You may have heard horror stories about the first week with braces, but chances are it won’t be anything like what you may hear.
We’ll be honest — the first week is going to be the roughest. Your teeth may be sore for a few days, and having a bunch of brackets and wires in your mouth all the time is just going to feel WEIRD.
The good news is, you will get used to wearing braces quicker than you might think. The soreness will heal, and your lips, cheeks, and tongue will toughen up and feel more normal after the first week or so.
Just in case, here are a few tips to get you through that first week.
Check Before You Go
When you come to Freeman Orthodontics, we will prepare you for your braces before, during, and after installation. Before you leave, we’ll make sure you have plenty of dental wax, elastics, and whatever else you might need from us.
However, it’s a good idea to check your new braces before you leave. Let us know if you feel any wires that are poking out that could hurt your cheek or tongue. We want to be sure your braces are as comfortable as possible before you leave.
Grab Some Soft Foods
Your teeth are going to be sore the first week, so stock up on soft foods. Mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, cottage cheese, soups, soft bread, soft fruit, yogurt, smoothies, and cooked vegetables are some of the foods that might go easy on your teeth the first week.
Use Dental Wax
We’ll give you dental wax to take home with you. You can use it over brackets that are particularly abrasive against your cheek or tongue.
It’s easy to use: Simply take a small piece, roll it into a ball and place it gently over the troublesome bracket. Press lightly until you mold it over the bracket and secure it into place.
As your cheeks and tongue get used to the braces, you’ll need the dental wax less, but keep some around in case of emergencies.
Brush and Floss Gently
Your teeth might be sore, but you still need to brush and floss regularly. We’ll give you pointers on how to brush and floss properly with your new braces. You’ll need to use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
Remember, you don’t have to brush hard to get your teeth clean. Gentle brushing works just as well, and you won’t make the soreness worse.
Rinse With Saltwater
The first couple of days after getting braces may be the most difficult. Rinsing with a warm saltwater solution may help.
Add ½ teaspoon of table salt to a cup of warm water and stir so the salt dissolves. Swish it around your mouth well for about 30 seconds and spit it out. Repeat this as many times a day as needed. That should bring some relief.
Use an OTC Pain Reliever
If the soreness gets too intense, you can use an over-the-counter pain reliever such as acetaminophen (aspirin) or ibuprofen to relieve the pain. Take the pain reliever as directed on the bottle. You shouldn’t need pain relievers for more than three or four days. After that, the pain should be manageable without them.
Don’t Worry About Loose Teeth
If there’s anything that worries new patients, it’s the feeling of loose teeth the first few days after getting braces. This is normal. Your teeth need to loosen slightly so they can move. The braces will put pressure on the teeth that will cause them to loosen slightly.
It may feel strange, but don’t worry! Your teeth aren’t going anywhere, especially with wires and brackets holding them in place! Meanwhile, the braces will straighten your teeth slowly over time.
After several days, they should tighten up a bit again. If you have any teeth that do feel very loose after several days, feel free to give us a call.
We’re Here to Help
Freeman Orthodontics serves San Jose and The Bay area with orthodontic care for children, teenagers, and adults. We know getting braces can be a unique experience, and you will have a lot of questions. Dr. Freeman and the team are ready to answer your questions and guide you through not only your first week but your entire treatment.
Once you’ve made it past the first week, your treatment should get easier every day. Just remember, the result will be worth it — you will come away with the smile of your dreams!