1. When can I expect soreness to go away?
The day that you get your braces on, you will probably just notice the odd feeling of having something taking up more room in your mouth. The second and third days of wearing braces are usually your greatest adjustment days and when you might experience some soreness, if you are to experience any at all. After the third day, braces should seem to become a normal part of your life! The degree of soreness that each patient experiences varies from having very little effect to a more significant one.
2. What can I do to help my discomfort?
Our main recommendation for soreness relief is Tylenol, which contains acetaminophen. Take the recommended amount for your age and size. Dr. Davis prefers that patients stay away from ibuprofen, the main ingredient in Advil and Motrin, because it slows down tooth movement. As braces come with certain food restrictions, our office has also provided you with some homemade, tried-and-true soothing recipes to help ease your discomfort and satisfy your stomach in the process.
3. What if my braces break or become loose?
Your braces are applied to your teeth with special “tooth glue”, which means that in rare occurrences brackets can dislodge themselves after your braces are applied. Just give the office a call should this happen and we will re-affix your brace. It should not be a large matter of worry and seldom recurs.
4. What if my mouth develops sore spots?
Your teeth are not the only ones adjusting to having new appliances in your mouth – your cheeks and tongue are, too. As you get used to your new braces, brief sore spots may develop inside your mouth, which can be quickly and easily relieved with orthodontic wax. We provide you with orthodontic wax in your initial “braces bag”, our customized kit for braces. Remember that your mouth is adjusting and will soon cease to be irritated by your braces.
The best method for using orthodontic wax is to break off a small amount and roll it between your fingers – the friction will warm and soften it to better shape around your bracket. Dry the area of your braces that you wish to apply the wax to, and then firmly press the wax onto the metal. When the irritating part of your wire or bracket is covered with wax, your mouth should quickly heal itself. If discomfort persists, give Dr. Davis’ office a call and we will help make you more comfortable.
5. What is the proper way to care for my braces?
We will give you the tools you need to have a successful orthodontic experience, but you play an equally important role. On the day that your braces are put on, you will receive a “braces bag” with a travel toothbrush, floss and floss threaders, orthodontic wax, sugar-free gum, a proxy brush and instructions to care for your orthodontic appliance, as well as a few fun surprises to bring a smile to your face! It is important to brush your teeth after meals, even when you are not at home. The travel toothbrush fits well in a purse or backpack. Flossing plays a big role in your dental health and floss threaders make flossing with braces much easier. It is more important during orthodontic treatment than ever to keep your teeth plaque-free and your gums healthy. Not doing so can cause cavities, swollen gums, or tooth discoloration – yuck! We want you to have beautiful, strong, healthy teeth during and after treatment, and we’re sure you do also.
6. What can I eat now?
There are very few diet restrictions that come with orthodontic treatment, but it is important that they be followed carefully. Hard foods like nuts and French bread, sticky candies, and ice cubes have the potential to damage your orthodontic appliances. We will supply you with a complete list, and our foods to avoid with braces page is always accessible online. When in doubt, it is best to ask us. Other than these, you are free to enjoy the same diet that you always have!