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How to smile confidently – A guide to surviving the first week with braces
Today’s braces have evolved significantly, becoming more compact, comfortable, and efficient than they were in the past. Similarly, the issues that once troubled braces wearers are not a cause of concern anymore. Modern-day braces utilize ultra-light, sleek brackets and wires to enhance your experience. However, it’s important to be prepared for an initial adjustment period, as the first week with braces may have some challenges. This article provides essential information to navigate the early treatment days effectively.
Sensitivity in Your Teeth
- Before starting their orthodontic treatment, several patients are concerned about the duration of post-brace discomfort. However, it is reassuring to know that braces don’t cause significant pain. While patients commonly experience sensitivity and mild aching in their teeth and jaws, if you experience severe discomfort, contact your orthodontist to identify the problem.
This usually begins on the first braces day, a few hours after application. You may also feel sensitivity after your adjustment appointments. Fortunately, this discomfort is minor and goes away quickly. In addition, discomfort can be easily managed by taking an over-the-counter pain reliever like Tylenol and avoiding hard foods.
Irritation in Your Lips and Cheeks
- It’s normal to feel initial irritation inside your lips and cheeks due to the brackets and wires. With time, the soft tissues in your mouth will toughen up, and within the first few weeks, the hardware will no longer cause discomfort. It’s important to know that the braces do not cause mouth sores. Some individuals are more susceptible to mouth sores, and braces may exacerbate them.
To reduce irritation and address mouth sores, create a saltwater rinse by dissolving ½ teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Gargle with this solution and then spit it out. Repeat as necessary. If you have mouth sores, apply a small amount of topical anesthetic to a Q-tip and gently apply it to the sore. In addition, to prevent irritation in the first place, warm a small piece of orthodontic wax between your fingers and use it to cover the troublesome areas of your braces.
Dealing with Dry Mouth
- Braces can sometimes lead to a dry mouth in some patients. This happens in patients who, before their orthodontic treatment, may have a habit of constant gum chewing or frequent eating and drinking, both of which stimulate saliva production.
When these habits change, their mouths can feel dry. It’s essential to stay well-hydrated and sip water regularly to prevent this. If the issue persists, it may not be only related to braces and could indicate an underlying condition. Therefore, it’s advisable to inform your orthodontist.
You May Have to Relearn a Few Things
- When braces are first placed in your mouth, it’s natural for things to feel somewhat unfamiliar. You may need to adopt new techniques for brushing, flossing, and chewing. If you play a wind instrument, you’ll also need to adapt to performing with orthodontic hardware on your teeth.
While you won’t necessarily need to relearn these skills from scratch, the initial week with braces can be a period of adjustment. Your first week with braces begins an exciting journey toward a new smile. As time passes, you’ll become accustomed to having braces, and eventually, you’ll hardly notice them. Be patient during this transition, and contact your orthodontist if you have any questions.
Contact Icon Dental Orthodontics today to schedule an appointment with the best orthodontists in Seattle or Everett. Our expert dentists are dedicated to providing the best orthodontic treatment, from prevention and diagnosis to treatment and beyond. Trust us to help you achieve a healthier, more beautiful smile. For consultations or bookings, call us at (206) 225-2882 for Seattle and (425) 337-2400 for Everett appointments.