Congratulations on beginning your child’s journey to a magnificent, healthy smile through braces! Although starting orthodontic treatment can be equally exhilarating and intimidating at times, with the right team and some preparation, it will be an effortless experience.
As a parent, you play a crucial role in your child’s orthodontic treatment. To ensure a successful outcome, it’s important to stay informed and closely follow the instructions provided by your orthodontist.
Let’s explore what you can expect during the first week of wearing braces.
The first few days with braces
The first week with braces can be a bit of an adjustment period. Your child may experience some discomfort and will need to get used to the feeling of the braces in their mouth. Follow the orthodontist’s instructions for caring for the braces and managing discomfort. This may include taking over-the-counter pain medication, avoiding certain types of food, and using wax to cover any rough or poking wires.
How to use the dental wax
To apply the wax, scrape a small amount off the container using your fingernail. Then roll it between your fingers until it becomes soft and pliable. Place it gently over the area that is bothering your child and press down lightly to ensure the wax adheres to the braces.
Eating with braces
One of the biggest adjustments for children with braces is learning to eat with them. It’s essential to avoid hard, sticky, and sugary foods that can damage the braces or get stuck in the wires and brackets. Soft, easily chewable foods are generally the best choice during treatment. It’s also important to remember to brush the teeth and braces thoroughly after meals.
Eating with braces during the first week can feel a bit strange and uncomfortable. Your child may find that their teeth are more sensitive than usual or struggle to chew certain foods because of the added pressure of the brackets and wires. Be patient and remind your child to take small bites, chew slowly, and use caution when biting into hard or crunchy items. With time, they will become more accustomed to how it feels to eat with braces.
Types of food to avoid with braces:
- Hard foods such as nuts, hard candies, pizza crust, popcorn, and ice
- Sticky or chewy foods such as caramels, gummy bears, and taffy
- Sugary treats like candy bars and cake
- Crunchy snacks like popcorn, chips, and pretzels
Oral hygiene with braces
Taking care of your teeth is essential during orthodontic treatment, particularly when it comes to preventing plaque buildup. Brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing daily will help remove any food particles stuck in or around the braces. Doing this ensures you maintain good oral hygiene throughout your entire treatment process. Your child’s orthodontist may recommend using special floss threaders or a water flosser to help clean between the teeth and wires.
Without getting all the plaque and food particles out, your child may be at risk for cavities, gum disease, and other dental issues. With braces, it’s even more critical to practice good oral hygiene habits to ensure a healthy smile.
Adjusting to life with braces
It’s natural for children (and adults!) to feel a little self-conscious or frustrated when they first get braces. Encourage your child to express any concerns or discomfort they may be feeling, and remind them that the result – a beautiful, healthy smile – is worth it. You can also help your child find ways to make treatment more comfortable and enjoyable, such as choosing fun colored bands for the braces or rewarding them for good oral hygiene habits.
The role of the orthodontist and staff in your treatment journey
Your child’s orthodontist and staff are essential to the treatment process. Regular appointments and check-ins are crucial for monitoring progress and making necessary adjustments to the treatment plan. Communicate with your orthodontist and staff about any questions or concerns and follow their instructions for care.
Feel Confident in Your Smile with Dietrich & Kelso Orthodontics!
At Dietrich & Kelso Orthodontics, we understand the complexity of life with braces and strive to make treatment as comfortable and convenient as possible. We take great pride in helping you achieve a smile that you’re proud of. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a free consultation!