For the first few days following placement of your braces, you may notice the following:
- You may be salivating more than usual. This is because your body detects foreign objects in your mouth (i.e. your braces). Although this can last up to a few hours, usually the body adjusts within about 20 minutes.
- The braces will feel strange to your lips and tongue. You can wiggle your lips or feel around with your tongue to get used to them. After a few days, your mouth will adjust.
General guidelines following placement of your braces:
- It is fine to eat right after you leave our office. However, we recommend that you stick with softer foods for the first few days as you get used to eating with your new braces.
- There are some foods that are never okay to eat while wearing braces. Please avoid eating hard or sticky foods during your orthodontic treatment, and never chew on ice as it can damage both your teeth in addition to your braces. These foods can damage your braces, causing you to need additional appointments and potentially extending your overall treatment time. Be sure to follow all guidelines you receive from our office.
- If areas on your cheek become particularly irritated, you can place dental wax over the bracket in the area to allow the tissue to heal.
- Brush your teeth at least in the morning and at night, and ideally after every meal. For the first few days, check your braces in the mirror after brushing to ensure that you have removed all food particles. For a child with braces, it can be helpful for an adult to check the braces after the child brushes just to make sure that the braces have been cleaned thoroughly. There may be one or two areas that the child might frequently miss, and if these are identified right away, the child can develop good, thorough brushing habits from the start.
- Flossing is an important part of good oral hygiene. With braces it may take a little more time and practice, and a floss threader may be necessary to get the floss under the arch wire.
- During orthodontic treatment, try to avoid soft drinks, if at all possible. The combination of acid and sugar in soft drinks can weaken tooth enamel and cause cavities. If you must drink soft drinks, use a straw and drink them with a meal. Be sure to brush right away after drinking a soft drink; if you can’t brush right away, at least rinse with water.
- Most patients are only sore for a few days following placement of braces and do not need medication for pain. If soreness is a problem, however, you can take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (such as Advil or Motrin) as long as you do not have any allergies to these types of medicine. Please check with your physician if you have special needs or if there are other medications that need to be taken into consideration.
Quick and Comfortable List
Remember to do these four things at every appointment to help your treatment go as quickly and comfortably as possible.
Use your tongue to check all around and make sure there are no wires poking out that could cause discomfort.
Following the instructions we give you at each appointment is a VERY IMPORTANT part of your orthodontic treatment. If you follow instructions, your treatment can move along much more quickly than if you do not do your part. Make sure you know what you need to do to follow all instructions to be ready for your next appointment. These may include directions about your elastics or headgear wear, expander adjustment or how to clean your orthodontics or how to eat. ASK QUESTIONS if you are not exactly sure about what you need to do or how to do it.
Make sure you have enough of the supplies you will need. This includes dental wax, elastic bands, or anything else you might need for your braces or device.
Make sure you know when your next appointment is, and be sure that it is scheduled before you leave our office. Waiting too long between appointments may cause your orthodontic treatment period to be longer than necessary.