If you have decided that braces are the answer to your misaligned prayers, then you are one step closer to having the smile you've always dreamed of. However, you may not know exactly what to expect, and that can be a little overwhelming. Not to worry, we are going to walk you through the steps that come along with getting braces, starting with day one and help you understand what to expect during this process.
First Day with Braces
Once your brackets and wires are secured to your teeth, there are a few helpful steps to follow before leaving our office. This will ensure that your treatment is as comfortable and efficient as possible. Day one will set the scene for how your braces fit within your mouth, and we want you to walk out having any questions you may have answered.
- Check the wires before you leave to make sure there are no wires poking any area, which can cause genuine discomfort
- Make sure you understand what is expected of you in between visits. This can be anything from keeping up with daily oral hygiene (braces require extra attention to keep them clean) to knowing if you are required to make adjustments to elastics and palatal expanders
- Ask about specific diet obligations and requirements while wearing braces
- Schedule your next appointment with us before you leave the office. Delaying appointments puts you at risk for prolonged treatment
Dealing with Tenderness and Pain
Your teeth are not going to be happy that you are making them change their position inside your mouth. They will be sore, tender, and even sometimes painful, but not to worry, this means that the braces are doing their job. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help alleviate some of the soreness and the further into treatment you go, the less extreme that tenderness will be. You should feel a decrease in discomfort within the first couple weeks, and you will experience this discomfort each time you have your wires adjusted. However, don’t be alarmed, we are not trying to scare you, this is completely normal and really not so bad.
Whether you have metal braces or opt for Invisalign, having them adjusted every few weeks is key to how they will move your teeth into a straight position. Some will find this to be more uncomfortable than others, but (just like “dealing with tenderness and pain”) it becomes less severe over time.
This is common, so don’t freak out when a bracket becomes loose. But, keep in mind, there are ways to avoid this from happening. Stay away from chewing on things, such as hard candies or sticky things, like caramels and chewing gum.
Your mouth will not be used to all that new material setting up shop between your teeth and the lining of your cheeks. As you get comfortable with how they feel, you most likely will experience sores in your mouth from them rubbing on the inside of your mouth. As time goes on, your mouth and gums will adjust and sores will become less frequent. Orthodontic wax is available to cover the part of your braces causing the discomfort, which allows the sore to heal quickly.
Oral Hygiene with Braces
We will cover “best practices” when it comes to brushing and flossing while having braces. Brushing and flossing is more important than ever during this time. Bacteria loves to gather around brackets and wires, so paying extra attention during your daily routine is vital. Don’t skimp on brushing twice a day, in fact, you’ll need to brush more often to remove food that may be stuck in your brackets, floss at least once a day, and be sure to keep your dental appointments.
Whether you are an excited teenager navigating the world of adolescence or an adult who has decided that the time is right to straighten your teeth, braces have been giving people a reason to show off their pearly whites for years. Knowing what to expect going into this treatment can help alleviate some of the stress and anxiety that comes along with stepping foot into the unknown. If you have braces, know someone who does, or are looking to get them yourself, our office is here to give you the best treatment available. Contact us today and we will happily answer any questions you may have.