Your First Week with Braces – Tips for a Smooth Transition

The first few days and weeks with braces require a bit of an adjustment for your mouth. Where there were simply teeth, now your mouth is adjusting to the metal brackets and wires that are rubbing against your cheeks and lips. However, the bit of discomfort and adjustment you experience at the beginning will turn into a new smile anyone would be proud of in the end.

In order for a smooth transition, we compiled a list of tips to use when you first get your braces put on.

1. Leave the Office Prepared

Before you leave the office, do a quick check of your new hardware. Make sure there aren’t any wires sticking or poking out that will cause you any additional discomfort. You’ll also want to double check you have any or all of the supplies you may need, including elastic bands and dental wax.

2. Watch What You Eat

When you first get your braces on, you may want to stick to softer foods while your mouth adjusts. After about 4 days, the soreness will subside, and you can add solid foods back into the mix. Braces technology has come a long way, but some foods still pose a threat to your new hardware. Here’s a quick list of foods you’ll want to avoid while you have braces: ice, popcorn, gum, nuts, crunchy fruit and vegetables, bagels, hard candy and corn on the cob.

3. Use Your Wax

Although your new brackets were designed to be gentle, you may experience some irritation while the soft skin in your mouth gets used to them. Use the dental wax you were given and put it on your bracket until your skin toughens up.

4. Salt Rinses Are Your Friend

Salt water rinses date back to 1600 BC and they’re still used today for a reason. They not only reduce dental bacteria, but can promote healing as well. If you’re experiencing a significant amount of irritation, sores or pain, try doing a salt rinse five times a day for 30 seconds at a time. You can make your own salt mouth rinse at home by mixing ½ a teaspoon of salt with a cup of warm water.

5. Stay On Top of Your Oral Hygiene

Give your braces the best environment possible to prevent any problems down the road. You’ll want to start brushing your teeth after every meal to get rid of any food debris that might get stuck in your wires or brackets. It’s also important to keep up on your traditional routine of brushing morning and night and flossing regularly.

Everyone’s experience with braces is different; regardless, after your first few days with braces, you’ll forget they’re even there. If you have any questions regarding braces, or think you’re experiencing more discomfort than normal, please contact our office.