Getting braces can be an exciting time, especially if you’re unhappy with your smile. These appliances will improve the functionality and alignment of your bite, but they’ll also greatly enhance your overall smile aesthetics. Unfortunately, however, the first several days of wearing them can be a bit of a challenge. The good news is that the five tips below will limit your discomfort and set the stage for a successful orthodontic treatment.
Load up on All of Your Favorite Soft Foods
If you have friends or family members who have worn braces before, you may have heard a few horror stories about how painful the first week of treatment is. In reality, however, most people feel increased sensitivity, slight loosening of their teeth, and slight friction-related pain at the gums and inner cheek. These things are normal, and most discomfort can be alleviated with mild, over-the-counter pain medication.
To limit abrasions on your mouth’s interior and avoid aggressive chewing motions that heighten tooth sensitivity, load up on all of your favorite soft foods. This is a great time to indulge in ice cream, pudding, yogurt, soft cheeses, soups, stews, oatmeal, and porridge. If you enjoy smoothies, stock the freezer with frozen berries, bananas, and mangoes, and then blend away. Eating softer foods will limit stress on your teeth as they adjust to this change, and they’ll also make brushing and flossing a lot easier.
Brush and Floss Regularly
Mild tooth pain may make you reticent to go about your normal oral hygiene. However, once you have braces put on, keeping your mouth clean is important. Daily brushing and flossing, and rinsing in-between meals will keep your teeth healthy and cavity-free while they’re being straightened. Moreover, if you grow lax in this area while waiting for the first week to pass, you may find sore, inflamed gums or even gums that bleed when you finally get around to brushing and flossing.
The orthodontist will show you proper brushing and flossing techniques for cleaning your teeth while your braces are on. If you find that your braces are incredibly uncomfortable during the first week, try switching to a brush with softer bristles, and use a water pick to clean between the teeth and at the gum-line.
Give Yourself Some Quick Relief With Dental Wax
Dental wax can come in handy during your first week with braces, especially if your braces are constantly rubbing against your inner lip or cheek. This will create a nice buffer between the metal brackets, wires, and soft tissues that line your mouth. If rubbing and chaffing are excessive, schedule an appointment to have your mouth inspected.
There’s nothing like the feeling of having all of your teeth loosen at once. This sensation shouldn’t cause panic. Slightly loosened teeth aren’t going to fall out. This is actually a sign that your treatment is working. For displaced teeth to gradually migrate to more ideal positions, they have to loosen first. Although this sensation is unnerving, it will diminish long before you have to adapt to it.
Flush Your Mouth With Warm Salt Water
Make a mild saltwater rinse whenever your mouth feels dry, irritated, or generally uncomfortable. This rinse is soothing, and it actually has the ability to promote healing in areas that are irritated or raw. Rinsing with salt water is also an excellent way to free up any trapped food debris that you’ve missed when brushing or flossing.
Although adjusting to braces can be uncomfortable, it should never be overwhelmingly uncomfortable. If you ever find yourself unable to focus on anything other than your discomfort, unable to eat, talk, or unable to clean your teeth normally, schedule a maintenance visit. Minor adjustments can be made to ensure that you aren’t dealing with any significant pain.
Ready to start your journey to a new smile? Schedule a complimentary consultation today!