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Sacramento Dentist Reveals 25 Essential Tips for Adjusting to Life with Braces

By March 7, 2024March 21st, 2024Orthodontics
close up of girl smiling with teeth braces

Getting braces can be a significant change in anyone’s life, whether you’re a teenager or an adult. While the end result of straight teeth and a beautiful smile is totally worth it, the adjustment period can be challenging. Our Sacramento dentist is here to give you some helpful tips and tricks for transitioning to life as a braces wearer. 

If you’re interested in braces treatment in Sacramento, CA, contact Dr. Timothy E. Mickiewicz, D.D.S. Our talented Sacramento dentist can help you straighten your smile quickly for a healthier, more ravishing smile. Schedule a consultation now by dialing (916) 469-9178. 

From dietary restrictions to oral hygiene routines, there are several aspects to consider when adapting to life with braces. In this blog post, our Sacramento dentist discusses 25 essential tips to help make the transition smoother and ensure a successful braces journey.

Follow Your Provider’s Instructions 

Your dental provider is your best resource for guidance during your braces journey. Follow their instructions diligently, including:

  • Wearing elastics
  • Scheduling regular appointments
  • Adhering to any dietary restrictions

Invest in Orthodontic Wax 

Braces can sometimes cause irritation and discomfort, especially during the initial stages. To alleviate rubbing and soreness, apply orthodontic wax to the brackets and wires.

Maintain Proper Oral Hygiene 

It’s imperative to brush your teeth thoroughly after every meal, utilizing a toothbrush with soft bristles and fluoride toothpaste. Additionally, incorporating flossing into your daily routine is essential. Using specialized orthodontic floss or a floss threader can effectively remove food particles that tend to get trapped between the brackets and wires of your braces.

Stay Hydrated 

Drinking plenty of fresh, clean water helps prevent dry mouth and keeps your mouth comfortable, especially if you’re experiencing soreness from braces. Just be sure to avoid water additives or enhancers, as these can worsen soreness. 

Choose Soft Foods

In the first few days after getting braces, stick to soft foods that require minimal chewing to avoid discomfort. Our Sacramento dentist recommends:

  • Nutrient-rich smoothies
  • Meal replacement shakes
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Soups and stews

Avoid Hard and Sticky Foods 

Certain foods can damage your braces or get stuck in them, leading to complications. Our Sacramento dentist recommends avoiding:

  • Popcorn
  • Hard candies
  • Caramels
  • Chewing gum
  • Nuts

Use a Mouthguard for Sports 

If you participate in sports or physical activities, wearing a mouthguard is essential to protect your braces and teeth from injury. Our Sacramento dentist can help you get a custom-fitted mouthguard for optimal comfort and protection.

Attend Regular Check-ups 

Schedule and attend regular check-up appointments with your provider to monitor your progress and address any issues promptly.

Practice Patience 

Adjusting to life with braces takes time, and it’s normal to experience discomfort and challenges along the way. Be patient with yourself and trust that the end result will be worth the effort.

Communicate with Your Provider

If you’re experiencing persistent discomfort or have any concerns about your braces, don’t hesitate to communicate with your provider. When it comes to improving your comfort, our Sacramento dentist can offer numerous solutions and adjustments.

Keep Orthodontic Supplies Handy 

Carry orthodontic supplies (such as orthodontic wax, a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss) with you wherever you go. These items can help you maintain good oral hygiene and address any discomfort while away from home.

Practice Proper Chewing Techniques 

Learning how to chew with braces may take some practice. Cut food into small, manageable pieces and chew slowly and carefully to prevent damage to your braces and reduce discomfort.

Use a Water Flosser 

In addition to traditional flossing, a water flosser can be a helpful tool for cleaning between braces and removing food debris effectively.

Apply Cold Compresses for Pain Relief 

If you experience soreness or discomfort from braces, applying an icy compress to the outside of your mouth can help reduce inflammation and numb the area. Our Sacramento dentist recommends wrapping compresses in a cloth to avoid damaging delicate skin.  

Be Mindful of Wire Ends 

Sometimes, the wire ends of your braces may protrude, causing irritation and sores. Use a clean pencil eraser to gently push the wire back into place or cover it with orthodontic wax until you can see our Sacramento dentist for adjustments.

Practice Speech Exercises 

Speaking with braces may feel awkward at first, but practicing speech exercises can help you adjust and articulate words more clearly over time.

Avoid Chewing on Hard Objects 

Habits like chewing on pens, pencils, ice, or fingernails can damage your braces and prolong your treatment time. Our Sacramento dentist recommends breaking these habits to protect your braces and ensure optimal results.

Stay Positive

Maintaining a positive attitude throughout your braces journey can make the experience more manageable. Focus on the long-term benefits of straighter teeth and a confident smile.

Seek Support from Others 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or discouraged by your braces, seek support from friends, family, or online communities of individuals going through similar experiences. Sharing tips and encouragement can be incredibly helpful.

Practice Good Posture 

Proper posture can help alleviate tension in your jaw and reduce discomfort associated with braces. Try to sit and stand up straight, and avoid slouching or leaning your head forward.

Avoid Smoking and Excessive Sugar 

Smoking can stain your teeth and increase the risk of gum disease, while excessive sugar consumption can lead to tooth decay. Both habits can complicate your braces treatment, so it’s best to avoid them altogether.

Protect Your Lips 

Braces can sometimes cause irritation to the lips, especially during the initial adjustment period. Apply lip balm regularly to keep your lips moisturized and protect them from chafing.

Practice Relaxation Techniques 

If you experience anxiety or discomfort related to your braces, practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga can help you stay calm and focused.

Celebrate Milestones 

As you progress through your braces treatment, celebrate milestones such as getting your braces adjusted or reaching halfway through your treatment plan. Acknowledging your progress can boost your motivation and morale.

Visualize the End Result 

Whenever you feel discouraged or frustrated with your braces, visualize the beautiful smile you’ll have once your treatment is complete. Keeping your end goal in mind can help you stay motivated and committed to caring for your braces.

Discuss Braces with Our Sacramento Dentist Today

Are you ready to join the nearly five million Americans who wear braces? If so, contact Dr. Timothy E. Mickiewicz today. Our Sacramento dentist can help you determine if this treatment is right for you and help you explore suitable alternatives, like Invisalign®. Reserve your consultation on our website or call (916) 469-9178 to get started now!