As with any dental procedure, when patients start wearing braces, their teeth and mouth will initially feel sore. But again, just like with any other dental procedure, their teeth adjust eventually to the change and allow them to get back to a normal routine in no time.
During your first week of braces, you’ll definitely want to stick to eating soft foods as your teeth adjust to their new gear. Eating softer foods and listening to the advice of your dentists will allow you to heal faster, but just remember that everyone’s healing time will vary.
The Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment
There are various reasons dentists suggest that younger patients, typically between the ages of 8-14. According to the Canadian Association of Orthodontists, this is the best age bracket because all of their primary teeth are now gone and their adult teeth are in and they’re still growing, therefore, their teeth will adapt to change more quickly. The most common type of braces treatment for kids is traditional metal braces, but Invisalign® and other types of braces can be chosen too (depending on the severity and goals of the patient).
Regardless of the type of braces chosen, there are many benefits to getting braces in the first place:
- Provides you with a beautifully straight smile and an improved self-confidence
- Fixes bite/alignment issues
- Improves speech impediments, specifically lisps caused by crooked teeth
- Straightens crooked teeth that can otherwise cause issues with flossing properly, putting strain on your jawbone, and that cause frequent headaches
- In turn, this can also help prevent things like cavities and gum disease
- Prevents the erosion of gums
- Aides in digestion since you can chew your food more thoroughly thanks to straighter teeth and no gaps
- Saves you more money in the long run from having to fix individual teeth that are problematic
- Improves your overall oral hygiene
Follow A Soft Diet That Is Braces-Friendly
The benefits of undergoing braces treatment may be endless, but unfortunately, it will come with some minor discomfort. New braces can take a while to get used to, especially when it comes to your diet. You won’t be able to dive right into your favourite foods right away and there are some you should avoid altogether.
- Crunchy foods
- Sticky foods
- Chewy foods
- Foods that are awkward to bite into like corn on the cob or an apple
- Large amounts of sugar
Try These Instead
You’ll eventually graduate to more solid foods after a week or two, but in the meantime, try sticking to things like:
- Soft veggies that have been cooked/boiled
- Mashed potatoes
- Soup or broths that aren’t too hot
- Seedless bread
Do You Have Sore Spots?
If you’re experiencing significant irritation due to metal brackets and wires and they’re leaving marks on your cheeks or on the insides of your lips, you can use something called dental wax. It’s either made by beeswax or carnauba and is specifically designed to act as a barrier between your cheeks and braces, help fight sores, or act as a protective barrier if you play contact sports. Just remember to take it off before eating or drinking.
To help relieve pain and promote healing of your cheeks or lips, dentists suggest rinsing with warm salt water – mix half a teaspoon of table salt in a glass of warm water and swish it around your mouth for approximately 30 seconds. This can also help prevent bacterial growth and reduce inflammation.
Continue To Practice Good Oral Hygiene With Braces
In order for your braces to truly work wonders, you still need to practice good oral hygiene like brushing twice daily and flossing once daily. Brushing your teeth during your first week of braces may feel a bit uncomfortable so opt for a soft-bristled toothbrush in the meantime. Your dental team will also provide you with cleaning aids that you can use to floss between the wires more easily. It may seem like a hassle at first, but with the proper equipment and practice, you’ll get used to it in no time.
Contact Us If You Have Any Questions or Concerns
The hardest part about getting braces is getting used to eating different foods at first. You can eat normal foods after discomfort has subsided which can take anywhere from a week or two, however, every patient is different. During the first week, it’s in your best interest to stick to braces-friendly foods such as boiled vegetables, smoothies, oatmeal, etc. and to steer clear of foods that are crunchy, sticky or chewy.
If you have any questions about orthodontics and how they can help you achieve that beautiful smile you’ve always longed for, contact our team today, including our Dentist Hamilton, who will be happy to assist you.