wrong. But this is perfectly normal. What’s happening is that your mouth detects the braces as a foreign object and does the only thing it knows how to do – use saliva to flush it out.
Of course, the braces aren’t going anywhere, so your mouth just has to get used to them being there. The elevated salivation should subside within a few hours of your first appointment.
Adjusting to Braces: How Do I Keep Them Clean?
Cleaning braces is an important aspect of ensuring safe and effective treatment. While wearing them, food and sugar will get stuck in the nooks of your brackets, under the wire, and between your teeth. Since it’s more difficult to thoroughly brush and floss with braces, many patients experience dental issues while wearing them.
Without proper care of your teeth, you may develop stubborn cavities, gum disease, tooth calcification, or even tooth decay. This is why brushing thoroughly with a soft-bristled toothbrush (preferably mechanical) is so important, reaching every facet of the brackets and getting under the wires. Make sure your toothpaste contains fluoride.
You should also keep a mouthwash handy to rinse once per day. If possible, you can use a Waterpik with some mouthwash in the basin to flush out the hard-to-reach spots. Additionally, ask your doctor how to use floss threaders if you can’t do it. These small devices let you loop floss under the wires of your braces to ensure that you can still floss during your treatment.
Adjusting to Braces: What Should I Eat?
Diet is a huge part of successfully adjusting to braces. Soft foods like eggs, potatoes, and cake can help you avoid discomfort, while chewy or fibrous foods like bagels, steak, and pretzels can hurt. They can even bend your wire out of shape.
Another way to adjust to braces is to avoid smoking since the chemical staining can get under the wire or aggravate sores. Speak with your orthodontist about the habits you should change to successfully adjust to your braces.
Choose Reese Orthodontics
If you’re an adult who is considering braces, you need professional advice on your treatment and payment options. For orthodontic treatments in Charleston, SC, Reese Orthodontics offers the latest technology and treatment plans. Our advanced and comfortable orthodontic treatments can be customized to suit your needs. A consultation with Reese Orthodontics includes scans, a comprehensive exam, and a conversation with the orthodontist to discover which treatment options are right for you.
Schedule an appointment with us today to stay ahead of your oral health and receive the best possible treatment in your area.