First Days in Braces
One of the most common questions we get asked about braces is whether placing them causes any pain or discomfort. Our answer is that braces do not hurt at all when they are applied to the teeth, so there is no reason to be anxious about the placement appointment. There will be mild soreness or discomfort after the orthodontic wire is engaged into the newly placed brackets, which may last for a few days to a week. Most patients experience some discomfort the first four days to a week after their braces, expanders, and/or wires are placed and after a wire adjustment and/or an activation appointment. Our appliances and wires are cutting-edge, and exert very light force that decrease any soreness associated with orthodontic treatment. However, some mild discomfort is still to be expected. Each person will gradually adapt to the discomfort associated with the orthodontic tooth movement.
Before Leaving the Expressions Orthodontics Office
There are a few easy steps which we ask you to complete before you leave. Taking these steps helps minimize discomfort, ensure an optimal response to treatment, and keeps you prepared for your next visit. Please make these steps part of your routine for each visit to Dr. Sunny Leong and Expressions Orthodontics.
- CHECK WIRE ENDS
Using your finger and tongue, check to see that the wire ends do not extend into areas which might poke or rub the cheek or tongue.
- UNDERSTAND NEXT STEPS
Make sure you understand what you are to do until your next appointment. This could include wearing headgear or elastics as instructed, adjusting the expander or following specific hygiene or diet instructions.
Make sure you have an adequate supply of dental wax, special cleaning aids, elastic bands, or other related materials you may need for your braces or devices between appointments.
- BOOK YOUR NEXT VISIT
Always schedule your next appointment before leaving the office. Waiting a week or two after an appointment before scheduling your next office visit complicates our scheduling process, since appointments are programmed 4-6 weeks in advance. Postponing appointments is one of the main factors in longer treatment time.
Your First Week In Braces
The adhesive used for attaching the braces to your teeth dries on the outside quite quickly, but will take 24 hours to fully set. You can eat any time after leaving our office; however, we ask that you pay attention to the suggested list of foods that can be harmful to the braces (and your teeth). Until you get used to eating with your new braces it may be best to start on a diet of softer foods. The easiest foods to eat with braces are things like yogurt, pudding, seedless bread, boiled vegetables, pasta, or thin soups.
We will provide and show you how to use dental wax to apply over the braces as necessary. This wax/silicone creates a smooth surface and alleviates irritation on the inner cheeks and lips. Additionally, over-the-counter pain medication (ibuprofen ie. Motrin and Advil usually works best if no allergies exisit) and may be taken as directed in combination with a rigorous regiment of salt water rinses to relieve the soreness.
After five days to a week, any initial discomfort associated with the braces should be gone or much improved. The teeth will have gradually acclimated to the braces, and eating should be much easier.
- At first your braces will feel like they are sticking out, which is completely normal. As you get used to your braces and tooth alignment improves, this sensation will disappear and will cease to be a concern. In fact, when you get your braces off, your teeth will feel strange without them for a while, too!
- Even though the brackets have been rounded and smoothed you may find it helpful to use a small piece of wax around a bracket that is creating an irritation. As your cheeks toughen, you will have fewer irritations.
- Some teeth, often the front teeth, may be tender and sensitive to pressure at first. Most patients have some soreness during the first eight hours which will gradually disappear.
- Exactly when the discomfort ceases is impossible to predict and is different for each patient. If you want, you can also take an over-the-counter pain medication to help.
Just Remember: Any soreness you feel from the braces is just the crookedness leaving your smile!