How to Manage your First week of Braces
Before during and after your braces are placed, we will take you through the process and ensure that you are prepared. Braces can be uncomfortable during the first week or so, so we want to help you as much as we can to ensure that this discomfort isn’t unbearable.
If you get to a point where the discomfort is painful, don’t be afraid to say something, we can often provide you with a simple solution.
During your appointment, we will ensure that everything is correctly in place, including the wires. We will also take you through the aftercare process one more time, so you are prepared to care for your braces. We will make sure you have all the products you might need, including wax, cleaning aids and elastics should they be part of your treatment.
Use Pain Medication
The process of getting your teeth looking their best is inevitably uncomfortable. Your teeth and gums aren’t going to be familiar with the pressure that will be applied by the wires. It won’t last too long though, once your mouth adjusts, the pain will subside. To ease this, try some pain medication – paracetamol or ibuprofen are fine.
Avoid Hot and Cold Foods
Due to the pressure put on your gums, your mouth will most likely be experiencing increased blood flow, which can cause high sensitivity to hot and cold foods. If this is the case, it’s best to stick to foods and drinks that are about room temperature.
Eat Soft Foods
Again, your mouth is going to be more sensitive during the first week or so of having braces, which can make eating more difficult. This might mean you have to stick to soft foods. Opt for pasta, seedless bread, soft veggies, soups, yoghurts and ice creams. Now is a good time to treat yourself a little (but nothing too sugary!).
Get a Soft Bristle Toothbrush
You should always be using a soft toothbrush as hard bristles can cause more harm than good! This is particularly true for the first week of having braces, with heightened sensitivity, brushing is going to be an uncomfortable process, but please remember how important it is to brush regularly! This is why we recommend using a very gentle, soft toothbrush during this time.
We will provide you with some wax when you leave your appointment. The wax is designed to ease the rubbing of the brackets against the inside of your cheeks. Whilst brackets today are designed to be gentle on the skin, it’s a different texture to what your cheeks are used to, so it’s possible that rubbing is going to occur along with discomfort. Over time, this will ease, so in the meantime, the wax is a good solution.
Rinse your mouth with saltwater
Saltwater can help if you are struggling with significant pain from irritation. Rinse your mouth a few times a day for about 30 seconds with warm, salty water. This can help quicken the healing process and relieve some of the pain.
Always practice good oral hygiene
Finally, it’s important to always follow good oral hygiene practices, which will stop any bacteria build-up. We also have people worried about food getting stuck between their brackets, this can be prevented with a quick clean after each meal.
If you are concerned about the discomfort that braces can present, don’t be afraid to ask us about how to best manage the pain. It’s often easily managed and eases quickly.