Braces won’t change your life that much – you just have to pay attention to keeping your mouth clean and being careful about some foods.
The good news is that having your braces put on is completely painless, but the first few days of wearing them can be a bit achy. The aching is caused by the pressure of the teeth being pulled, but it subsides as they begin to shift. It’s quite normal for the soreness to last for two to three days, but you can take over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol to reduce the discomfort. Warm drinks also help.
The inside of your mouth is very sensitive, and although the braces are designed to be as comfortable as possible, some people find that the brackets scratch the insides of their lips and cheeks. Your mouth will get used to it fairly quickly, but in the meantime you can mould some soft wax over the irritating parts. The smooth wax feels good on a sore spot – and it can even be flavoured!
Braces provide great places for food to hide and get stuck, so while you’re going through orthodontic treatment it becomes even more important to look after your teeth and gums. You really want to keep plaque from building up around the gum line as this can lead to gum disease.
Try to brush after every meal; we’ll show you how (it’s a bit harder with all those wires!). If you’re out for lunch and forget your toothbrush, have a good rinse-and-spit to dislodge any food.
It’s best to visit your dentist every six months while your braces are on, and avoid sugary foods and fizzy drinks.
Having braces doesn’t mean you have to stop eating most foods, but you do have to be aware of what you eat. Hard foods such as apples and carrots can snap the brackets off when you bite into them and sticky chewy foods like toffee can stick to your braces. So be careful with nuts, avoid popcorn, chop hard foods into small pieces and chew slowly with your back teeth, and slice corn off the cob with a knife.
If you play sports, it’s also very important to protect your mouth while playing. Let us know, and we’ll provide you with a complimentary mouthguard to fit over your braces. A custom made mouthguard is an additional cost.
You’ll have appointments every few weeks to check up on and adjust your braces. But if you break something, don’t wait for your next appointment! We need to repair your braces as soon as possible, because broken fixtures can alter the pressure on your teeth and result in your needing to wear braces for longer. The broken parts can also hurt the inside of your mouth.
Breakages do happen, so contact us as soon as you can to arrange a repair appointment.