First Week of Braces

How to Survive Your First Week in Braces

Austin, TX – At Pure Smiles Orthodontics, we love helping our patients achieve the smiles of their dreams. We’re here to assist you every step along the way, including helping you adjust to life in braces. It can take a bit of time to get used to your braces, but these tips can help!

  1. The first week is usually the hardest, after that it does get much easier. Your mouth is getting used to having the braces in place, and the braces are starting to work – this adds up to some discomfort that you might not be familiar with. Make it through the first week, and it is smooth sailing through the rest of treatment.
  2. Be prepared. Before you leave our office, making sure your braces feel okay and there are no wires poking your tongue or cheeks. Ask any questions you may have about caring for your braces and relieving discomfort and make sure you set up your next appointment to see us again. And don’t forget your orthodontic wax and any other items you may need to aid in your treatment.
  3. Stick to soft foods. In the first few days as your mouth is adjusting, you’ll probably want to stick to soft foods, such as yogurt, soups, smoothies, applesauce, cooked vegetables, and cold beverages. We recommend you modify your diet a bit while in treatment by avoiding things that can damage your brackets and wires. Stay away from anything hard, sticky, chewy or crunchy.
  4. Warm saltwater rinses can provide a lot of relief. Saltwater rinses offer a wonderful, natural way to relieve soreness. Dissolve ½ teaspoon of salt in one cup of warm water, then swish in your mouth and spit out. You can repeat this as often as needed.
  5. Orthodontic wax can be your best friend. The inside of your cheeks and your tongue are sensitive, and it will take time to get used to the brackets and wires now coming into contact with the tissue. It’s not uncommon to have a bit of irritation but orthodontic wax can help relieve that. It’s simple to use – break a small piece off and roll it between your fingers to warm it up. Dry the offending area in your mouth with a cotton ball, then place the wax on the bracket or wire that is bothering you. 
  6. Use an over-the-counter pain medication (if you need it). Your mouth may be sore while it adjusts to your braces and the pressure being placed to guide the teeth. An over-the-counter pain medication, such as Tylenol, can help in the first few days. 
  7. Practice good oral hygiene. One of the best ways to take care of your braces is to make sure you take good care of your mouth. Brush and floss regularly and be sure you take your time to clean properly around the brackets and under the wires. 
  8. Use the Pure Smiles to-go kit containing all the essentials you need while on the go. It includes a travel toothbrush and toothpaste, mouthwash, floss, floss threaders, and dental wax but please feel free to ask for more if you need anything. Also, feel free to add anything else that will make it easier to care for your braces while at work, school or other activities. 
  9. Practice talking with your braces. Some people feel like their speech is affected in the beginning by their braces. Your mouth may produce extra saliva while it is getting used to the braces, which can slightly alter your speech. The more you practice, the sooner you’ll be used to the braces, and you’ll go right back to your comfortable way of speaking.
  10. Don’t lose sight of the end goal! For the first several days, it may seem like your braces are taking over your life. Once you are used to them, caring for them will be a breeze and they’ll hardly impact your daily life. Remember that you’re working toward a beautiful new smile and all the work you put in during your treatment will be worth it.