Well, well, well, looks like somebody just got braces! First of all, you look fabulous. But things might be slightly different over the next seven days or so!
We won’t leave you hanging here at Smiles of Palmetto Bay. Our team is proud to present your guide to your first week in braces!
The Big Three
If you’ve gotten braces or aligners from us, it means you’ve got one of the following:
- We’re thrilled to be in the top 1% of orthodontic offices who offer Invisalign, thanks to the extensive knowledge of Dr. Ross. This appliance will have a slightly different adjustment process than traditional braces.
- Clear braces (aka ceramic braces) can match the color of your teeth exactly, and are just as effective as other options.
- Metal braces are the most traditional and affordable of the three, and often the most common for younger patients.
Week One: Traditional Braces
We’ll start with how your first week in traditional braces will go. Just remember, our office is always a call away at 305-831-7290 if you feel you’re experiencing persistent issues.
- Discomfort: This is the main thing you’ll deal with in the very beginning. You’ve got a lot of stuff in your mouth that was not there before! When your teeth begin to adjust, it can cause some soreness, and will subside in a few days. You might also experience some unfamiliar abrasion from the materials of the braces. Take over-the-counter pain meds as Dr. Ross instructs to help manage this. He can let you know an ideal dosage.
- Ulcers or Sores: Soft tissues in your mouth can be irritated by the components of braces. You’ll use orthodontic wax to help cover any sharp edges.
- Dietary Changes: It’s especially important to watch what you eat in the first week; soft foods that don’t need a lot of chewing are best. Think yogurt, mashed potatoes, and smoothies.
- Oral Hygiene: Having optimal oral hygiene is absolutely critical with braces! Food easily gets trapped between wires and brackets, and plaque can develop and lead to tooth decay. Brush after every meal and floss regularly. During your first week, there could be some tenderness—so keep it slow, steady, and thorough. We can provide you with some tools that can help out.
- Speech Changes: Your tongue has to adapt to the presence of braces, so you might find you speak a bit differently in the beginning. We suggest practicing reading out loud and talking with friends to help you adjust quickly.
If you’re a parent, there might be a few extra considerations to take for your child wearing their braces for the first time. Smiles of Palmetto Bay treats patients of all ages, so we’re well-equipped to help!
- Encourage Patience: Children might have less pain tolerance, or tolerance in general! It’s helpful to assure them that the discomfort is temporary, but also to listen carefully in case the discomfort extends past a normal timeline, or gets extreme.
- Positive Reinforcement: We highly suggest offering praise and positive reinforcement for their commitment and patience to their orthodontic treatment. Remind them of the light at the end of the tunnel—a healthy, beautiful smile.
Week One: Invisalign
You might find some similarities in this next list to the last one! But generally, it is a slightly different process with clear aligners like Invisalign, that’s usually a bit less intense than traditional braces.
- Initial Discomfort: Discomfort associated with clear aligners is usually related to pressure on your teeth as they shift. This tends to be mild and shouldn’t last longer than the first few days.
- Speech Adjustments: Invisalign aligners fit extremely snugly to your teeth, which can make speaking a bit strange at first! A lot of patients encounter a temporary lisp and difficulty pronouncing certain words. Again, practice makes perfect!
- Hygiene: Oral health is equally important with Invisalign, but you’ll care for your teeth a bit differently! Since you can remove your appliance, flossing and brushing shouldn’t be too difficult. You also need to clean your aligners to prevent odor and staining (it really is not pleasant to have a foul-smelling aligner!). You can prevent staining by sticking to drinking water while wearing your appliance.
- Regular Wear: This is the other side to having a treatment that isn’t fixed in place. It’s vital that you wear your aligners at least 20-22 hours per day for the best results. You should only take them out for eating, drinking, and cleaning.
- Diet: You can continue to eat your favorite foods with Invisalign, but you should still be mindful of sugar intake. Also, be sure to brush after your meals to ensure you aren’t trapping food particles against your teeth when you put your aligners back on.
Getting the Hang Of It
Our team doesn’t leave the picture as soon as you leave our office! You’ll continue to attend regular appointments throughout the duration of your treatment, but we’ll also be available to contact between these visits, as well as in the beginning. So don’t hesitate to ask us questions, or to book a free consultation if you’re thinking of orthodontic treatment for a member of your family!