Feeling nervous about your first week with braces? Every day, we provide multiple patients with metal braces in Metairie, LA. Our friendly staff at Maldonado Orthodontics can put your mind at ease.
Metal braces earned a negative reputation when many Hollywood films portrayed people who have them as unsightly or nerdy, but you can enjoy a seamless experience with modern metal braces. You just have to surmount that initial week. Learn how to make the first days easier below.
Preparing for Your First Week With Braces
Your experience with metal braces begins with a bonding appointment, during which the orthodontist will clean your teeth and attach the braces. After gluing the brackets to your teeth, they’ll add the archwires and elastics to slowly shift your teeth into place.
Then, you’ll become one of 3 million Canadian or American teenagers with braces, so you aren’t alone in this new experience! Make your first week easier with the following tips.
Expect Some Discomfort
Although braces shouldn’t cause any severe pain, you might experience some discomfort and tooth sensitivity within the first few days. The discomfort should gradually wane with each passing day. This sensitivity should only last about a week.
If you experience prolonged or intense pain, contact your orthodontist. You should report and discuss any discomfort beyond waning tooth sensitivity.
Collect the following supplies before going to your bonding appointment:
- Soft foods to help with aching teeth
- Orthodontic relief wax
- Room-temperature or cold drinks
- Sugar-free gum
- Over-the-counter pain relievers
These items will help you circumvent tooth sensitivity during the first few days. Most orthodontists also recommend you take a dose of pain reliever before your bonding appointment.
Following your appointment, eat warm, mushy foods like mashed potatoes, pudding, scrambled eggs, and protein shakes. These foods provide enough sustenance to fuel you while keeping your mouth from overworking as it accommodates the braces. You can go back to your regular meal routine when the sensitivity recedes.
When To Use Wax
During your first week with braces, you might discover that the brackets rub against and irritate certain areas inside your mouth. Dental wax becomes a helpful tool for mitigating any rawness or irritation. Eventually, your mouth tissues will become used to these new pieces rubbing against them.
Until then, stick tiny wads of dental wax against the brackets, wires, and other parts causing the irritation. Wax prevents mouth sores from developing and worsening. You’ll also feel more comfortable with a smooth layer of wax between your sensitive tissues and the new metal components.
Practice Oral Hygiene Religiously
Proper oral hygiene is an essential part of everyone’s daily routine; however, it becomes even more critical for people with braces. Food can become lodged under archwires and between the brackets. Plus, you might struggle to remove food between your teeth if the wires get in the way.
Combat cavities, bad breath, and related issues by brushing after every meal. If you don’t have a toothbrush, rinse with water or mouthwash. These products keep your breath fresh and prevent bacteria from flourishing in tiny spaces around the hardware.
Create a Care Kit
Finally, put together a care kit to facilitate healthy oral hygiene throughout your journey with braces. Your kit should include:
- Floss: You can find certain floss products designed for braces.
- A small bottle of mouthwash: Mouthwash touches everything, killing all bacteria in its path.
- Travel-size toothbrush and toothpaste: People with braces have a higher risk of developing cavities. Brushing your teeth following meals prevents these issues.
- Dental wax: Sometimes, a sore spot sneaks up on you. Keep wax ready.
- Interproximal brushes: These brushes push between your teeth, eliminating hard-to-reach substances.
- Mirror: Check your teeth following meals and snacks for remnants.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Maldonado Orthodontics
During your free consultation at Maldonado Orthodontics, our orthodontist will answer questions about braces and provide more information about your first week with braces. Schedule an appointment today by calling our Metairie office at (504) 455-5581.