WORDS: Dr Daniel DeAngelis, Transform Orthodontic Care
You’ve just had your braces on, so what happens now? Here are my top tips for braces patients to make sure you get the best out of your treatment.
Be kind to yourself
Once you have your braces put on you might feel a little bit of discomfort. This is completely normal as your mouth adjusts to the new pressure on your teeth. You might also feel your new braces rubbing against your inner cheek. It will take a little getting used to so be kind to yourself! Any discomfort should disappear in a few days.
- If the tenderness continues, try dissolving one teaspoon of salt in lukewarm water. Swish and gargle this solution in your mouth for a few minutes – and remember not to swallow!
- Use painkillers and orthodontic wax to relieve any discomfort until you get used to your new braces
- Eat soft foods if your mouth feels tender in the first few days.
Elastics are your best friend
Elastics are key to your orthodontic treatment. They work in conjunction with your braces to apply additional pressure in a specific direction to move individual teeth or groups of teeth and are commonly used to improve your bite. If you don’t wear your elastics it will unfortunately delay your treatment.
- Try and carry elastics with you so you can replace them if one breaks or is lost
- Try not to overstretch the elastic or it will lose it’s strength which makes it less effective
Watch what you eat
There are some foods that should be avoided while you have braces. Anything hard, chewy and crunchy are best to be avoided as they can damage your braces.
- Eating soft foods will be your friend while in braces treatment – soups, stews, eggs, pasta, apples cut up into bite sized pieces, yoghurt and smoothies
- Avoid hard, chewy and crunchy foods such as hard lollies, popcorn, liquorice, bagels/crunchy bread, carrots, apples and corn on the cob
- Drink plenty of water and avoid sugary drinks if possible
Hang in there!
I promise all the trouble and effort will be worth it for your beautiful, straight and healthy smile!