You’ve decided to take the leap and get adult braces! It’s a smart investment in yourself and you are now just months away from having the smile you’ve always dreamed of being able to show off. You’ll probably be anxiously awaiting that orthodontist appointment when you finally get your braces, but what happens when you leave? What should you expect on that first day?
What to expect immediately after being fit for your braces will depend a lot on what type of braces you get and your personal tolerance levels. But there are a few helpful hints that we can provide to make your first few days of wearing adult braces a little more pleasant. Always remember that our team is here for you, too. If you have any questions about your braces or are experiencing an increase in the pain level, please get in touch with us right away so we can help. Otherwise, you may find some helpful answers in this article!
What to Expect the First Few Days of Wearing Braces
A little discomfort is normal.
Incognito, ceramic and traditional braces do not hurt when they are being put on in the orthodontist’s office. However, some discomfort might start to occur within a few hours or even a few days of having your braces. That’s totally normal. It’s caused by your mouth getting used to the brackets and wires as well as the gentle pressure that’s being applied to move your teeth into their new positions. The discomfort that you feel should be easily managed with over-the-counter pain medications. Ice packs can also help, and you might want to consider treating yourself to a little ice cream or a smoothie. The cool food can help to dull the pain and calm any inflammation that’s occurring. Happily, many patients report that they experienced very little or no pain, and if they did, it went away within a couple days.
You might slur your speech a little.
Don’t be embarrassed if you aren’t able to speak as clearly as normal right after you get your braces. This can happen with any teeth straightening treatment, including Invisalign, because your mouth is working in a new and different way. Your speech is affected by new tongue placements and the way that you have to form your words around the appliances. Give yourself some time to practice your speech; it should go back to normal as your mouth adjusts. Most people are speaking clearly in just a few days and don’t have issues the rest of the time they are wearing their braces.
You’ll need to eat soft foods.
Your teeth might be a little sensitive to touch right after your braces have been applied. Give them a break by sticking to soft foods for at least the first day, if not for a few days afterward as well. Smoothies, yogurt, pudding, pasta, and soups are all good choices. You might want to stock up on these before your appointment to ensure you have a supply of soft, safe foods to eat when you return home. You can gradually start to reintroduce other foods into your diet, but you’ll need to avoid sticky and hard foods for the duration of your treatment. They can damage your braces and set back your treatment.
Learning to care for braces takes some time.
Your orthodontist will go over caring for your braces at home. For the most part, caring for your braces is going to involve keeping them clean; that’s the same for Invisalign as well as bracket and wire methods. Investing in an electric toothbrush if you don’t already have one is a smart idea. They’ll help you get into more of the cracks and crevices in and around your braces for a deeper clean. Take your time with this process, because it’s an important one. You’ll want to brush after every meal to ensure no food is trapped and left behind. Don’t panic if you find a random piece of food in your braces the first couple days you are wearing them; it can take some time to get used to thoroughly clean them. Just slow down and increase the amount of time you are using the electric toothbrush.
Be gentle with yourself.
You’ve taken a big step in getting adult braces! If the first couple of days are uncomfortable, just focus on the big pay off at the end of your hard work. By the end of the first week, most patients tell us that wearing their braces became second nature. The discomfort evening goes away and you get into the routine of good dental hygiene. After that, it’s smooth sailing until the day you get your braces off or no longer have to wear your Invisalign tray.
Your New Braces Self Care Kit
Want to ensure you have a successful first week of wearing braces? Put together this self-care kit before your first appointment to ensure you have everything you need to care for yourself and your braces when you get home.
- Plenty of soft foods
- Pasta, soups, yogurt, and pudding
- Pain relievers
- Over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatories should help
- Your coziest blanket
- Your mouth might hurt a little, but the rest of you can be comfortable!
- An electric toothbrush
- Treat yourself to a new electric toothbrush to ensure you have the tools on hand to clean your teeth
- A small notebook
- This can be helpful to help you keep track of your symptoms, when you last cleaned your braces, or even tracking questions that you want to ask on your next visit
- Your next appointment
- Make sure you have your next appointment booked with Dr. Riano
Our Team is Here to Help You!
Whether you have a question on the first day you are wearing your braces or on the last day, we’ll be here to support you. We know that it can take some time to get used to wearing your adult braces and surprising situations can pop up along the way. That’s why our team is always available to answer your questions and support you on your journey to a straighter, healthier smile! If you do have any questions or concerns at any point, just get in touch with us.
You can reach our office by giving us a call at 415-233-9061. We’re open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturdays by appointment only. Our team can help you get the answers you need, offer advice, or make an appointment for you to see Dr. Riano so he can address your concerns in person. You are going to love your new smile!