When it comes to braces, the first week is the toughest for many. But it gets better! Thankfully, braces technology has vastly improved since your parents wore them, with smaller brackets, sturdier wires, and a subtler appearance. However, it can still be strange and uncomfortable to go through during that first week. To aid in your transition to braces, here are some essential tips for surviving the first week in relative comfort.
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Prepare for Your Treatment
Thankfully, braces today don’t hurt but are more like sore muscles after a tough workout. Braces sit on the front of your teeth and you’ll barely feel them. The force they apply to your teeth, however, can be uncomfortable before you get used to it. Before your first braces appointment, where your orthodontist will apply the brackets, consider taking an OTC painkiller to stay ahead of the discomfort. If you’re feeling discomfort in the initial days, you can keep taking OTC pain medicine for a few days to help ease the transition into your treatment.
At your first appointment, ask your orthodontist anything you want to know to ease your first week. Check the wires of your braces to make sure they aren’t poking you in the cheek or gums. Ask for extra supplies like dental wax, flossers, and bands to use when you need them. Dental wax is especially important if you play an instrument to protect the pressure from hurting your lips. Think ahead to your next appointment and ask your orthodontist what you should do until then to make your treatment as clean and pain-free as possible.
Watch Your Diet
You don’t have to wait to eat after leaving your first appointment, but you should be mindful of the kinds of foods you eat. For the most comfort consider foods like pasta, pudding, soup, ice cream, smoothies, and other soft foods over crunchy or sticky foods. Avoid gum, popcorn, hard candy, and anything tough or sinewy. These can break your brackets. A soft diet for the first week of braces can help you avoid problems later.
In addition to dental wax, warm saltwater can help relieve cheek and gum discomfort in the first week of wearing your braces. A saltwater rinse can help you protect your sensitive lips, cheeks and gums as they get used to your new braces.
Learn How to Brush and Floss
Your new brackets and wires will take some getting used to, especially when it comes to brushing and flossing. You’ll have to learn how to use new tools to achieve the same oral hygiene standards, which become even more important with braces. To prevent discoloration, plaque formation, and other hygiene problems, make sure you brush more often with fluoride toothpaste. With braces, brushing after every meal and snack is a good idea. Even simple rinsing can help.
Use your floss threader to get behind the brackets and keep up your once-daily flossing routine. It can be tricky at first, but you should be able to thread the string through and get all the way down to your gums without much trouble. We always recommend getting a waterpik to help get food out of your braces and between your teeth. Remember to use a soft toothbrush and tilt it to get behind and around your brackets. Your healthy gums can suffer if you don’t brush all the areas covered up by your new braces.
Prepare for Emergencies
Orthodontic emergencies are rare, but they can happen. A broken bracket or loose wire isn’t a cause for panic. Simply push the bracket into place or move the wire until it’s not painful. Then, schedule an appointment with your orthodontist as soon as possible so they can address the problem.
Remember that it is common to feel some soreness during the first week of braces. One sensation many new patients report is the feeling that their teeth have become loose. This is true, in a sense, and completely normal. Teeth do have to loosen up to move into a straighter configuration. Your braces will hold them in place until your treatment is over, after which they will no longer feel loose.
You Can Survive the First Week of Braces!
Your first week of braces may produce some discomfort and feelings of tightness or loose teeth. These sensations are completely normal. Your orthodontist can walk you through your first week and give you all the supplies you need to survive it in relative comfort.
At your first appointment, remember to ask questions about anything you’re worried about to ease your mind. True orthodontic emergencies are rare, but a loose wire can be painful and needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Mentally prepare for what you will do in case of an emergency, as well as your softer diet and new flossing routine. If you set your mental expectations correctly, you can breeze through your first week of braces, well on your way to the straighter smile you deserve.
Choose Reese Orthodontics
If you are seeking an orthodontist in Charleston, SC for yourself, your child, or another loved one, Reese Orthodontics offers advanced technology and treatment options for the most comfortable and effective orthodontic experience available today. Schedule an appointment with us today!Schedule Appointment