For decades, metal braces have helped countless people achieve beautifully straight and attractive smiles that allow their confidence to soar, and now it’s your turn! Braces work by placing a small amount of pressure on the teeth, and this guides them into their new, improved positions. It’s perfectly normal to experience a little oral soreness right after the brackets and wires have been put on, but thankfully, this is usually short-lived. To make the adjustment process as short as possible, your orthodontist in Powell recommends following these 5 proven tips…
Rinse with Warm Saltwater
A simple way to soothe your mouth is to rinse with a warm saltwater solution for the first few days. Just a quick swish every few hours will help relieve any minor pain. What’s important to remember is that you shouldn’t drink the saltwater, as this could make you sick!
Make Food Easier to Chew
Initially, chewing tough foods can make an already sensitive mouth feel even worse, so to help yourself, try cutting your meals into smaller pieces before digging in. It’s also recommended that you stock up on softer foods to munch on for the first few days, including items like soups, certain cheeses, yogurt, and veggies like peas or green beans.
Drink a Lot of Water
The brackets and wires can rub up against the cheeks and cause small irritation spots, but eventually, the mouth will toughen up. Until then, staying hydrated can provide some much needed relief by stimulating saliva production, which will lubricate the braces.
Use Your Wax
Every new orthodontic patient is sent home with a container of dental wax, which can be placed over rough spots on the braces to soften them. If a particular area is causing you trouble, just cover it with some wax. It’s also wise to sleep with the wax, as this will allow the mouth to heal more quickly.
Chew Sugar-Free Gum
The more you chew with your braces, the faster your teeth will adjust to the pressure being placed on them. So, having a piece of sugar-free gum a few times a day is an excellent way to race through the initial discomfort. This also has the added bonus of increasing saliva production, which will help keep your teeth healthy throughout treatment.
Most of the time, any braces-related tenderness goes away on its own after a week or less, but if your mouth is feeling particularly uncomfortable, you can always contact your orthodontist for help. Let them know what’s going on, and they can easily adjust your braces so they fit better. After an awkward first few days, your mouth should feel fine, and you’ll be well on your way toward your new smile!
About the Author
An award-winning orthodontist, graduate of The Ohio State University, and proud father of 3, Dr. Jeffrey Shirck is eager to help patients of all ages obtain the straight smiles they deserve using the latest methods and technology. Patient comfort is also extremely important to him and our team, so he’s always willing to make whatever adjustments someone might need. To learn more about living with braces, or to schedule a FREE in-person consultation, you can get in touch with our Powell office by clicking here.