While some discomfort is common in the first days after braces, there is no reason to be anxious about the placement appointment or getting braces—regardless of age. Remember to “keep your eyes on the prize”—the bigger picture-- which is a lifetime of straight teeth, a feeling of well-being and, of course, that great smile!
What to Expect When Getting Braces
Here is an overview of what you can expect when getting braces:
- Placement day – The placement of braces will not be painful in the slightest. It may take longer to eat meals, but this is largely because it takes some time to adjust to wearing the braces. In some cases, the teeth may feel more sensitive than usual. Hard, difficult to chew foods should be avoided in favour of a softer, more liquid-based diet for the first few days after placement of braces.
- Two days after placement – The first several days after placement of braces can be slightly uncomfortable. This is because the teeth are beginning the realignment process and are not used to the pressure of the archwire and orthodontic elastic bands.
- Five days after placement – After five days, any initial discomfort associated with the braces should be completely gone. The teeth will have gradually acclimated to the braces, and eating should be much easier. Certain hard foods may still pose a challenge to the wearer, but normal eating may be resumed at this point.
Though some soreness is inevitable in the first days after getting braces, fortunately, suffering is not. There are numerous home remedies and over-the-counter medications which can help you through the early, sometimes painful days.
How to Alleviate the Soreness
Rinsing with warm salt water for 30 seconds, 5-6 times per day will lessen the soreness. Just add half a teaspoon of table salt to one cup of warm water. The salt water will help relieve pain and allow sores areas to heal faster. Another effective remedy is to chew sugar-free gum, as this increases blood flow which helps reduces discomfort and can also encourage the teeth to align quicker.
Then, there are always over-the-counter pain medications and we at Forest & Ray find that orthodontic relief wax can also help alleviate any mild soreness and discomfort following placement of braces and orthodontic adjustments. Our Forest & Ray orthodontists also often recommend OTC tablets such as Tylenol, Advil, and Motrin –or their generic counterparts. Just be sure not to exceed the recommended dosages.
Each person adapts to the discomfort associated with new braces differently, but if you follow these suggestions, then you’ll achieve your goals of a lifetime of straight teeth and an incredible smile. The Forest & Ray professionals can answer any questions you may have and are waiting to make those twin goals a reality. Contact us today!