Orthodontic work is a rite of passage for many people — mature adolescents and teens, most commonly, but adults, too. Your dentist in Stony Plan will provide a thorough explanation of the entire orthodontic process, but there will be a lot to take in. Let’s review some things you can expect during the first days of wearing braces.
What to expect on and immediately after installation day
Expect to be nervous and excited all at once. Nervous about the process of having the braces placed on your teeth, and what you’ll look like. Excited to finally get the process underway, and to be one step closer to straight teeth.
No, having the braces placed on your teeth will not hurt. The brackets will be bonded to your teeth, then wires placed between them and adjusted to exert the right level of tension in the right directions. You will notice some pressure that feels different than usual, and all the changes in your mouth will affect your ability to talk and eat for a while, but the process itself will not be painful.
Once your braces start to do their job and to move your teeth, you’ll find that they are more sensitive than usual. Foods and drinks that you formerly consumed without a thought might feel uncomfortable while your teeth — and you — adjust to your new hardware. So, for a couple of days indulge in comfort foods like mac’ and cheese and mashed potatoes, or other soft and liquid options like yogurt and soup. During the same period, give crunchy things like chips and popcorn a pass.
What to expect during the first few days
That minor discomfort you feel in and around your teeth is — strange as it sounds — a good sign. It means your teeth are beginning to move, and your minor discomfort is temporary and natural. If you find that discomfort distracting, you can obtain relief by taking over-the-counter pain medication such as Advil (as directed) or simply rinsing your mouth with a salt-and-water solution. Need a recipe? Place ½ of a teaspoon of salt in a glass of water warm enough to dissolve that salt. Simply swish the salt water throughout your entire mouth, and spit it out.
You may notice that the inside of your lips and cheeks are slightly irritated by rubbing against the braces on your teeth. That can’t be avoided, but will become less of an issue as those soft tissues adapt. In the meantime, your dentist in Stony Plain will have given you — and shown you how to use — wax to place on parts of your braces to soften the impact on your lips and teeth.
What to expect by the end of your first week
By the time five days have passed, the discomfort associated with those first few days should mostly be gone. Eating and speaking should feel more natural, although the hardest and chewiest of foods — things like popcorn, apples, bagels, ice, and hard candy —may still present challenges.
When you can expect to see your dentist in Stony Plain
We look forward to seeing you during regular follow-up appointments during your orthodontic treatment. At those appointments, we’ll remove the wires connecting your brackets, clean your teeth, replace those archwires and elastics as required, and make the necessary adjustments to keep your teeth moving in the right direction. You may find that these processes cause some discomfort for a day or two after each appointment. That’s normal and temporary.
We know that wearing braces in Stony Plain will take some getting used to, and that it will come with a mix of emotions. While this is your first — and only — time going through the process, keep in mind that we have supported hundreds and hundreds of patients in this same journey. Lean on our experience and expertise. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions, and take advantage of every follow-up appointment to talk through anything that comes up.