Getting braces is a unique experience, and understanding what you can expect during and after they’re put on is the best way to prepare. We find that when patients have the proper information, they are much less nervous or confused and make the best choices for their oral health!
What Can You Expect On The Day You Get Braces?
Getting braces on can take some time, but the process isn’t painful! In the first hours after a patient has this new hardware on their teeth, they may find it takes some time to adjust while eating meals and learning to chew. Teeth can also feel more sensitive than usual.
The foods one chooses can go a long way to helping someone with new braces feel comfortable. Soft, easy-to-chew foods like smoothies, protein shakes, mashed potatoes, soups, and oatmeal are great. Once the discomfort starts to fade away, patients can resume eating most of their ordinary diet.
As the day goes on, the patient may start feeling some discomfort as the teeth start moving. It’s the start of the hardest period of having braces, but most patients find it passes quickly!
What Can You Expect During The First Week?
The first week after receiving braces, during which the teeth will really start their realignment work, the mouth can feel very uncomfortable. The pain comes about because the teeth and gums aren’t used to the pressure that comes from the elastics and archwires. Any discomfort usually disappears after roughly five days, but some experience it for the first week.
One product orthodontists provide for relief is an orthodontic wax to apply over the braces as necessary. These products create a smooth surface that relieves irritation as the rough wires touch the lips and inner cheeks. Don’t worry – the skin will toughen up after some time; until then, the patient should apply orthodontic wax to the brackets to stop the poking.
Patients may also take over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen (like Motrin and Advil) as directed, and saltwater rinses may alleviate some of the soreness.
What Will My Smile Look Like With Braces?
Depending on the type that’s best for the unique orthodontic situation, the look of one’s smile may change when a patient gets braces. Traditional metal braces are a metal bracket attached to the teeth, with a metal archwire strung through them. Some brackets clamp onto the archwire, while others connect to the wire with rubber bands. If a patient has an overbite or underbite, they may also need to wear rubber bands that connect the bottom and top rows of teeth.
Either way, traditional braces are noticeable, and some people can feel self-conscious while wearing them. It’s important to know that these braces are perfectly ordinary, they won’t be on forever, and the results will be incredible! For patients who need elastics – especially younger ones – choosing the band colours is a great way to personalize the braces and have fun with them!
Patients who get clear braces like Invisalign will find their appearance changes very little, if at all! These more subtle options fit over the teeth without looking noticeable. Patients will receive a new set every few weeks that accommodate the shifts in their teeth.