The hardest part about getting braces is making it through the first week. Your body is getting used to the strange, new pieces of metal in your mouth, and you probably feel a little sore at first. Once you get through the first week, you’re well on your way to a beautifully straight smile.
In order to help you feel more comfortable with your braces, here’s a list of five tips for surviving the first week:
1. Be prepared leaving the orthodontics office
After getting your braces, don’t leave the office until you’ve talked about the following items:
- Check wire ends. Use your finger and tongue to make sure the wires aren’t extending into areas that might poke your cheeks or run into your tongue the wrong way.
- Understand next steps. Make sure you ask plenty of questions to make sure you know what you’re supposed to do before your next appointment, which could include wearing headgear, using elastics, following specific hygiene recommendations, and more.
- Double check your supplies. Ask for plenty of dental wax, cleaning aids, elastic bands, or other related materials you may need before your next orthodontist appointment.
2. Be careful what you eat with braces
It’s okay to eat as soon as you leave the office, but we highly suggest only eating softer foods the first few days while your mouth and teeth adjust. Stick to pasta, seedless bread, soft veggies, pudding, soup, yogurt, etc. After about three or four days, the soreness will start to go away and you can graduate to more solid foods, but always steer clear of gum with sugar in it. Gum with sugar in it can cause damage to your teeth and braces.
3. Use wax to fight sores in your mouth
Brackets are designed to be gentle on your mouth, but they can rub on the soft skin in your mouth and cause irritation while you’re still getting used to them. Over time, your skin will toughen and you won’t continue to get sore spots. Until then, it’s a good idea to use the wax we provide to ease any discomfort.
4. Rinse your mouth with saltwater
If you’re experiencing significant irritation, we suggest rinsing your mouth out with a solution of warm salt water five or six times a day for 30 seconds each time. Add half a teaspoon of table salt to one cup of warm water. The salt water will help relieve pain and allow sores areas to heal faster.
5. Always practice good oral hygiene
Use the toothbrush you’re given to clean your teeth after every meal, and be sure to get the food that might get stuck in your brackets. Don’t forget to follow your normal routine of brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing on a regular basis. Getting into these habits early on in your journey with braces will help ensure that you don’t encounter any problems down the road.
Each person adapts to the discomfort of braces differently, but following these steps will make your journey to straight teeth much more enjoyable. Once you make it past the first few days, you won’t even notice your braces!