If you just had braces put on, first of all, congratulations! You’re starting down the path to a beautiful, healthy smile. As you begin adjusting to a new set of braces, realize that the first few days are the hardest. With a few tips, you can make it through the transition period and get used to life with metal in your mouth.

Tackle Soreness

Taking pain medication is the main way to help you get through temporary soreness from a new set of braces. We recommend Tylenol (acetaminophen) rather than Advil or Motrin (ibuprofen) because these latter medications can slow tooth movement and make the pain last longer. To get ahead of the soreness, take the recommended dose before you head to Speaks Orthodontics in Denver for each braces adjustment.

You can also apply an ice pack over the sore area or suck on ice to help numb your mouth. Just remember not to chew the ice!

We’ll also supply you with orthodontic wax, which you can place over brackets and wires that create sore spots in your mouth. Remember, your cheeks and tongue are just getting used to your braces. Once they do, your braces will no longer feel irritating.

Practice Talking

You may feel self-conscious about the way you talk when you get a new set of braces. To help you adjust to having this appliance in your mouth, practice talking when you’re alone. The more you do, the sooner talking with braces will feel totally normal.

Know What to Eat

Wearing braces means your diet will be slightly restricted for the next little while. After getting your braces on and after each subsequent adjustment, eat soft food for the first few days. This prevents added pressure on your sore teeth from causing discomfort.

Even after your teeth have adjusted to their current placement, you should avoid all sticky, hard and chewy foods from here on out. Follow this guide to foods and drinks you should avoid with braces if you’re not sure what is and isn’t allowed. Then ask our orthodontist in Denver for additional guidance if you still have questions.

Take Care of Your Teeth

Brushing and flossing feel a little different when you have braces. However, you can’t skimp on important oral hygiene if you want to avoid complications from tooth decay and gum disease while straightening your teeth. The day you get your braces on, we’ll go over everything you need to know about protecting your smile while wearing braces.

One task we recommend is brushing after every meal. In a perfect world, this would be easy, but you’re probably at school or work in the middle of the day. To solve this dilemma, consider packing a travel toothbrush in your backpack, purse or suitcase so you can brush on the go. When at home, use an electric toothbrush to clean around each bracket more effectively than a manual toothbrush.

You should also floss daily. This task is easier said than done when you have wires connecting every tooth. Fortunately, floss threaders with stiffer ends are easier to feed through braces than regular floss, which speeds up the process. You can also try water flossing to massage your gums and dislodge food trapped between your teeth.

Finally, swish with fluoride mouthwash after brushing and flossing before bed every night to strengthen and protect your teeth. This is especially important for people with braces ages 7 to 17.

Be Prepared for Regular Visits to the Orthodontist for Adjustments

If you take good care of your braces by avoiding certain foods and take good care of your teeth by brushing and flossing, you should only need to visit Dr. Speaks for regular adjustments every few weeks.