1. Be prepared when leaving our office: Before leaving our office, be sure to use your finger and tongue to make sure the wires aren’t extending into areas that might poke your cheeks or run into your tongue the wrong way. Double check your supplies. Ask for our team for plenty of dental wax, cleaning aids, elastic bands, or other related materials you may need before your next appointment. Also…check your braces once a week for anything loose or bent. If a bracket or band comes loose or you break a wire, please call our office so that we can arrange an appointment to repair it.
2. Be careful eating with your new braces: It is okay to eat as soon as you leave our office, but we highly suggest sticking to softer foods for the first few days after your braces have been placed while your mouth and teeth adjust. Stick to pasta, soft veggies, pudding, soup, yogurt, etc. After about three or four days, any soreness you may be having will start to go away and you can graduate to more solid foods. However, hard foods including nuts, ice, crisp taco shells, whole apples and carrots, corn on the cob and popcorn should always be avoided. These foods can cause breakage of the brackets and wires.
3. Use dental wax: The brackets used at Medina Orthodontics have been rounded and smoothed and are designed to be gentle on your mouth, but they can rub on the soft skin causing irritation. Until your skin has toughened up and you are used to your braces, it’s a good idea to use a small piece of wax around the bracket or wire that is creating the irritation.
4. Rinse your mouth with saltwater: If you are experiencing significant irritation, we suggest rinsing your mouth with a solution of warm salt water five or six times a day for 30 seconds each time. Add half a teaspoon of table salt to one cup of warm water. The salt water will help relieve pain and allow sores areas to heal faster.
5. Always practice good oral hygiene: Brush your teeth after every meal. Don’t forget to follow your normal routine of brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing on a regular basis. Getting into these habits early on in your journey with braces will help ensure that you don’t encounter any problems down the road.
6. Be confident: Don't worry about how your braces look and do not be afraid or embarrassed to smile with your braces!
The main thing to remember is…give yourself time. Each person adapts to the discomfort of new braces differently but following these steps will make your journey to straight teeth much more enjoyable and after a while, when your teeth start shifting into their proper place, you’ll see how incredible your smile is going to look.