Life With Braces
Life With Braces – What to Expect
Far too often, people stay away from getting braces because they fear the process will significantly change their lives. The good news, however, is that’s not necessarily true! In reality, braces should play a very small role in impacting your day to day life. Thanks to advancements in orthodontic treatment, wearing braces everyday is easier than ever, and they don’t have the negative impact on daily living that you may have wondered about. Here’s what to expect the first few days after getting your braces and throughout treatment.
Contrary to belief, the act of getting the braces glued on your teeth and wires placed actually does not hurt at all! When you get your braces and when you leave the office you will not be in any discomfort. However, for the first night and for a few days after there will be general soreness of the teeth. This is usually alleviated by using warm salt water rinses or placing cold foods in the mouth. The cold foods actually deactivate our wires to make the teeth less sore! You could also take over the counter pain medications every 4-6 hours until the discomfort goes away. This typically takes a few days, but some of our patients tell us they didn’t feel any discomfort at all.
Orthodontic First Aid – What to do in case of an emergency
If a brace or wire becomes loose, it is best to view our office video called “Emergencies” first. Usually that will give you enough information to make you feel comfortable. If you do need to come in to the office for a visit, be sure to call us first so we can create a time for you. This will allow us to set aside enough time for the needed procedure to ensure that everything is repaired. If you have a scheduled visit coming up, please call us in advance to let us know that there is something that needs repair as well.
Loose Bracket or Wires
Sometimes during treatment a bracket or wire can become loose. Do not be alarmed. If this happens, please call our office to describe the situation and we will give you instructions. In the mean time, below are some tips to help you manage the situation:
Loose Bracket or Band: Call our office for advice if this happens. Depending on your stage in treatment it may need to be replaced as soon as possible. Most often there is very little discomfort with this situation and orthodontic wax will most commonly take care of any irritation until you can get into the office.
Loose or Poking Wire: Usually orthodontic wax can act as a “band-aid” to relieve any discomfort. However, if that does not work, you may use a blunt instrument (eg. the eraser end of a pencil) to push the wire away from the effected area. If this happens, call our office and we will get you in for an appointment to check and repair the broken/poking appliances.
Brushing and Flossing
When you have braces, brushing and flossing is more important than ever. Braces do not cause decay or staining of the teeth. However, in the presence of poor oral hygiene, it can cause permanent staining on the teeth, tooth decay or gum disease. It is very important to brush your teeth for two minutes after every meal.
Flossing your teeth is just as important as brushing. It is recommended that you floss once per day to maintain optimal oral health as you are undergoing your orthodontic treatment.
For proper brushing and flossing techniques, please click here to view our video that we have created especially for you.
Eating with Braces
For the first day or two with braces, you should stick to a softer diet; but moving your teeth by chewing frequently will reduce the discomfort and the duration of the discomfort. In general, you should avoid hard or sticky foods that increase the chances of loosening braces or causing poking or broken wires. In addition, you should be cautious of eating foods with a high sugar content, they can increase the chances of tooth decay and gum disease. Below are some foods to avoid when in braces:
Sticky Foods (These foods should be avoided): Toffee, Starburst, Licorice, Skittles, Sour Keys or other foods like these.
Hard Foods (These foods can be eaten, but must be cut up into smaller pieces): Apples, Hard breads, Carrots, Tough pieces of meat, Meat on a bone, Corn on the cob