You’re on the way towards a healthier, happier smile! Whether you just got braces or your appointment is right around the corner, new braces can make you a little anxious. We have tips for new braces wearers to help ease you into the transition.
Don’t Worry About Minor Discomfort
The first thing you’ll notice with your new braces is that they feel weird. You’ll need some time to get used to having braces in your mouth. It’s not a natural feeling – but it’s improving your oral health!
While it’s extremely common to feel some discomfort from braces at first, you will eventually get used to them. Don’t worry! After just a few days or few weeks, your body will start to get used to the feeling and you may even forget they’re there at all!
However, if you feel more than just discomfort, you may want to speak with your orthodontist. Braces shouldn’t hurt. They reposition your teeth very slowly over months, which avoids pressure that would be painful. When they hurt, it may mean you need an adjustment.
Work with Your Orthodontist
One of the biggest tips for new braces is to remember that they’re not a “set it and forget it” type treatment. Orthodontic treatment is a steady journey towards a healthier smile – one that involves you and your orthodontist.
You’ll need frequent adjustments as your treatment continues. This means you’ll be seeing your orthodontist often throughout the year. Don’t forget that they’re there to help you!
If you have issues or pains during your treatment, they can find ways to work around it. Perhaps they need to make an adjustment. They can make recommendations on how to handle issues you may have with your new braces.
Most importantly, they can make the transition into new braces and the entire journey until your treatment is over much smoother. The most important thing is that you don’t avoid them! Go to every scheduled visit and talk with your parents or orthodontist to schedule visits in-between if you need them.
Irritation in Your Mouth is Normal
In addition to the discomfort you may feel, your gums or lips may react to your new braces as well. This irritation is also common and typically goes away in a few days to a few weeks.
One type of irritation that may occur is a canker sore. These can happen anywhere in your mouth where your braces contact your inner lips, or around your gums. In many cases, canker sores will be sensitive to touch and will sting, especially if your braces rub against them.
If you have canker sores, you can help minimize the pain and risk of infection with a warm salt water rinse. There are also over-the-counter oral washes that help canker sores heal quickly.
Orthodontic wax is another potential solution to help reduce friction between your mouth and your braces. Your orthodontist may have some, or they can recommend you a brand and location to purchase for yourself. You should keep wax handy in a travel dental kit for emergencies!
Flossing is Even More Important
Do you floss every day? You should! Without flossing, you’re missing 40 percent of the surfaces of your teeth! But when you have braces, it becomes even more important.
First, your braces add more surfaces in your mouth for bacteria to hide. The longer these bacteria stay, the more damage they can do. Getting cavities with braces can be a detriment to your overall oral health.
Second, you want to protect yourself from developing gum disease. During orthodontic treatment, your teeth are gently shifted in your gums. Advanced periodontal disease can lead to pockets forming, leaving your teeth vulnerable to even more bacteria. You don’t want to deal with a tooth abscess – especially during an orthodontic treatment plan!
If you find flossing difficult with your braces, there are other options. Water flossers are convenient tools to floss without needing to thread floss between the tight gaps in your mouth. While flossing well is the most effective technique, water flossers come in at a close second. And they’re way better than not flossing at all!
Avoid Problem Foods
As your orthodontist probably explained at your first appointment, there are certain foods you shouldn’t eat when you’re wearing braces. These foods can damage your braces or get stuck in them and cause issues with bacteria and decay!
Primarily, this concerns sticky foods. Everything from chewy caramels to taffy and even dense breads like bagels! These tend to get trapped in your brackets or braces and can be difficult or annoying to clean.
Hard or crunchy foods are another issue. If carrots are your favorite vegetable, you’ll want to chop them into smaller pieces or cook them until they’re much softer. Popcorn is another notoriously bad food for braces. As you eat it, the hard bits of popcorn break down and kernels can hide in all sorts of places around your new braces!
If You Play Sports, Get an Orthodontic Mouth Guard
Do you play sports? If so, you’re probably used to wearing a mouth guard! Now that you have braces, you need to get a new one that’s properly designed for your new appliance!
The dangers of dental emergencies due to sports injuries grows even greater with braces. A sudden impact to your mouth from a ball or a wild elbow could let your braces cut the inside of your mouth! An orthodontic mouth guard protects your mouth from these injuries, while simultaneously reducing the chances that a fall or accidental hit may break them and require repairs.
Schedule an Appointment Today!
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