Congratulations! You are about to embark upon an orthodontic treatment, which will be a bit difficult but all the more rewarding, and you have taken a step to ensure good oral hygiene for life. After a treatment that may be unpleasant at times, you will accomplish a beautiful smile, less cavities, healthier gums and more confidence. To make sure your journey is a success, there are some things that you will have to do in preparation. This article is intended to help you on your way, before you embark. Included is a checklist of all the things to look out for beforehand, and a few words on how the first few days will go.
Be prepared! A checklist
- While undergoing orthodontic treatment, your mouth will be less able to fight off bacteria and microbes, and thus may be more prone to tooth decay and periodontitis during this time. To make sure your teeth are healthy, you must first work on preventing these problems from forming.
- Brush properly before the appointment! Before getting the braces on, make sure you have absolutely no food detritus in your mouth at all. Your dentist will also give you a hygiene session before putting the braces on, and these are indispensable.
- Buy mouthwash! Even if you did not use mouthwash beforehand, make sure you do while the braces are on. They can comfortably go between the braces and teeth, and the hard to reach nooks and crannies that may be difficult to clean while the braces are on. Make sure you buy one without alcohol in it, as that will dry out your mucus membranes, which can lead to discomfort.
- Buy an interdental toothbrush and an orthodontic toothbrush! Flossing will be all but impossible during this time, so you will need to use something to clean out food detritus from your appliance and form the gaps in your teeth and the gaps between your orthodontic appliance and your teeth. An interdental toothbrush is the perfect thing for this predicament. An orthodontic toothbrush is the same as a regular one, but the bristles are curved, and thus they are more adept at cleaning the orthodontic brackets.
- Make sure you have no foods on the ban list! The food ban list is not a safety precaution, it is a list of things that will negatively affect your teeth during orthodontic treatment, or lengthen the time of orthodontic treatment considerably. To not fall into temptation, make sure you have none of the foods from the list at home.
- Get some orthodontic wax! This may be a bit trickier, but some orthodontic wax will make the entire treatment much more manageable. Get some before the braces go on.
- Get some anise oil! Your gums and teeth may feel sore after an activation session, and rubbing anise oil on it will help by numbing the area but not negatively affecting it.
What you can expect the first day
When you first get your braces, you may experience pain, and you will definitely experience discomfort. The torque that the device exerts on the teeth will be the most intense on the first few days, as at this point it will still be a new experience, and your gums and soft tissues will not be used to it. The aforementioned anise oil should help with that. You may also experience speech impediments, as there is now an orthodontic device in the mouth, making the teeth larger. You may have to find news to make sounds and get your tongue to not get caught in the device or the archwire, but the impediment should subside in a week or so.