Congratulations on the beginning of your braces journey! KBL Orthodontics wants you to feel confident caring for your orthodontic health at home. Our team has provided an easy guide to complete your first week in braces. Keep reading to learn more about your oral hygiene, begin new routines, and adjust to new eating habits!
Placing Your Braces
Following your consultation, placing your braces on your teeth will be the first step of your treatment. This procedure generally lasts an hour to ensure your brackets, bands, wires, and other pieces are intact and in the most effective position deemed by Dr. Lewis.
We will glue the brackets directly on your teeth using a special glue called bonding cement. This strong adhesive ensures everything stays secure. You can expect a short adjustment period, lasting no more than a week, after your braces are solidified.
Average Treatment Length
On average, treatment lasts between one to three years. It will depend on the type of braces used, your current oral health, and your age. After your placement, subsequent check-in appointments are scheduled every four to eight weeks to ensure everything goes according to plan and as efficiently as possible.
A Chance To Begin Routines
The first week of your treatment is a great time to start establishing your routines that will benefit you throughout your time with braces. Everything from brushing your teeth to caring for a loosened wire, it is essential you understand your appliance to care for yourself when you are not in the treatment chair.
Of course, it would be hard to know everything in your first week. Each of the following steps is a great starting point to ensuring you stay on track with your treatment plan and your teeth shift in the right direction. If, at any point, you think of a question about your braces or are confused about the instructions we have given you, don’t hesitate to give us a call to clarify.
At-Home Emergency Care
Especially early on in your braces journey, you may experience some general soreness. This is entirely normal, as your mouth needs time to adjust to the presence of your appliance. Any discomfort should go away on its own within a few days, but if it starts to bother you, there are a couple of things you can do
You can rinse with warm salt water to eliminate any lingering bacteria in your mouth. This can also help to soothe any tender areas. You may also take over-the-counter painkillers. Ask Dr. Lewis about which she recommends and in which cases you can use them.
Loose or Broken Brackets
If one of your brackets comes loose from its position, don’t worry. This is a fixable emergency our team at KBL Orthodontics is equipped to handle. Begin by notifying Dr. Lewis as soon as possible so we can help you determine if an emergency appointment is necessary. In the meantime, your best temporary solution is to rotate the bracket back into place and place orthodontic wax to avoid irritation or injury inside your mouth.
In the case of a pointy wire, be careful not to play with it too much to avoid irritation or cuts on the inside of your mouth. It may come loose just from everyday tasks like chewing. You can place a piece of orthodontic wax on the affected area to keep it flush with your appliance. Don’t worry if it falls off by itself; your body can safely digest it.
Adjusting Your Eating Habits
Changing your eating habits may take time to get used to. When wearing braces, you must keep them in mind when choosing which foods to eat so as not to damage them or interfere with your treatment plan.
What To Include
Dr. Lewis recommends eating soft, simple-to-chew foods like pasta, eggs, oatmeal, yogurt, steamed veggies, well-cooked chicken, etc. These are all easy on your teeth and are great options early on if your teeth are sensitive. You can eat these throughout treatment and may even find a new food you love!
What To Leave Behind
Unfortunately, some foods must stay in the cupboard while you have braces on. Anything sticky, hard, or extra chewy places too much pressure on your appliance that it is not meant to withstand. We recommend removing popcorn, apples, crackers, nuts, hard cookies, bagels, and the like from your meals. While you may not be able to enjoy your favorite food, we promise the payoff of a beautifully straightened smile will be worth the wait!
Continue Practicing Oral Hygiene
Cleaning Your Teeth
The foundation of oral hygiene begins with brushing your teeth twice daily. It is an essential task in preserving your dental health. When wearing braces, keeping your teeth clean requires additional time to ensure you keep your teeth clean and your appliance.
KBL Orthodontics recommends using a soft-bristled toothbrush with fluoride toothpaste to protect your appliance while still doing the job well. Before putting away your brush, don’t forget to inspect your teeth to make sure all food particles are gone. Crooked teeth allow accessible spaces for food to hide, but our team will let you know any specific places to watch out for.
Keeping Up With Flossing
While you may not need to floss after each brushing, flossing remains crucial in protecting your oral health. You’ll want to dislodge any food left behind to ensure nothing decays over time.
Your wire prevents you from flossing to the bottom of each tooth, so we provide special threaders so you can easily clean hard-to-reach areas. All you need to do is attach your string of floss to it, thread it through below the wire, and wiggle it around to get rid of food pieces.
Smile Results That Last You A Lifetime!
Now that you understand more about caring for your teeth with braces, we hope you feel confident in beginning your smile journey! KBL Orthodontics is passionate about helping patients each step of the way and acting as a resource when we can. We are proud to serve Dothan and the surrounding communities. Call us today to schedule your free consultation!