I Got Braces- Now What?
Ask anyone who has had their teeth straightened and they will tell you it was definitely worth it. Unfortunately, you will likely have to endure some discomfort, especially at the beginning. Usually the worst of the discomfort occurs when your Phoenix dentist places separators between your teeth to prepare for the braces. Don’t let fear of pain dissuade you, it really is more discomfort than pain, and the discomfort is temporary, usually only lasting for about a week after getting your braces, and then only a few days after they are adjusted every few months.
One of the most common complaints with braces is tenderness when chewing. The best remedy for this is to stick to soft foods for a few days until the tenderness is resolved. Foods that require little chewing, such as yogurt, mashed potatoes, soup and ice cream are good choices.
A Phoenix few patients will be instructed to wear rubber bands with their braces at some point during treatment. Although they can cause some initial discomfort, you will adjust to them just as you did your braces. Not wearing them faithfully as instructed will increase the discomfort because your teeth will constantly be moving back and forth, rather than being moved into the proper position and remaining there.
The other most frequent discomfort comes from mouth sores caused by the braces. Just like getting blisters on your feet while breaking in a new pair of shoes, the inside of your mouth will get irritated and often develop sores at first, but will soon toughen up until you hardly notice your braces at all.
If you do experience soreness or pain there are numerous anecdotes to ease the discomfort. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water several times daily can soothe mouth sores. Use about 1 teaspoon of salt per cup of warm water. For more severe mouth sores, especially if you suspect they are becoming infected you can rinse your mouth with a solution of one part 3% hydrogen peroxide to two parts water. Be careful not to swallow the solution. Using this at bedtime promotes healing overnight.
If you find that you have a wire poking into the inside of your cheek or lips contact your Phoenix dentist and they will be happy to clip it off.
As with any discomfort, over the counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help. Always check with your doctor before taking any medication. Many people find eating cold foods like ice cream and popsicles provide a helpful numbing effect as can cold packs, or even a frozen baby’s teething ring.
As you progress through different phases of your treatment you may experience new discomfort just when you thought it was over. There are numerous products available that can be helpful. You may want to keep several of these on hand. There are various oral anesthetic products available at your drugstore that are meant to numb your mouth. There are also ready to use rinses meant to relieve mouth sores.
One of the greatest weapons in your arsenal against brace discomfort is dental wax. Your dentist may send you home with some, but if not, it’s readily available at the drugstore. Just place a small amount of wax over the part of your braces that is irritating you and it will form a barrier between your braces and the inside of your cheeks or lips. There are also other products available from the drugstore or online that are meant to create a protective barrier over your braces.
Remember some discomfort is normal, especially in the beginning, but if you are experiencing severe pain you should contact your dentist. In the end it will all be worth enduring any problems you may experience along the way.
Aesthetic Dentistry of Arrowhead offers traditional, tooth colored and clear braces in North Phoenix. Dr. Ceyhan treats patients of all ages, ranging from children right through senior citizens. An orthodontic consultation is always free, and convenient appointment times and payment plans are available. Why not call today to start on your path to a healthy, attractive smile?
17100 N 67th Ave, Suite 500
Glendale, Arizona 85308
Phone: (623) 979-1515
Fax: (623) 878-1811