Braces are a significant step toward achieving a beautiful, aligned smile. While the end results are undeniably worth it, the initial days can present some challenges. Tenderness, adjustments, and getting used to the new hardware in your mouth can be a bit daunting. But, there’s no need to worry; with a few handy tips, you can ease your way into this journey. These simple tricks can help you manage any discomfort and adapt more quickly to your new braces.
1. Preemptively Manage the Discomfort with Pain Relievers
Though you shouldn’t experience intense pain, it’s common to feel some tenderness after your braces are first put on. This slight discomfort indicates that your braces are effectively working to realign your teeth. To get a jump start on managing this sensation, consider taking an over-the-counter pain reliever just before your braces are bonded. This way, the medication starts working by the time any pressure is felt. Remember, always follow dosage recommendations and if pain persists, don’t hesitate to contact your orthodontist.
2. Opt for Soft and Cold Food Items
Initially, you might wonder about the best foods to consume. Cold foods and drinks can be both soothing and easy on tender teeth. Some excellent choices include yogurt, smoothies, applesauce, and ripe bananas. These foods require minimal chewing, easing the adjustment process. Gradually, as you become accustomed to your braces, you can reintroduce regular foods into your diet, avoiding those that could harm your braces.
3. Keep Your Orthodontic Wax Within Reach
In the first week of wearing braces, the brackets and wires might cause some irritation inside your mouth. But don’t fret; orthodontic relief wax, often referred to as braces wax, can be a lifesaver. By applying this wax to any bothersome areas, you can prevent sores and irritation. And if you’re ever without your wax, sugarless chewing gum can be a temporary solution. Just ensure it’s sugarless to avoid cavities.
4. Consider a Saltwater Rinse
If you’re experiencing soreness or irritation, a warm saltwater rinse can offer relief. By dissolving half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water and swishing it in your mouth, you can accelerate healing and reduce discomfort. This age-old remedy is both effective and easy to prepare at home.
5. Emphasize Oral Hygiene with a Soft-Bristled Brush
With braces, it’s crucial to maintain impeccable oral hygiene as food particles can easily get trapped. Brushing after every meal and snack with fluoride toothpaste can ensure your teeth remain clean. A soft-bristled toothbrush is gentle on your tender teeth and gums. Plus, remember to floss once daily. It might take a bit of practice initially, but it’s essential for your dental health.
6. Always Wear a Mouthguard
If you’re involved in any sporting activities, a mouthguard becomes even more critical when you have braces. It not only protects your teeth but also prevents any damage to your braces. Getting hit in the mouth without one can cause significant discomfort and potentially prolong your orthodontic treatment.
7. Chew Sugarless Gum
Contrary to popular belief, chewing sugarless gum with braces is permissible. Not only does it not stick to your braces, but it also aids in oral hygiene. Chewing stimulates saliva production, washing away bacteria and food particles. Some studies even suggest that chewing gum can reduce pain after getting braces, making it a doubly beneficial practice.
8. Keep Your End Results in Mind
Undoubtedly, the first week with braces offers a learning curve. Yet, whenever you feel daunted, think of the dazzling smile awaiting you at the end of this journey. As you recall your commitment to a radiant grin, remember that post the initial adjustment phase, you’ll soon be adept at handling braces.
Braces are more than just a dental apparatus; they’re a journey toward a transformed, radiant smile. As you navigate the initial challenges, always remember the gleaming end goal. Every day brings you closer to that desired outcome.