If you’re considering having braces put on, you might be a bit apprehensive about the whole thing. Braces have a reputation for initial discomfort, but it really doesn’t have to be that way. They can definitely be overwhelming, but you’ll be more than prepared if you arm yourself with some tips and tricks to make it all go a bit more smoothly.
- Take Photos
First things first, take a before photo of your teeth so you can watch your progress! This’ll make the whole process much more satisfying.
- Take it Easy
Right after you put the camera down, make sure you have some Advil on hand. You’ll want to take this in the hours before your “braces on” appointment. Though you shouldn’t expect too much pain during the actual operation, Advil will make sure of that and also help with some of the discomfort during the first few days of braces.
- No Rubbing
The first week of braces is likely to be the most troublesome. Luckily, there’s a lot you can do to help combat the discomfort and pain that comes with your body adjusting to a new change. One of the first things you’ll notice will be the places where your braces rub your lips or cheeks. Your orthodontist should provide you with some wax to use here; just rub it on the irritated areas (Anbesol can help too). Remember that if you can feel it rubbing, the area’s likely already irritated so you’ll want to be quick and liberal with the use of your wax.
- Continued Care
For pain caused by tooth movement, Ibuprofen’s probably going to be your best bet for relief because it helps alleviate inflammation. While most bottles recommend 400 mg (two capsules), taking 800 mg (4 capsules) can be more than seven times as effective. As long as you make sure not to take more than 3200 mg (4 x 800 mg doses) in a day, you’ll be just fine. Take it regularly for the first few days to stay on top of the pain. After that, just take it when your mouth tells you to.
- Soothe Soreness
No matter how much you combat the pain, your mouth is still probably going to feel pretty sore. Try rinsing your mouth out with salt water twice a day to help heal your irritated lips and cheeks. This will also help to keep your brackets and wires clean of food build-up. Also, it’ll remind you of the ocean… maybe.
Speaking of food, you’ve probably already heard that you’ll want to avoid anything too hard or tough to bite into. This is especially important in the first few weeks since, to start, the wire on your braces will be quite thin before your orthodontist moved to larger wires down the road. Soft foods and drinks like mashed potatoes and milkshakes will be your best friends (probably not together; that sounds disgusting). After a few weeks, you’ll get a good sense of what’s alright to eat and what you’ll need to avoid.
- Keep it Clean
After eating and drinking, make sure to keep your braces and teeth clean! Doing so will help you avoid problems later on–plus you’ll have better breath which is good for everyone. Improper hygiene can result in some nasty stains when your braces come off, so be diligent! Oral B and most other dental hygiene companies make toothbrushes that are designed to work especially for braces. You can also consider getting a Waterpik to be really thorough.
With these tips, you’ll be able to make your journey to wonderful teeth an easier one. While it’s completely normal for your braces to feel strange at first, you don’t have to subject yourself to any serious pain or discomfort. Without the worry, it’ll be much easier to look forward to your great teeth to come. And don’t forget, call us if you need anything!
Ready to straighten that smile? Give us a call at 423.870.5254 for Hixson and 423.332.5463 for Soddy Daisy.