What to Expect the First Week with Braces
March 21st, 2023
Our team is so excited to have you join the family and we will take really good care of you the day you get your braces on. It is normal to be nervous, but we promise it will all be worth it! So, what should you expect the week after you get braces? We're here to help guide you that first week as you make adjustments.
Expect Some Soreness
It is normal for your mouth to be sore or tender the first week after getting braces. Your teeth will already start to shift some! Also, it will take a little bit of time for your lips, gums, cheeks and tongue to adapt to the brackets and wires on your teeth. This tenderness will not last forever and should be much better in one to two weeks. Our team will send home some wax with you to cover any areas that get irritated from the brackets and wires.
To relieve the pain, we recommend dissolving one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water. Swish and gargle this solution in your mouth for just a couple of minutes (do not swallow the saltwater). If the pain is more severe and does not go away after rinsing, you can also try taking a pain reliever as needed. After a week or two, your mouth will toughen up and will not be tender any more.
What to Eat
We suggest eating soft foods for the first couple of days and staying away from anything tough to chew to help with your soreness. Things like pasta, bread and soup are great things to start out with. Once your tenderness goes away, you can eat what you feel like with a few exceptions listed below that you should not eat while you have braces.
Foods to avoid with braces:
- Chewy foods — bagels, licorice
- Crunchy foods — popcorn, chips, ice
- Sticky foods — caramel candies, chewing gum
- Hard foods — nuts, hard candies
- Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob, apples, carrots
How to Brush & Keep Your Mouth Clean
It is always important to brush your teeth and have good dental hygiene, but it is super important while you have braces because it is much easier for food and bacteria to get stuck in your teeth. Make sure to take your time while brushing and get around every bracket. We will provide you with "flossers" that look like soft plastic sewing needles to help you get the floss through your wires and show you how to use them. Many patients feel that rinsing with water or mouthwash really helps get out anything stuck.
Live Life Normally
Other than that, not much changes when you have braces! You can still play sports and instruments. We do recommend wearing a mouthguard if you participate in a contact activity to protect your mouth. Dr. Cox is proud of you for starting a journey toward a straight and healthy smile. It will all be worth the wait, we promise!