Tips for Getting Through First Days of Braces

Team Orthodontics

As you might imagine, there’s an adjustment period when you get braces. Although your teeth might feel strange and uncomfortable during this time, the good news is that it’s only temporary! As the days and weeks pass, you’ll get used to the feeling of braces, but here are some tips to help you stay comfortable in the meantime.

Eat Soft Foods

You already know that you shouldn’t eat gum and chewy candies with braces, but the first few days after getting braces, we recommend sticking to a diet of soft foods. Your teeth are likely to be sore, and this soreness can be exacerbated by eating foods that are hard, crunchy, or chewy.

Some meal ideas for the first few days of braces include:

  • Oatmeal or cream of wheat
  • Smoothies
  • Soup
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (on soft bread)
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Yogurt
  • Tuna
  • Baked sweet potatoes
  • Applesauce
  • Soft fruits like mango and peaches
  • Beans
  • Hummus and soft pita bread or cucumbers

Take Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers

Braces work by placing constant, gentle pressure on your teeth to encourage them to move. Even though this pressure is gentle, it still takes some getting used to. When your teeth ache the first few days after getting braces, it’s a sign that your braces are doing what they’re supposed to—it’s not a sign that something is wrong.

If you find that the pain is difficult to tolerate, you can take over-the-counter pain relievers to help you feel more comfortable. Make sure you follow the instructions on the bottle and do not exceed the recommended daily dosage.

Use Orthodontic Wax

Your mouth will also have to get used to the brackets and wires on your teeth. At first, you may develop some sore spots on the soft tissues inside your mouth as they rub against the brackets. This will also go away with time, but until then, orthodontic wax can help.

Orthodontic wax is a soft, pliable wax that is placed directly onto the brackets to create a smoother surface and prevent soft tissue irritation. You can use it as long as you need to.

Rinse With Salt Water

While orthodontic wax prevents soft tissue irritation (or keeps it from worsening), salt water rinses promote healing once irritation has occurred. Add 1/2 teaspoon of table salt to 1/2 cup of warm water and stir to dissolve it. Swish this mixture around your mouth a few times a day to alleviate your discomfort and encourage the tissue to heal.

Brush Well

Finally, it’s important to brush well. Even if your teeth feel sore, good oral hygiene is more important than ever when you have braces. Before you leave our office, we’ll give you instructions on how to brush and floss with braces. If you find flossing with traditional dental floss difficult, a water flosser or floss threader can help. With practice, brushing your teeth with braces will become second nature.

Learn More About Braces

If you’d like to learn more about getting braces, contact us today at 413-443-0703 to schedule an appointment for a consultation.