If you’d like to align your bite and improve your smile, braces are an excellent method to do so. Though these orthodontic devices can require a certain level of maintenance, the results alone are worth the effort! Here are a few things you can expect after you’ve gotten your braces.
Placing Your Braces
Before you get your braces, your orthodontist will want to review x-rays of your mouth and head, as well as photographs and a plaster model of your teeth. This will help them to create the best possible orthodontic treatment plan to suit your needs. The process of getting your braces placed only takes around 1-2 hours. First, you will have a thorough teeth cleaning to prepare your dental enamel for the brackets. Your orthodontist will then dry your teeth and carefully apply a strong adhesive onto your dental enamel. One-by-one, they will gently place each bracket onto the adhesive, solidifying it on the outer surface of your tooth. When your brackets are in place, your orthodontist will put U-shaped wire into the brackets and place elastic bands to secure them. Overall, this process is quite quick and painless!
You won’t experience any pain during the procedure itself. However, many patients typically experience discomfort after their brackets are put into place. It is also normal to experience some sensitivity and soreness from the brackets running against your cheeks for the first week as you get used to the braces.
There are a few things you can do to manage any pain or discomfort during this process. For starters, over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help to manage painful symptoms. Orthodontic wax can also be purchased at the drugstore and used to cover the brackets and protect your cheeks. Until your pain subsides, we would recommend avoiding touching the sores caused by the brackets. You can also try a warm salt water rinse (using 1/2 teaspoon of salt per cup of water) several times a day to help with irritation.
When your braces are in place, it is very important to be diligent about your dental hygiene routine. In addition to brushing twice a day and flossing nightly, you should also clean your teeth after each meal. Try using a proxabrush to help you clean between your orthodontic wires and remove food particles from your braces. You can also use a floss threader to help you tuck the dental floss under the wire so you can more easily remove plaque and food from between your teeth and gums.
To keep your braces in good condition, you will need to be particularly careful about the foods that you eat. It is important to avoid crunchy or sticky foods such as caramel, candies, popcorn, nuts, etc. throughout the course of your treatment. To avoid any discomfort during the first few days after receiving your braces, however, you will want to stick to softer foods, such as soup, yogurt, and mashed potatoes.
If you’ve recently decided that you’d like to receive orthodontic treatment, we would love to help! To schedule your next appointment, contact Anew Dental & Orthodontics in Plainfield today!