First Days In Braces: What To Expect
The adhesive used for attaching the braces to your teeth cures rapidly initially but takes 24-hours to completely cure. 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 cease to be a concern. Although the brackets have been rounded and smoothed, until the cheek tissues have “toughened”, you may find it helpful to use a small piece of dental wax around the bracket that is creating the irritation. You will probably notice some 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 remedies 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 which we ask you to complete prior to leaving. 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, check to see that the wire ends do not extend into areas which might poke or abrade the cheek or tongue.
- Make sure you understand what you are to do until your next appointment. This could include wearing headgear or elastics as instructed, 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 you may need between appointments.
- Always schedule your next appointment before leaving the office. Waiting 1-2 weeks after an appointment before scheduling your next office visit complicates the scheduling process since appointments are programmed 4-6 weeks in advance. Postponing appointments is a common contributor to overtime treatment.