Getting braces is an exciting milestone in every patient’s life! In the first week of embarking on your journey toward the smile of your dreams, you may have a few questions about managing your orthodontic treatment. Braces are new to you, so we understand. That’s why our expert orthodontists are here to give you the best braces tips for navigating the first week of your new smile!
1. Use Orthodontic Wax
When you get your braces put on, you may notice some discomfort from the metal brackets rubbing on your cheek. Before you leave your initial orthodontic appointment, your orthodontist will send you home with orthodontic wax and instructions on how to use it.
Orthodontic wax is simply applied to the bracket or wire that is causing pain or discomfort and acts as a protective wax layer. Brackets are designed to be comfortable, but it is normal to need to get used to them being there. Orthodontic wax will help ease the discomfort and help you adjust to life with braces.
2. Maintain Good Oral Hygiene
When wearing braces, it is important to keep your teeth and gums clean. Brush your teeth twice a day as usual, being sure to get the tops and bottoms of your brackets. Our orthodontists recommend brushing your teeth after meals to keep food particles from settling in your teeth.
Flossing daily may look a little different, but it is just as important for your oral health when you have braces. Your orthodontist will supply you with a floss threader that will help you thread the floss through your braces wire and get in between your teeth. Keeping your teeth and braces clean during orthodontic treatment will ensure you have a happy and healthy smile when the braces come off.
3. Eat Braces-Friendly Food
During your first week of orthodontic treatment, you may experience some discomfort or mild pain from braces. When you first get your braces tightened, our orthodontists recommend soft, braces-friendly foods to help you feel comfortable while you adjust to your braces. Foods such as soup, mashed potatoes, soft breads, pasta, and ice cream are yummy, easy-to-eat foods that will keep your smile feeling great as your smile evolves.
4. Don’t Panic About Loose Teeth
If you notice your teeth feeling loose after getting your braces tightened, don’t fret, that is normal. You don’t have to worry about your teeth falling out. For your teeth to move, they may loosen during treatment so they can settle into their new positions. By the end of your treatment, your teeth will lock into place to create a new, straighter smile.
5. Talking with Your New Braces
With new appliances, wires, and metal brackets on your teeth, it’s normal to feel like you’re talking funny during the first week of braces. You may feel like you have a lisp or like your mouth moves differently when you speak. Continue to talk as much as possible and be patient with yourself. After the first few days, you’ll get used to talking with your braces and your speech will go back to normal.
6. How to Handle an Orthodontic Emergency
Although orthodontic emergencies are rare, they can happen. During orthodontic treatment, it’s more common to experience pain and discomfort than a true dental emergency, but it’s important to be prepared.
During the first week of having braces, it is normal and expected to feel soreness. This soreness can be alleviated with over-the-counter pain medications or an ice pack to reduce inflammation. An appropriate dose of ibuprofen or acetaminophen will provide quick pain relief and help you feel pain-free in no time.
If a bracket is broken, a band becomes loose, or you experience damage to your braces, contact your orthodontist to see if you need to make an appointment sooner. They will provide directions on maintaining the issue at home if an appointment is not necessary. If you have a poking wire or bracket causing discomfort, your orthodontist will instruct you on how to use orthodontic wax to ease any irritation until your next appointment.
Call Us with Questions
Specialists in Orthodontics Maryland is here to provide high-quality orthodontic care at every stage of your smile. Contact one of our convenient offices in Gambrill, Cross Keys, Laurel, Prince Frederick, or Potomac for questions about orthodontic treatment or to schedule a complimentary consultation!