There’s an adjustment period for anything new in life.
Braces don’t just come with a cosmetic adjustment, they come with actual adjustments to the hardware. It can all take some getting used to, that’s for sure.
A good smile can help you feel more confident and lead to improvements in all aspects of your life. At Afdent, we’ve put together a list of tips to help you (or your child) survive life with braces.
1. CHECK YOUR SUPPLIES BEFORE YOU LEAVE
You want to make sure you have everything you need before you take off from our office.
- Use your finger or tongue to check for areas where wire may poke you.
- Make sure you ask any last-minute questions and that you understand what comes next on your journey with braces.
- Make sure you have enough supplies – like wax, rubber bands, and cleaning supplies – to get you through until your next scheduled appointment.
2. THE FIRST WEEK IS THE HARDEST
We’re not kidding when we say that the first week will be the most challenging for you. Your mouth will feel sore and uncomfortable. There’s no way around it with all the new hardware in there starting to move your teeth. Gargling a little salt water can help with some of the pain in the early stages.
But humans are adaptable. It won’t be long before you become accustomed to wearing them; you’ll be brushing and flossing around them like a pro!
3. KNOW WHAT YOU CAN (AND CANNOT) EAT
This can be one of the hardest things to prepare for.
You’re going to have to start avoiding certain foods – ones that are sticky, chewy, or hard – so you don’t damage your braces. There’s no cheating on this one, no matter how much you’re craving that popcorn, or caramel, or pizza crust.
Your braces can come loose, food can get stuck in impossible to remove places, or your wires can pop off, which results in a not-so-fun emergency visit.
4. AVOID CERTAIN DRINKS
Your teeth and your braces can become stained by some dark-colored drinks like coffee, tea, and cola. This can create white spots where your braces are once you get your braces removed.
5. BECOME FRIENDS WITH WAX
Your new braces are going to rub against the inside of your mouth, and it can get sore and irritated.
The braces are designed to be gentle to your mouth, but it will take some getting used to. Wax can help ease the discomfort as your mouth toughens up. Simply cover the brackets or wires with a bit of wax and it’ll feel a lot better. Keep wax on hand with you everywhere you go if you can.
6. BRUSH AND FLOSS REGULARLY
Brushing and flossing your teeth is important, but it becomes even more important (and challenging) when you have braces.
It’s much easier for food to get stuck or lodged in the nooks and crannies of your new metal brackets. You need to take more particular care to thoroughly clean your teeth and prevent harmful bacteria from living in your mouth and creating cavities.
It’s recommended you clean your teeth after EVERY meal when you wear braces.
7. PROTECT YOUR TEETH WITH A MOUTHGUARD
If you play sports, exercise, or engage in activities where you might bump your mouth and damage your braces, you’re going to want a mouthguard.
Bumps and falls can do a lot more damage – like cuts, bleeding gums, popped wires, or loose teeth – to your mouth when it’s full of metal brackets and wires. These injuries are preventable in most cases by simply wearing a mouthguard.
8. WHEN IN DOUBT, GIVE US A CALL
Don’t be afraid to call Afdent if something happens with your braces.
If brackets or wires pop loose or things don’t feel quite right in your mouth, don’t try to solve the issue on your own. Dr. Pecina and our team of orthodontic assistants are trained to make the proper adjustments and can talk you through any concerns you may have.
9. BE PROUD OF YOUR BRACES
Your braces are going to be with you for an extended period of time. There’s no need to be ashamed or embarrassed that you’ve got them.
We can change the color of your bands during any of your visits, so don’t be afraid to change it up with the seasons or show off your personality with different colors. Remember that braces are a big investment into your beautiful smile, so you should be proud of them!