There’s a lot to know before getting braces started, but everyone should know these five things before getting started on their journey.
A lot of people may ask, does it hurt to get braces put on? The answer is absolutely not. There’s nothing that’s painful throughout the entire process. But there is one thing that’s a bit uncomfortable. When you get your braces on, cheek retractors will be used to stretch out your cheeks, it can make sure that your teeth stay nice and dry then the braces can attach to the teeth. This doesn’t hurt but it is a little bit uncomfortable especially if you have dry lips. So the first advice is if you’re getting your braces on today or the next couple of days, use some chapstick to make sure that your lips aren’t dry. Because these cheek retractors don’t hurt but if you can imagine your lips are going to be dry and stretched out. It’s a long process your lips are going to be stretched open, your mouth is going to be dry. So get some chapstick and make sure that your lips are nice and hydrated before getting your braces on.
Once you get your braces on, they can get caught on your cheeks and on your lips and that can lead to sores. So the second thing you should know is to get lots of wax for your mouth. These little catches can lead to little cuts and sores inside of your mouth which are a little bit uncomfortable. This is also something that might be going on throughout your braces journey, but a little bit more on the front end, until your cheeks and lips get a little bit more calloused and don’t get caught on the braces so easily. The best way to apply this wax is by making sure that your braces are nice and dry. You can do this by using a clean paper towel dry off the braces, roll a piece of wax into a ball and stick it onto the dry brace. The wax should be used on any hooks or pokey wires that you have in your mouth until your cheeks and lips get used to it.
For about a first week when you get your braces adjusted, your teeth are going to feel a little bit tender. A lot of people call this the braces pain but I like to call it a tenderness or a bruised feeling when your teeth start moving the way braces work. It creates inflammation around the tooth’s root which allows for the bone to be remodeled and your teeth can be moved through the bone. This inflammation is like a feeling of your teeth being bruised. It makes it hard to bite into things or chew on things, so there’s a little bit of braces discomfort that happens at your first visit as well as every adjustment moving forward. So the third thing I recommend to do before visit is have a full meal and take a Tylenol with it. So that you won’t experience discomfort comes with the braces tightening and you’re not going to be hungry for a couple of hours. Most of the discomfort happens in the first couple of hours the first day or two, after that your teeth will feel a lot better and every adjustment just gets easier moving forward.
The next thing is, hygiene is important with braces. It is critical when you’re in your braces journey because there’s a lot more hardware in your mouth that’s where food can accumulate, which leads to plaque, bacteria, cavities and gum disease. Make sure that your teeth are staying super clean throughout this process. The things that I recommend everyone have is an electric toothbrush. I also recommend everyone have a water flosser to dislodge plaque or bacteria that build up between the teeth and the braces.
The last thing that you should know about before getting your braces on is go and enjoy all the foods that you’re not going to be allowed to eat throughout your braces journey. Sticky hard, crunchy or chewy things can basically break the braces off of your teeth or bind onto your braces and you have an increased risk of cavities. Be aware that when you get your braces on, you’re going to have a limited diet and this is to help you out again with the hygiene and the diet minimize your risk of cavities, bracket breakages and basically make your braces journey as smoothly as possible. Cavities, broken brackets, puffy gums and poor hygiene will extend the length of your treatment and keep you in braces for longer. Please follow your orthodontist instructions to make your process as smooth as possible.