Braces are a big deal, whether you’re getting them as a kid or an adult. Orthodontia takes some getting used to, and being prepared is one way to smooth the process of adjusting to your new braces. From stocking your fridge with braces-friendly food to getting the oral care supplies you’ll use to care for your braces, here are a few things to think about before the big day.
Talk to the Pros
First, your regular dentist should check for tooth decay and gum problems before you make an initial orthodontic appointment. The dentist should administer a full oral exam to understand the positioning of your teeth, including taking X-rays. Together you discuss your options and agree on a personalized treatment plan that details the material of the braces and placement options.
Fill Your Fridge
In the first few days after getting braces, you need to avoid eating anything hard, crunchy, or chewy. Prepare by stocking up on soft foods such as mashed potatoes, yogurt, smoothies, pudding, and protein shakes. To get your vegetables in, try adding spinach to smoothies or pureeing vegetable soup. Although it’s tempting, try to avoid consuming sugary foods like ice cream and soda.
Stock up on Supplies
Orthodontic wax can help relieve the irritation braces may cause on the inside of the mouth. Keep wax around the house, and make sure you have some to take on the go in order to minimize discomfort throughout the day. You’ll also want to have over-the-counter pain reliever on hand. Brand new braces can cause dull pressure or slight pain, and mild pain relievers can help.
Calm Your Nerves
Make sure you’re working with a dentist who makes you feel comfortable, discusses all your options, and talks you through the process of braces, answering any questions you have. Both adults and children may have anxiety over the way braces affect their appearance. Explore alternative options to traditional metal braces if interested, and try to focus on the long-term benefits of braces — a straight, sparkling smile for years to come.
Bring something to the appointment that makes you feel calm. This might be relaxing music, a special item from home, or even a person who can calm you down or distract you. Before arriving, try to eat a meal and brush your teeth. You may even want to bring something cold like a cool compress or ice pack wrapped in a towel to reduce discomfort on the way home. Prior to leaving home, some patients also take an over-the-counter pain reliever to minimize discomfort during the procedure.
Consider Your Calendar
Your mouth may feel sore for a few days after getting braces, and it will take a while to grow accustomed to the sensation of braces. For these reasons, it’s a good idea to clear your calendar of any big events that require a lot of talking or eating in the days or weeks following your procedure. Expect to see your orthodontist every four to eight weeks for regular adjustments to your braces.
Klement Family Dental specializes in affordable options for braces in the St. Petersburg area. When you’re ready for a straighter smile, schedule your office visit by calling 727-498-1959 727-498-1959 or filling out our online contact form.