New braces can be an exciting and stressful time for any child or adult. A future of a more beautiful smile and better oral health can be hard to think about as you get adjusted to this new experience. Read on to learn tips for new braces and how to avoid common issues or concerns. With proper care and know-how, your time with braces with fly by and you can enjoy life with a newer, more perfect smile!
Eat Soft Foods for the First Few Days
You’ll need some time to get used to your new braces. One of the most common issues patients have with new braces is some discomfort or sensitivity when eating. We recommend you stick to softer foods for a few days, which will help you make the transition with as little discomfort as possible.
Some of the best foods you could eat are:
- Mashed potatoes
These foods will help you stay full without triggering any sensitivity with your teeth – they’re also perfectly safe to eat with braces!
Foods to Avoid:
While there are some foods that are safe to eat yet uncomfortable for those wearing new braces, there are also foods that you’ll want to avoid eating altogether.
These types of foods can be troublesome for your braces! In addition to being awful for teeth (as the sticky substances cling to teeth and lead to decay) they can get caught in your braces and be nearly impossible to clean off!
Avoid everything from caramels to fruit chews – and gum is off the table!
Hard candies and foods that require you to chew firmly to break them up can damage your brackets or wires. When your teeth are sensitive, these might be especially hard to eat anyway.
Don’t suck on hard candies either. You may absent-mindedly chew on them. Even if you resist that urge, keeping so much sugar in your mouth over a long time is terrible for your teeth.
You also need to avoid ice. It’s fine to have in your drinks, but leave it there! Chewing on ice is just as bad as chewing on any other hard food, and it can be very hard to avoid if you don’t actively think about it. Keep the ice in your cup or glass and everything will be fine!
You Can Ease New Braces Pain
During the early stages of your orthodontic treatment, your body will need time to adapt to the braces in your mouth and the new sensations they cause. In almost every case, patients will experience some discomfort. In some of these cases, that discomfort can advance to a noticeable pain.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to get braces pain relief during your treatment! Simple, homemade remedies will ease that pain and keep you on path to a newer, healthier smile:
- Apply an ice pack directly to any spot experiencing pain
- Rinse your mouth with salt water
- Use orthodontic wax to prevent abrasive discomfort
If these homemade solutions don’t do the trick, you can speak with your orthodontist to look into other avenues of pain relief. Oral anesthetics and pain relievers do exist, but like most medicines, you won’t want to take them without understanding what they do and how they work!
Pain relievers like ibuprofen are common enough, but speak with your orthodontist for recommendations on when to turn to oral anesthetics and which type might be best for you. Chances are, they may be able to help you ease the pain through adjustments or other methods before you need to turn to anesthetics.
Make Sure to Clean Your New Braces
Just like brushing your teeth, the new braces in your mouth must stay clean as well. However, cleaning your new braces can be a little difficult at first. You’ll need to keep an eye out for any food that may be caught in the brackets or wires. Like any food in your mouth, the longer it’s there, the more likely it can damage your enamel or gums.
Removable Appliance? Clean It Every Day!
If you don’t clean your aligners, they’ll become discolored and develop an odor due to the same bacteria you clean off your teeth! Despite only using each aligner for a few weeks, it’s critical that you take great care of them or you put yourself at risk for developing gum disease or decay. And it’s really gross!
Flossing Is Still Important
Braces make flossing a bit more difficult – but it’s just as important as it was before you had braces! There are several tools that can help you floss to keep the areas between your teeth clean. Floss threaders and interdental picks can help you reach areas that might be difficult to floss normally, due to the wires.
You need to floss around the wires to reach spots that may have trapped food. Without doing this, your enamel is at risk – which can lead to long-term decay and damage.
If you’re having trouble with flossing, ask Dr. Andy at your next appointment – he can give you tips and recommend tools that might help make it easier!
Don’t Skip Your Appointments
It’s never good to miss any medical appointment. When you’re in the process of orthodontic treatment, however, it’s critical not to miss a single one! Wearing braces is an on-going process. Your orthodontist needs to be able to track the process and make adjustments as necessary for treatment to go smoothly.
These appointments are also the perfect time to ask questions, raise any concerns you may have or to fill your orthodontist in on any pains or issues you may have noticed during the treatment. You only do yourself a disservice missing these appointments – and you could slow down the process, increasing the time required to complete your treatment!
Do You Play Sports? Get a Mouth Guard!
You always want to protect your teeth. Braces, especially traditional metal braces, add an extra layer of risk to athletic facial injuries. The brackets in your mouth can cause damage if they’re forced against the inside of your mouth.
Not only are mouth guards important for those wearing braces, you’ll want to invest in proper orthodontic mouth guards. These are more comfortable for those with traditional braces, and offer more protection to keep your mouth and braces safe from harm!
Do You Have Questions About Braces? – Schedule a Free Consultation
If you’re in need of braces, or have recently started orthodontic treatment, Dr. Andy can help answer your questions! You can find out how we can help by scheduling a free consultation! Contact us online or call 440-842-8015.
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