By Dr. Nima Hajibaik
The application of braces can sometimes cause minor sensitivity, and discomfort for your teeth, and irritation to the lips and tongue for the first several days, but there are ways to ease into the transition.
You have scheduled your appointment and discussed the different types of braces available, and now you are ready to have them placed. Is there anything you can do to prepare beforehand? Yes, there is. Take some time to be prepared for your orthodontic braces by purchasing a few items you will need for the first few days such as:
• Over-the-counter-pain medications like Tylenol or Ibuprofen
• Dental wax (This is also provided by your orthodontist.)
• Ice pack
• Soft foods like soup, mashed potatoes, yogurt, ice cream, etc.
• Smoothies or protein drinks
• Purchase oral hygiene implements such as toothbrush, floss, etc., as recommended by your orthodontist
Braces, day one: Take the recommended age-appropriate dose of an over-the-counter pain meds such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen 30 minutes before your visit to the orthodontist to have your braces applied. This can help to lessen any discomfort you may experience during and after you get your braces. This applies to children or to those who are having adult braces applied.
Once you get home, you can resume normal activity but you will want to stick to a soft food regime over the course of the next few days until you become adjusted to the new appliance. Taking sips of ice-cold water or eating frozen popsicles or ice cream can help to ease the discomfort. If you experience any sores on your tongue or lips, gargle with a mild salt water rinse to help heal the irritated areas.
Try to avoid citrus fruits or drinks at this time as they can cause further discomfort. Do not attempt to remove any bands or wires from your braces if they give you trouble; apply dental wax to the area to help alleviate any irritation.
After a week or so: you will become used to your new braces and they should not bother you as much. Continue to rinse with mild salt water and use your dental wax as needed. All of these tips can apply to the application of all types of dental braces. It is always a good idea to sit down and talk with a professional, your orthodontist has years of experience in this field, and will help you to make this transition as easy and painless as possible.
Dr. Nima Hajibaik works at Newpark Orthodontics, located in Alpharetta, Ga. To learn more about Dr. Nima Hajibaik or Newpark Orthodontics visit newparkortho.com or call (678) 389-9400.