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First Days with Braces

It is an unfortunate fact that many patients shy away from braces because they are worried about pain and discomfort. Luckily, modern braces are more comfortable than ever, and patients who closely follow the aftercare instructions given to them by the orthodontist often feel nothing more than mild discomfort. During the first appointment, when the braces are placed on the teeth, there should be absolutely no discomfort. In the days following the appointment, however, some mild soreness and sensitivity might take place.

The majority of patients are only sore for three to four days following their adjustment appointments. Our team is dedicated to using modern tools and techniques while only applying a gentle amount of pressure whenever the wires are activated or adjusted. While you might experience mild discomfort, you will gradually become used to the feeling of having braces in your mouth.

Before Leaving Sequence Orthodontics

A few simple steps must be taken by patients before heading out of our office. These steps will reduce your risk of discomfort and prevent any unusual complications from taking place. During each visit with Sequence Orthodontics, all patients should:

  1. Check Wire Ends
    The wires should never extend too far away from the brackets where they might irritate the tongue or cheeks. Patients should use their tongue and fingers to make sure the wires are in the correct position.
  2. Understand Next Steps
    Everyone should be absolutely clear on the next steps that must be taken before the following appointment. This often includes making changes to their diet, wearing headgear, wearing elastics and adjusting the expanders.
  3. Supplies
    Caring for your braces requires a few unique supplies, such as elastic bands, extra dental wax, and special cleaning aids.
  4. Book Your Next Visit
    Patients must always schedule their next appointment before leaving the office to prevent any delays with their treatment time. Our office can become quite busy, and appointments generally need to be made up to six weeks in advance. Postponing follow-up appointments is one of the most common causes of an extended treatment time.

Your First Week in Braces

The modern adhesive we use to cement brackets to the teeth should dry almost instantaneously, but it will take around 24 hours for the material to set completely. While we tell patients they can eat immediately after the braces have been put on their teeth, it is important to watch what you eat. Certain foods and beverages can damage the braces and even harm your teeth. Patients who are not completely comfortable with their braces should stick to softer foods, such as boiled vegetables, pasta, soup, seedless bread, yogurt, and pudding.

During your first appointment, our orthodontist will show you how to properly place the dental wax over your braces. The silicone-based wax is designed to create a barrier between your braces and the soft tissue on the inside of your mouth to prevent irritation. Salt water rinses are recommended to prevent soreness, but some patients also use over-the-counter painkillers such as Motrin and Advil.

The initial soreness from the braces should be completely gone within five or six days. Your mouth will quickly acclimate to the pressure, and eating should be much easier after the first week.

Alleviating Discomfort

  • Feeling as if your braces stick out is completely normal. Most patients claim that the peculiar sensation of having braces is gone after just a few days. You might even feel as if you have extra space in your mouth after the braces are removed!
  • Even though modern braces are rounded and smoothed, patients often need to use a small amount of wax to prevent irritation. Just as with all the other soft tissue throughout your body, your cheeks will toughen after a few weeks of constant exposure to the brackets and wires.
  • The extra pressure on your teeth will most likely create a small amount of discomfort, but the soreness will gradually subside after the first few hours and should be mostly gone after a day or two. Your front teeth might also be somewhat tender and sensitive to pressure during that time.
  • Due to the fact that every patient is slightly different, there is no way to predict exactly when the soreness will go away. A small dose of over-the-counter medication should be enough to mask the discomfort.

Please Remember: Any discomfort you might be feeling is just the crookedness leaving your smile!