Getting braces is a big step in improving your smile. It’s also a big adjustment—one that can take some getting used to.
It’s normal to experience discomfort right after getting your braces put on. After all, you now have a mouthful of hardware that wasn’t there before! You may also experience some pain as your teeth start to shift as well as irritation from the metal rubbing against the soft tissues of your inner cheeks.
The good news is there are some simple steps you can take to ease this transition and minimize discomfort during your first week as a new braces wearer.
Protect your mouth with dental wax
Dental wax is a special type of wax that you can put over your metal brackets to prevent friction with the inside of your mouth. Simply take a small piece of wax, roll it between your fingers to shape it, and then stick it over the specific brackets that are irritating your cheeks.
Swish with saltwater
If you do have some sores or cuts on the inside of your mouth, rinse out your mouth with a saltwater solution for about 30 seconds a few times a day. This will help reduce the discomfort and keep the cuts clean so they heal faster.
Avoid foods you have to bite into
Apples, pizza, carrot sticks, pretzels…these foods can all spell trouble for your new braces. Biting into them directly can cause the metal brackets on your front teeth to break or snap off. You can still enjoy them, but you’ll have to cut them into bite-sized pieces you can pop into your mouth. It’s also a good idea to wait until you’ve adjusted to your new braces before doing so. The first week after getting your braces, you should eat only soft foods, such as pudding, soup, yogurt, and pasta.
Practice good oral hygiene
As recommended by most orthodontic practices, it iss important to keep your teeth clean when you have braces, since food residue can get stuck in the wires and brackets. As soon as possible, get into the habit of brushing your teeth after every meal and flossing once a day.