When you initially get your braces put on, you may feel overwhelmed with all the information coming your way, but don’t worry. Thanks to Koerich Orthodontics’s easy guide to your first week in braces, it can be a simpler experience. Read on to learn more about the basics of keeping your teeth and appliance clean before your next appointment with us.
Understanding the Braces Installation Process
Braces placement is a simple, pain-free procedure that takes around an hour to complete. During this initial appointment, Dr. Lindsey and Dr. Leo work to establish the most effective placement of your brackets so that treatment is as efficient as possible. They get glued on your teeth as other brace parts are slowly added after drying.
Your appliance may feel funny in your mouth as it adjusts to its presence; thus, you can expect a short adjustment period as you get used to the slight pressure on your teeth to shift. Any discomfort should go away within a few days.
How Long Will Treatment Last?
One of our most commonly asked questions is how long treatment will last. We tell patients one to three years on average, depending upon your age, current oral health, and the braces appliance you get. After your placement, subsequent check-in appointments are scheduled every four to eight weeks to ensure everything goes according to plan.
Eating Well with Orthodontic Appliances
There are plenty of delicious food items you can enjoy with your appliance. Great options include eggs, well-cooked chicken, pasta, soft veggies, oranges, yogurt, oatmeal, and much more! In other words, any food that is easy to chew and soft on your teeth can stay on the table. Our team will provide you with a list of welcomed options you can reference so you can stock up on your favorites.
Off Limit Foods
Some foods will need to stay in the cupboard while you wear braces. As strong as your braces are, anything hard, sticky, or extra chewy will place too much pressure on them, which they are not made to withstand. We recommend removing popcorn, apples, crackers, nuts, hard cookies, bagels, and the like from your diet. If your favorite foods are on this list, we promise the payoff of a beautifully straightened smile will be worth the wait!
Prioritize Your Oral Hygiene
Thoroughness and consistency are essential when it comes to upholding your oral hygiene. When wearing braces, taking care of your teeth requires more effort to ensure everything stays in perfect shape and you avoid common complications like tooth decay and plaque. We recommend brushing your teeth twice daily, in the morning and night, as well as after each meal.
We will provide the proper tools, such as a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, to help prepare you for your first week. Our team can show you how to properly clean your teeth and keep your appliance shining so you can undergo treatment confidently!
Tiny food particles can still stick to your teeth and burrow their way between them where your toothbrush cannot reach. This is where flossing comes in. Our team will provide you with special threaders you can use to weave your floss under your wires to reach even the most challenging spots. This extra step protects your teeth from long-term issues and will keep them healthy in the future.
Managing The Unexpected
Broken or Loose Bracket
Broken brackets, usually caused by eating extra crunchy or sticky food, are a fixable emergency. Let our office know as soon as possible so Dr. Lindsey and Dr. Leo can decide if an immediate appointment is necessary.
In the meantime, the best temporary solution is to rotate the bracket back in place and use a small amount of orthodontic wax to secure it. Do your best not to nudge it to avoid further damage.
A common occurrence due to everyday actions like chewing, sharp wires may start to poke out and cause irritation on your cheeks, gums, and lips. Luckily, we have an easy, at-home fix for you! Simply grab a small piece of orthodontic wax and flatten it against the affected area so that it is flush with your appliance. Orthodontic wax is made of a digestible material, so you do not need to worry if it falls off without realizing it.
You will likely encounter an adjustment period where your teeth may feel sore after getting placed or after an adjustment, but braces themselves are not a painful appliance to have on. If it does not go away after a few days, try swishing warm salt water around your mouth to ease discomfort and rid the area of lingering bacteria.
Prime Time To Establish New Habits
Your first week of treatment is an ideal time to begin setting new routines that will benefit you throughout your time with braces. Everything from brushing your teeth to caring for a loosened wire, it is essential you understand your appliance so you can responsibly care for it while you are not in our office.
Of course, learning everything in your first week would be difficult. Each of these tips is a great place to start to ensure you stay on track with your care plan and your teeth continue shifting in the right direction. If you have a question about your braces or are confused about the directions we have given you, please don’t hesitate to call so we can clarify.
Expect Only the Best From Braces
When it comes to keeping your teeth and braces in perfect condition, you can rely on Koerich Orthodontics to provide the resources and steps to get you there. We want our patients to feel confident in their ability to care for their teeth at home when leaving our office. Our expert team provides orthodontic care to Charlotte, Indian Trail, and the surrounding communities. Give our friendly front desk staff a call today to schedule your free consultation!