After getting braces, there is often a short period of adjustment when it is necessary to make a few lifestyle changes to maintain comfort. For most orthodontic patients, soreness will only last a few days while their teeth and gums adjust to the feeling of braces. Although this will not interfere with eating and speaking, the following tips will help to ease any discomfort that occurs when adjusting to braces.
Eat Soft Foods
During the first few days after having braces placed or tightened, it is common to have some teeth and jaw soreness. This is simply a sign that the braces are working properly. Eating soft foods will help to minimize the pressure placed on the mouth while chewing. Soup, scrambled eggs and mashed potatoes are several types of foods that can be eaten until the soreness eases. It is also helpful to avoid acidic foods and drinks that can further irritate mouth sores.
Use Salt Water Rinses
In addition to sensitive teeth, it is common for mouth sores to occur as a result of the wires and brackets rubbing against one’s gums and cheeks. If this occurs, then a salt water solution can be made using one-half teaspoon of salt mixed into a cup of warm water. Rinsing for one minute with the salt water solution several times a day will sooth irritation and encourage healing.
Apply Orthodontic Wax
Orthodontists frequently provide patients with orthodontic wax that can be used to prevent mouth sores. According to Oral-B, this wax can be placed onto brackets and wires anywhere they come in contact with a person’s mouth. This will help to create a barrier that will make mouth sores less likely so that a person can eat and speak comfortably.
For those with misaligned teeth or bites, braces can provide many benefits. However, it is common for a person to experience some minor discomfort during the first week after orthodontic treatment. By eating a soft diet, rinsing with salt water and minimizing the contact between their brackets and cheeks, a person can adjust to life with braces while they work on improving their smile.