Way to go! You’ve made a big decision and taken the first step toward the most beautiful and healthy smile of your life! It is normal to experience some minor discomfort and soreness in the first few days after you begin orthodontic treatment. Our Gladstone MO orthodontist has put together some information we think you’ll find helpful as you adjust to your braces.
Our orthodontic office near Gladstone uses the latest orthodontic technology, designed with the highest levels of patient comfort and treatment effectiveness in mind. It doesn’t hurt to have braces applied to your teeth, but you may notice an increase in sensitivity to pressure after the wires are attached to your brackets, especially on your front teeth.
Before leaving your Gladstone orthodontic office, use your finger and tongue to make sure no wires are poking or rubbing your cheek or tongue. Ask your orthodontist questions if you’re unsure about what you’re supposed to be doing between appointments, like wearing headgear for a certain number of hours every day or using elastic bands. Make sure you have enough of the supplies that your Gladstone MO orthodontist has recommended you use until your next appointment.
In the first few hours after your braces are placed, you may notice your mouth producing a lot of saliva, and you may feel like you have to swallow a lot. Braces will feel foreign to your mouth and you may be moving your tongue around more than usual, using it to feel your teeth. These responses are normal and usually disappear after a day.
The adhesive used to apply the brackets to your teeth is similar in composition to a filling and will take up to 48 hours to completely set. Our orthodontist in Gladstone recommends that you follow a diet of soft foods like pudding, yogurt, or thin soups until you are used to eating with your new braces. Throughout your treatment, avoid hard and sticky foods to minimize the risk of damaging your orthodontic appliances. Nervous habits like nail biting or pencil-chewing are also tough on braces, leading to additional cost and extending the length of your treatment.
The staff at your Gladstone MO orthodontic office will show you how to apply dental wax to alleviate sore spots and irritation on the inside of your cheeks and lips. An over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen or acetaminophen (as long as you aren’t allergic) taken at regular intervals as directed and a regimen of rinsing with salt water will also relieve soreness. It is important to maintain your dental hygiene routine, especially brushing after every meal, so you may want to purchase a travel-size toothbrush for brushing when you’re away from home. A lighted magnifying mirror, the kind used when shaving or applying make-up, can be used to check on and fine tune your brushing skills. Flossing will be easier with threaders that help you quickly and safely maneuver around your orthodontics. Keeping your teeth and gums clean is even more important when you have braces.
After five days to a week, discomfort and soreness should be significantly alleviated, if it hasn’t completely disappeared. That’s enough time for your teeth to have acclimated to your braces, and you’ll notice that chewing and swallowing is much easier. Each patient is unique, and so it’s impossible to predict when you’ll feel back to 100%, but your Gladstone orthodontist should be available to address any of your concerns.
The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to orthodontics, feel free to contact Burleson Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry, with a convenient orthodontic office location near Gladstone MO, by clicking here or by calling 816.759.0123.