- Deactivate the wire at home
The fact that these early wires that orthodontists use are made out of nickel-titanium and these wires have shape memory, which means that if you bend them, they’ll spring back to their original shape. But they spring back to this original shape more in warmer temperatures like in your mouth. You’re in these early orthodontic wires or you just got your braces on or an adjustment done recently and you’re having a little bit of discomfort, you could temporarily inactivate that wire in your mouth by drinking or eating colder foods, which will be useful at deactivating that wire for a little bit and giving you some relief from any braces discomfort. If you eat these cold things, be sure to rinse your mouth after and then brush about 20 minutes later to make sure that you don’t have any acidity or sugar lingering in the mouth.
2. Eat before your orthodontic adjustment
As you guys know, whenever you have an adjustment done with your braces, it doesn’t hurt when you’re in the office. But as time goes on throughout the day or into the evening, you might have a little bit of discomfort and that’s because the biology in your mouth is adapting to those new forces that your orthodontist put on your braces.
As you know, when you have this orthodontic discomfort, it’s a little bit tougher to eat foods that are a little bit stiffer or harder. To preempt all of this, eat before your adjustment or eat right after while your teeth are still not sensitive. By the time morning rolls around or the next day you should feel a lot better. It’s easier to start eating again. If you do get hungry again later on in the evening, be sure to have soft foods readily available so that you can eat them easily.
3. Don’t use your teeth as tools
If you need a scissor, go get a scissor. If you need to open up something, get a tool that’ll help you open up something. But don’t try to use your teeth to tear open bags. I thought this went without saying but I stand corrected. I had patients the other day that was tearing open a bag with their braces. Please don’t use your teeth as tools whether this is with braces or without but especially when you’re in braces. Because there’s so much more stuff in your mouth and you don’t want to break any brackets.
4. Always have wax available
If you have a sore on your lip, you can put a little ball of wax on the brackets that are irritating your lip and it’ll put you in a little bit of comfort for 10 to 15 minutes until it fades away and that’ll make your quality of life so much better. I remember these sores when I had braces. Make sure you have wax available to protect your lip from getting cut up.
If you want to take it to the next level, I do recommend rinsing with some warm salt water. That’ll help prevent bacterial overgrowth in that little area and make sure that it stays clean so your body can heal faster It’s a lot easier for dry lips to get caught on braces and lead to these sores.
I always do recommend keeping chapstick on board. It’s easy for your lips to get chapped on your braces because it’s a little bit harder to form like a lip seal. When you have braces that are pushing your lips away from your teeth. Always have some chapstick available, which will make it so that your adjustments are a lot less uncomfortable because your lips won’t be trapped and also for your regular day-to-day life. It’s really nice so that you don’t have dry lips while you’re going through the whole braces journey.
5. Have good oral hygiene
While you’re going through your braces journey, this is like the best tip I can give you. If you have puffy gums, you’ll have an increased risk of cavities.
A big life hack to prevent needing unnecessary emergencies, puffy gums, and cavities is to invest in the right tools to maintain the best oral hygiene possible like electric toothbrushes and water flossers.
6. Wear the rubber bands properly
When you get rubber bands to wear between your upper and lower jaws to get your teeth to fit together properly, the biggest tip I have for you to prevent months of over-treatment is when you get these elastics prescribed to you, make sure you know how to wear them properly. Don’t leave the orthodontic office until you know how to do this properly and if you forget, make sure you give them a call to clarify. Because if you wear the rubber bands the wrong way, you’re actually going to go the opposite direction in your treatment. You’ll need to regress and make your treatment go way longer and that’s something the orthodontist doesn’t want you to have to deal with.
Before you leave the office make sure you know how to wear your rubber bands properly and wear them as they prescribe. If they say for you to wear them all day, please wear them all day. Your orthodontist knows your case best. Please listen to the recommendations and your treatment will go super smoothly.
7. Educate yourself about the journey
It’s a very cool process and if you know what’s going on in your mouth, you’ll be in a lot less discomfort. You’ll understand what’s going on and you won’t be afraid if something’s an emergency or not.
8. Don’t miss your orthodontic appointment
This happens sometimes. Be sure not to fall too far off of track because when your orthodontist prescribes that they want to see you for how many weeks, there’s a reason why they’re waiting that long. If you go in too soon or too late, you can drag on your treatment time and it’s something that you won’t want if you want to get in and out of this process as quickly as possible. Please make sure you go to your orthodontist as they prescribe so that your braces journey does not extend on to forever.