First Days in Braces
The glue used for attaching the braces to your teeth hardens rapidly at first, but takes 24-hours to completely set. You can eat any time after leaving our office. However, we ask that you be mindful of the suggested list of foods that may be harmful to the braces. Until you become accustomed to eating with your new braces, you may find it beneficial to follow a diet consisting of soft foods.
Will the braces cause discomfort?
Initially the braces feel like they “stick out.” This is normal. As you become accustomed to your braces and your tooth alignment improves, this sensation will disappear and will become more comfortable. If you do have any irritation, you may find it helpful to place a small piece of dental wax around the bracket. You will probably notice some mild discomfort beginning a few hours after your braces are placed. Some teeth, usually the front teeth, may be tender and sensitive to pressure. Occasionally, patients report they experience no discomfort, but most have some soreness during the first eight hours, dissipating within the week. Exactly when the discomfort ceases is impossible to predict and differs for each patient. You may wish to take non-prescription pain medications commonly taken for other discomforts such as headaches. For maximum effectiveness, it may be best to take such medications before the discomfort begins.
Before leaving the office, there are routine steps that we ask you to complete. These steps will minimize discomfort related to irritation from the braces and ensure an optimal response to treatment. Please make these steps a part of each office visit:
- Using your finger and tongue, make sure the wire ends do not extend into areas that might poke your cheek or tongue.
- Make sure you understand what you are to do between appointments. This could include wearing elastics, adjusting an expander or following specific hygiene and diet instructions.
- Make sure you have an adequate supply of dental wax, special cleaning aids, elastic bands, or other related materials.
- Always schedule your next appointment before leaving the office. Waiting 1-2 weeks to schedule your next visit complicates the scheduling process, since appointments are programmed 4-6 weeks in advance. Postponing appointments is a common contributor to overall time in braces lasting longer than originally planned.