Getting braces can prompt some mixed feelings, especially in kids. It’s exciting to have a bite problem addressed, but braces can also lead to a little self-consciousness at first. If your child is experiencing this, just reassure them that they’ll get used to the braces, and soon they won’t even know they’re there. But getting braces is an adjustment in other ways, too, so here’s some information for getting through your first week with braces.
Dealing with Discomfort or Pain
It’s perfectly normal for new braces to cause some discomfort or pain in the first week (and sometimes following adjustments, as well). Here are some easy ways to get relief:
- Wrap an ice pack in a thin towel and apply light pressure to the outside of the mouth for about 10 minutes
- Drink ice water or eat ice cream
- Take an over-the-counter pain medication (follow the label recommendations for dosage and safe use, and heed the precautions)
- Ask your orthodontist about an oral anesthetic if you’re not having much luck successfully managing the pain
Pay Attention to Food
As your orthodontist told you, there are certain foods you should never eat while wearing braces. If you’re used to eating any of them regularly, you’ll have to stay extra vigilant. Generally speaking, you need to avoid hard and sticky foods. No gum or other hard or sticky candy, don’t eat meat off the bone as you can damage the braces if they make contact with the bone while you’re biting, and stay away from nuts and seeds that can damage the braces or get caught behind them.
For the first week, stick to particularly soft foods as much as possible. Also, many people find that hot or cold foods and beverages can cause some pain with new braces, so have them at room temperature if you find this to be the case.
If you need some braces-friendly food ideas, check out these posts:
Oral Hygiene with Braces
Your orthodontist will give you detailed instructions for brushing, flossing, and other oral care to keep your teeth, gums, and braces clean. It’s important to follow these directions to avoid developing bad breath and to protect your oral health. If you don’t already have one, pick up a soft-bristled toothbrush for use while wearing braces. Brush often—ideally after every time you eat. Read more about cleaning your mouth and braces here.
Don’t Be Afraid to Speak Up
While some discomfort or pain is to be expected while getting through your first week with braces, it certainly shouldn’t be severe. If you’re struggling with pain, contact your orthodontist. It’s possible the braces are too tight, or that something else is going on.
Also, if a wire breaks or your braces become otherwise damaged, get in touch with your orthodontist right away. Damaged braces aren’t doing their job right, which means treatment is being impeded. They can also cause mouth injuries. Don’t be embarrassed; damaged braces are common, especially in the beginning when you’re newly adjusting to them.
If you have any other questions or concerns, reach out to your orthodontist. If you’re one of our patients, find our contact information here. We’re always happy to help.