Traditional braces are one of the most effective and reliable ways to fix orthodontic issues and achieve a beautiful, healthy smile. However, not knowing what to expect when you begin your treatment can make you feel quite anxious! To help combat your fear of the unknown, we’ve gathered some important information about what it feels like to get braces and what you can expect during the first weeks and months of your treatment. Read on to learn more about what you can anticipate on your journey towards a straighter smile.
The First Day with Braces
Having the braces themselves placed on your teeth should be a relatively easy and painless appointment. However, since you’ll be keeping your mouth open for some time to have them placed, it’s not unusual to experience some soreness in your jaw and dry lips directly afterward.
The new pressure exerted on your teeth from the braces will likely cause some discomfort at first. Additionally, the soft tissues in your mouth will need to adjust to the presence of the new wires and brackets. While uncomfortable, the bulk of these symptoms should fade on their own rather quickly. You can also manage discomfort with cold foods, cold beverages, an ice pack, mouth rinses, and taking an over-the-counter pain reliever as directed on the label.
Your First Week of Wearing Braces
You can typically expect to continue to feel a dull, steady aching in your mouth as your teeth are shifted into place. This means your treatment is working! While somewhat constant, the discomfort should gradually start to fade away on its own. You can also help keep that soreness at bay by rinsing with saltwater, eating soft foods, drinking cold beverages, and taking over-the-counter pain relievers as needed.
You’ll also need to begin practicing wearing your orthodontic wax if you haven’t yet. This clear, biocompatible material will go a long way in keeping your cheeks, lips, and tongue comfortable as they adjust to your braces. Rinsing with salt water and enjoying cold foods and drinks will also help alleviate any irritation in the soft tissues in your mouth.
After Your First Orthodontic Checkup
A few weeks after getting your braces, you’ll need to visit your orthodontist for a checkup. In fact, you’ll continue to periodically visit your orthodontist throughout your treatment so they can ensure your teeth are moving in the right directions and that your mouth is staying healthy. They’ll ask you if you have any questions, investigate any concerns you may have, and give you pointers on how to better care for your braces. Then, your braces will be adjusted or “tightened” so that your teeth continue to shift into their ideal positions. This can cause some soreness in your mouth for a few days following, but it should be easy to manage with the tips listed above.
Metal braces are a trusted orthodontic treatment that follows a predictable and effective process. If you have more questions about what to expect with braces, don’t hesitate to ask your orthodontist today!
About the Practice
At Super Braces of Lawrence, Dr. Leila Nezakatgoo has been helping patients of all ages achieve happy, healthy smiles for over 15 years. As a member of the American Academy of Orthodontics and SPEAR Education, she has advanced training in orthodontics and keeps up to date with the latest technology and techniques. To learn more about life with braces, she can be reached online or at (978) 794-0000.