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What to Do After You First Get Braces

If you’ve decided to go the route of traditional braces as opposed to Invisalign, then there’s a lot more maintenance you’ll need to deal with. To make sure your teeth stay as healthy as possible while you’re wearing braces, here are some habits you need to start practicing after getting braces.

Before Leaving the Office

There are a few things to remember to do before leaving your orthodontics office. Doing these things will minimize discomfort while ensuring your teeth respond properly to the treatment. Before leaving, be sure to check the ends of your wires. Using your tongue or fingers, determine whether you’re poking or rubbing against your tongue or cheeks. It’s also important that you understand what you’ll need to do until your next appointment. That could include wearing elastics, headgear or maintaining specific hygiene practices. But you can’t do so without the proper equipment, so don’t leave your appointment without all the necessary tools needed for success. Lastly, you’ll need to book a follow-up visit set four to six weeks in advance.

The First Week

While the outer coating of the adhesive on your braces hardens quickly, the layers within will take up to 24-hours to fully harden, meaning that you should only eat soft foods to ensure shifting or breakage doesn’t occur. You don’t have to wait to eat after your appointment, but keep this suggestion in mind and stick to pasta dishes, thin soup, yogurt or boiled vegetables.

Your teeth will hurt after getting braces. This is completely normal, as your teeth are slowly shifting into a new position while being under pressure. Once your teeth have gotten accustomed to the braces and movement, it’ll be easier to eat, talk and you won’t be in constant pain. If you find that you can’t handle the pain, take over-the-counter pain medication like Motrin and Advil to alleviate some of the discomforts.

Foods to Avoid

Even though you can eat softer foods soon after your braces are on, there are certain foods you’ll have to say goodbye to until it’s time for your braces to come off. In general, you’ll want to avoid foods high in sugar, sticky foods and harder foods. Eating hard foods like raw vegetables, whole apples or hardened candy will likely damage or break your braces and wiring. Stickier foods like gum or peanut butter tend to latch onto your braces and refuse to let go without a professional cleaning. Sugary foods will increase your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Lastly, any bad chewing habits like nail biting or pencil chewing will also damage your orthodontic work.

Oral Hygiene

While practicing proper oral hygiene is important whether you have braces or not, it’s crucial when you’re undergoing orthodontic treatments that can last for years. As it’s difficult to brush or floss your teeth through braces as efficiently, it’s necessary that you try your best, as more bacteria and food particles will get stuck.

At Lumina Dental, our dedicated and highly skilled dentists will provide patients with cosmetic dentistry, restorative dentistry, dentures, dental implants, urgent care and orthodontic care. Located in Maple Ridge, BC, give us a call or visit our website to book an appointment.