Adjusting to new hardware on your teeth

When you get braces, you will experience an adjustment period.  As with anything new, it may take a little time for you to become accustomed to them.  Today’s braces are more comfortable and much easier to deal with than braces of days gone by.  Modern technology has made everything about braces, including the adjustment period, easier to deal with.

OrajelSo, how exactly can you adjust to all the new hardware in your mouth?  Although each person’s situation is unique, there are several key tips that will help make your adjustment smoother and easier.  If you have specific questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Owl Orthodontics directly.

  • Use over-the-counter pain relief if you need it.  When you get your braces on, you may experience some pressure.  This is normal because you have taken an important first step in helping your teeth become straighter and healthier.  Over-the-counter pain medications will ease any discomfort, but if the feeling lasts too long or becomes very painful, you should call the office because you may need a follow-up appointment.
  • Follow the directions about avoiding certain foods.  This is especially true at the beginning to avoid additional discomfort and unnecessary problems with your new brackets or wires.  As you become accustomed to them, you may be tempted to begin indulging in certain foods; it is important to resist that temptation.  In addition, remember that although some foods do not go well with braces, many other foods are fine; this can be a wonderful time to explore some new foods.  You may even find some new favorites!
  • Ask questions.  This is simple advice but it’s important, nonetheless.  If you want to know why a particular food is off-limits for people with braces, ask.  Curious about how your brackets and wires work together to straighten your teeth?  Ask!  Wondering why your new wire feels different from your old one?  Ask away.  Asking questions is an important part of the adjustment process because if you communicate with the orthodontist and staff, you can ensure that minor issues do not turn into major problems.
  • Follow instructions.  If the staff provides you with wax or other materials and tells you to use it, make sure you use it.  Everyone at Owl Orthodontics is committed to providing you with a positive experience; as experts in orthodontic care, we have the education and experience to back up that commitment.
  • Learn how to practice good oral hygiene with your new hardware.  This may involve some trial and error, but commit yourself to this process because brushing and flossing are more important than ever.  In addition, do not make the mistake of thinking orthodontic visits eliminate the need for dental visits; regular dental care is a key element of a positive orthodontic experience.

New experiences can be intimidating at times and getting braces is no exception.  However, if you report any problems immediately and follow instructions, you will adjust quickly to the new hardware in your mouth.  Before you know it, you’ll be offering reassurance and advice to others when they are getting used to new braces.  Good luck and feel free to share any tips below.