We’re proud to offer Kent families a positive and stress-free experience here at Freelove Orthodontics. We combine the latest technology with expert care to give patients the most comfortable and effective treatment possible, from traditional braces to clear aligners. As a leading provider of metal braces and Lightforce customized clear braces, our goal is to help you breeze right through the treatment process! Let’s take a look at some of our most trusted tips for getting through your first week in braces.
Plan out your snacks and meal ahead of time
Food restrictions can be one of the biggest learning curves with braces. To keep your appliance safe, you’ll need to avoid eating anything crunchy or chewy throughout the treatment process. This can be frustrating, especially in the early days. Stocking the kitchen with ortho-approved foods before you have your braces put on will help things go more smoothly!
Dr. Freelove and his team will outline what foods are on the safe list for braces, and you can use that as a general guideline for grocery shopping. Keep in mind, however, that the first week or so after your braces are placed may look a little different. That’s because your teeth will still be a bit sensitive, and your mouth may be sore. While this will resolve on its own in a day or two, you may find that sticking to soft foods and cold drinks helps relieve any discomfort. Soup, smoothies, applesauce, mashed potatoes, pudding, yogurt, and ice cream can all be great choices! Warm dishes are soothing, while colder items can help numb your mouth.
Speaking of soreness…
Many patients worry that wearing braces will be painful. Fortunately, modern braces are more comfortable and efficient than ever before! There won’t be any long-term pain associated with your treatment, but there might be times you’ll experience some mild discomfort or soreness. This often occurs right after your braces are put on and can sometimes follow adjustment appointments, too.
Any sensitivity will be temporary and should dissipate relatively quickly. If you’re worried about this, you can get ahead of any potential discomfort by taking an over-the-counter pain reliever right before your bonding appointment and before any adjustments. Be sure to check with Dr. Freelove first, though!
As mentioned above, sticking to soft foods and cold beverages can also help soothe a sore mouth. A warm washcloth or heating pad placed on the outside of your jaw may offer additional pain relief as well.
Try at-home remedies for minor irritations
It’s common to experience some irritation on the inside of your lips and cheeks during your first week in braces. As your mouth toughens up, these will disappear, but there are a couple of ways to find relief in the meantime. Saltwater rinses are an example of a home remedy that really works! To help relieve soreness, mix one teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, then swish it around your mouth for about 30 seconds before spitting it out. You can repeat this several times a day as needed.
If there are specific areas of your braces irritating the inside of your mouth, warm up a pea-sized piece of orthodontic wax between your fingers and put it on the places that are bothering you. This provides a barrier between your braces and the sensitive tissues inside your lips and cheeks. Just be sure to remove it when you’re brushing your teeth or eating, then reapply as needed.
Boost your dental hygiene routine
Brushing and flossing your teeth with braces also comes with a learning curve, but it’s important to stick with it since good oral health is an essential part of the treatment process. While it may feel awkward at first, you’ll have it down to a science in no time! Our team will instruct you on how to brush and floss correctly when we place your braces, but here are some helpful tips in case you need a reminder.
- Aim to brush your teeth in the morning, after meals and snacks, and every night before bed.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and moderate pressure.
- Use non-whitening fluoride toothpaste and brush for at least three minutes each time.
- When brushing, tilt your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and brush along the top and bottom of your brackets.
- Take care to brush the surface of every tooth and get in behind your molars. Don’t forget to give the gumline plenty of attention, too!
- If you’re out and about, rinse your mouth with water before and after eating, then brush as soon as you’re able to.
- Floss once daily.
In the beginning, you may find it difficult or time-consuming to use traditional floss with your braces. An orthodontic flosser or a floss threader can make the process a whole lot easier! Make sure you floss up and down the side of each tooth all the way up to the gums before moving on to the next teeth.
You should always use regular floss as described above, but tools like interproximal brushes can also be useful for getting into the nooks and crannies created by your brackets and wires. Waterpiks will help rinse away food particles in hard-to-reach places, leaving your teeth squeaky clean!
Keep things in perspective
Perspective is key during the treatment process. Like anything new, there will be an adjustment period with braces. It will take time for your tongue and lips to get used to the brackets and wires, and you’ll probably feel like your braces are very noticeable at first. But don’t get discouraged! You’ll get used to your braces quickly. Remember that nobody wears braces forever. Keep in mind that all your hard work will be more than worth it once your braces come off and we reveal your beautiful new smile!
Get the best smile possible with braces from Freelove Orthodontics
Now that you know what to expect from your first week in braces, we hope you’re feeling less nervous and more excited about what’s to come! Our team is committed to keeping the treatment process fun and stress-free. Dr. Freelove is always here to answer any questions you have about your braces journey or discuss any concerns you have about your treatment plan. Working as a team with us will give you a more positive experience overall and the best results!