Getting braces is so common these days, it’s almost like a right of passage. It’s not so much a matter of if, but when. The first days in braces are the most difficult, but after the initial adjustment they are barely noticeable. Whether you’re getting braces put on soon, or you had them put on recently, you may be wondering what to expect in these first few days. Here’s an overview of the first days to a week in braces to help you feel more prepared.
Day 1: Getting Braces Put On
On the day of your appointment you’ll have your braces put on. The process may take between 20-30 minutes depending on how many teeth are being fitted with brackets. Each bracket is attached to the tooth with a special orthodontic adhesive. Then an archwire connects the brackets and is used to shift the teeth.
When the process is complete you will be given instructions on how to brush and floss your teeth with your braces on and how to manage any discomfort you may feel. Following your appointment it would be a good idea to eat something before your teeth start to feel the effects of the braces.
Day 2: Managing Discomfort
The next day you will likely feel a bit of discomfort because the braces have started to shift your teeth. If you feel any pain, it is usually manageable with over the counter pain relievers. You may need to eat soft foods as chewing could be difficult. Yogurt, mashed potatoes, soup, and smoothies are all good options.
If the brackets are irritating the insides of your cheeks and lips, it helps to use orthodontic wax. Your orthodontist will most likely provide wax on the day you get your braces put on. Simply smooth the wax over the brackets to prevent irritation. Over the counter pain relievers will also help with cheek irritation as well as oral anesthetics like orajel (benzocaine).
Day 3-5: Getting Used to Your Braces
By the third day you should be starting to get used to your braces. You may still have some discomfort, but it should be significantly reduced by day 5. In no more than a week you should be able to eat normally again without any pain or discomfort. Your cheeks and lips should also be used to the brackets so you don’t experience any irritation. Occasionally you may have a wire that rubs or something that causes a certain bracket to bother you, but this will be much less common over time.
Brushing and Flossing With Braces
It is very important to take good care of your teeth while you have braces. Braces can increase the risk of tooth decay because they provide food and plaque with a place to gather. Be sure to brush very thoroughly at least twice a day, especially along the gum line between your brackets and your gums.
You should also floss twice a day. Flossing with braces can be a bit challenging, but there are many tools available to make it easier. You can thread string floss under your archwire between each bracket either by hand or with a flossing needle. Superfloss is available with a reinforced end for easy threading. There are also specialized flossers designed to fit under your archwire and between the teeth. Your orthodontist will most likely provide you with some of these tools.
Smith Orthodontics Provides Braces for Children, Teens, and Adults
There is no minimum or maximum age to get braces. It is most common in older children and teenagers, but adults can also get braces to straighten their teeth and correct orthodontic issues. Smith Orthodontics provides braces for patients of all ages. We do our best to supply you with everything you need for your first days in braces to make you as comfortable as possible.
Call 937-431-0947 today to schedule a consultation or request an appointment. We look forward to helping you transform your smile.