What to Know Before Getting Braces
No matter how old you are, it is perfectly normal to feel a little nervous before you get your braces. Knowing how to prepare for braces will make the process much less intimidating. At Prescott Dentistry, we want to help you feel as comfortable as possible with getting braces. Today, our compassionate dentists are answering the three most common questions.
Preparing for Braces—Three Common Questions
1. Do Braces Hurt?
This is one of the most common questions we get! While the initial procedure of placing your braces does not hurt, new or tightened braces can cause some mild discomfort.
As your teeth adjust to the new alignment, you may experience some aching and pressure in your jaw. You can easily manage pain and discomfort from braces with over-the-counter medications, or by applying ice to your jaw.
You might also experience discomfort from the brackets of your braces scraping your cheeks and tongue. Applying dental wax to the brackets can help prevent irritation and numbing oral gel can provide relief to irritated areas.
Broken or loose wires or brackets in your braces can also cause pain and make your braces less effective. Contact your orthodontist immediately if your braces break in any way! If you delay repairing your braces, you will also delay the day when your braces can come off for good.
2. What Foods Should You Avoid with Braces?
You should stick to a soft food diet for the first few days after the placement of your braces because your teeth will temporarily feel extra sensitive. Your teeth will adjust to your new braces after about a week. Once your pain disappears, you can return to a normal diet.
However, certain foods can get stuck in your braces and damage the brackets and wires or cause cavities and stains. You must avoid the following foods for the entire time you have braces:
- Sticky foods, including candy and gum
- Chewy foods, such as beef jerky
- Hard, crunchy foods like nuts and popcorn
- Foods that you have to bite into, like apples and corn on the cob (you can still eat these foods if you cut them into small pieces first)
3. How Do You Take Care of Your Teeth with Braces?
Apart from avoiding certain foods, taking care of your teeth with braces also requires good oral hygiene. It’s very important to brush and floss thoroughly after every meal when you have braces, because it is much easier for food particles to get trapped in your teeth and cause decay.
Use a toothbrush with a small brush head so you can easily brush around each individual bracket of your braces. It’s a good idea to carry a travel toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash with you to clean your teeth after meals when you are away from home.
If you play contact sports, you should also wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth and braces. If you get hit in the face, the impact could cause your braces to harm your cheeks or cause damage to your braces.
Teeth Cleaning in Prescott, AZ
Preparing your teeth for braces and taking care of them after placement requires regular professional teeth cleanings. At Prescott Dentistry in Arizona, we provide a wide range of holistic dental services that help you maintain a bright, healthy smile. We are happy to answer any of your questions and concerns about how to prepare for braces. Call 928-445-1660 today to schedule a free consultation.