June 8, 2022
Do you wish you had a straighter smile? One of the most effective ways to correct your bite is with traditional braces. By placing metal brackets and archwires to your pearly whites, your dentist can help shift them into a more ideal position to improve your dental health. While the results are promising, you may be wondering how you’ll manage your first week with braces. Read on to learn five tips to help you through the experience to ensure a smoother process!
Tip #1: Be Well-Informed About Your Treatment
Before leaving the dental office, make sure you speak with your dentist about the following:
- Wire ends: Use your fingers and tongue to verify that the wires don’t reach into places where they can harm your oral tissues like your cheeks and tongue.
- Double-check supplies: Make sure you ask for ample supplies like dental wax, elastic bands, cleaning aids, or other necessary materials before your next appointment.
- Understand your process: Ask plenty of questions so that you know what you need to do until you visit your dentist again, which may include using elastics, wearing headgear, or following certain hygiene techniques.
Tip #2: Avoid Certain Foods
You’ll be able to eat once you have your braces on. However, your mouth and teeth may be sore the first few days while they adjust. To minimize any discomfort, be sure to stick to softer foods such as pasta, soft veggies, pudding, yogurt, and soup. As the soreness fades after three to four days, you can gradually move to more solid meals. Stay clear of gum with sugar, as these can damage your teeth and braces.
Tip #3: Make Sure You Have Plenty of Dental Wax
Sometimes the metal brackets can rub on your oral tissues, irritating them while getting accustomed to your braces. For this reason, it’s best to use dental wax that your dentist will provide you to alleviate any mild discomfort. Your skin should gradually toughen so you won’t experience sore spots later on.
Tip #4: Rinse Your Mouth with Saltwater
If you are experiencing irritation in your mouth, then try rinsing with warm salt water for 30 seconds five or six times daily. The solution should be half a teaspoon of table salt to one cup of water. This will allow the sore spots to recover quicker and help relieve pain.
Tip #5: Maintain Proper Dental Hygiene
Be sure to clean your teeth after every meal, especially around your brackets. Food particles can easily get stuck between them and the wires, so it’s important to use your interdental brush to reach those areas. Practicing good oral hygiene will help you avoid any complications like cavities and infection during your treatment process.
With these few tips, you’ll be able to handle your first week with braces with little to no problems! And if you have any questions along the way, your dentist will be more than happy to help.
About the Author
Dr. Connie Lai earned her dental doctorate from the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine. She also regularly seeks continuing education and is Board-Certified by the American Board of Orthodontics. She offers multiple advanced treatments, including traditional braces to improve your smile. If you’d like to know more about braces, visit her website or call 732-582-4224.
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