You Got Your Braces. Now What?

woman with braces

After months of reflecting and consulting your orthodontist, you finally had your dental braces installed. You should be aware and prepared that your dental regimen will not be as easy as before. You now have to take care of your teeth and your dental braces. Improper oral care with braces can leave you with more serious dental problems.

If you just got your dental braces, you should discuss with your orthodontist how you can adequately take care of your teeth.

What to Do Before You Leave Your Orthodontist’s Clinic

To ensure that your braces are comfortable and the treatment will be effective, here are some things you should do before going home:

  • Make sure that no archwires are poking any area in your mouth. You can check this with your clean fingers and tongue.
  • Stock up on dental supplies that you need for your dental care at home.
  • Double-check what you need to do between appointments.
  • Be sure to book a schedule for your next appointment.

First Three Days After Placement

It is normal to feel uncomfortable in the first three days after the placement of your dental braces. You might feel some soreness and tenderness in your teeth. Your teeth are not yet used to the pressure of the archwire and the elastic ties. Your teeth are also just beginning the realignment process. Your dentist might prescribe you with over-the-counter pain relief medications along with salt water rinses. This will help alleviate the soreness that you will feel.

One Week After Placement

Five days to seven days after the placement of your dental braces, you should feel more comfortable. Eating should not be quite a chore anymore, although hard foods can still be hard to chew. You still need to avoid foods that your orthodontist advised you not to eat.

How to Care for Your Teeth

toothbrush with toothpaste

Your oral care regimen will be different now that you have your dental braces. Good oral hygiene is important more than ever. You do not want food bits and pieces to get stuck in your braces.

  • Brush your teeth properly. It is now easier for pesky food bits to get stuck in between your teeth and braces. Make sure to brush your teeth after every meal. Use a toothbrush that can reach hard-to-reach areas. Start by cleaning your gum line, then proceed to clean your brackets. There are special toothbrushes that you can use to ensure your teeth stay clean and healthy. Orthodontic toothbrushes are available to fit around your braces. You can use an interdental toothbrush to clean between your brackets and clean between the metal and your teeth.
  • Always floss. Flossing should always be part of your oral care regimen, with or without braces. Flossing helps remove plaque and smaller particles that brushing might miss. You can use floss threaders if traditional flosses are difficult for you.
  • Avoid forbidden foods. Your orthodontist will give you a list of foods to avoid while undergoing orthodontist treatment. Foods that are chewy, sticky, hard, and crunchy are off-limits. You need to avoid nail or pen chewing if it is a nervous habit of yours. It can bend or break your braces, which will be inconvenient for you. You should also avoid tea and sugary carbonated drinks that can stain your teeth. These stains can become permanent and will become more evident once your dental braces are removed.

Do Not Forget Your Appointment with Your Orthodontist

Your first orthodontist visit after your placement is essential. You will probably be having your first readjustment after a month or so. Readjustments ensure that your braces fit correctly. Your braces gradually move and realign your teeth. This is done through gentle stretching of the ligaments that attach your teeth to your jawbone.

The process of your teeth’s realignment is a continuous one. You will need to see your orthodontist at specific intervals for the readjustment of your archwires and bands. The number of required readjustments is unique per patient since each orthodontic problem is different from the other.

Your readjustment appointments will also allow your orthodontist to check on your progress. It is also the time to replace out of shape and damaged brackets, wires, and bands. If you have pressing worries and questions, you can bring them out in the open.

If you have dental braces, you should do everything that you can to make sure your treatment is successful and will result in a healthier smile. Make sure to stick to your oral care regimen. Be mindful of the food that you eat. Do not miss your appointments with your orthodontist. Keep these things in mind, and you will soon have a winning smile.

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