Even in 2022, braces are used all over the country to help teens and adults get straighter teeth. In fact, more than four million Americans (25% of them adults) wear braces! We know firsthand that at the beginning getting braces can be an adjustment, so we’ve compiled a list of braces pain hacks to help you get through the next few months or years en route to your new smile.
How to Get Used to Braces
1. Enjoy Your Favorite Soft Foods. One of the best ways to reduce pain from braces is to be mindful of what you eat. Now is the time to stock up on (and enjoy!) your go-to soft foods. Whether it’s mashed potatoes, pasta, yogurt, eggs, smoothies, or soup, these foods are easier to eat with your new braces. You’ll also want to cut your food into bite-sized pieces, so it’s easier for you to chew.
2. Avoid Certain Foods. That means, for the foreseeable future, chewy, crunchy, or hard foods need to be limited. Hard fruits and veggies, such as carrots and apples, should be cut up. Above all, avoid sticky foods – such as caramels, Skittles, Starbursts, or gum – which can damage your teeth and your braces.
3. Bump Up Your Oral Hygiene Habits. Now is the time to commit to your teeth. That means brushing after you eat, purchasing and using braces-friendly floss or a Waterpik, and swish with an antimicrobial mouthwash. During this time, avoid any teeth whitening products. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of time for that later.
4. Rinse with Warm Saline Water. Warm saline water helps reduce soreness and inflammation in the mouth. Stir half a teaspoon into a glass of warm water and swish it around your mouth for 30-60 seconds. A tried and true braces pain hack.
5. Pack a Travel Kit. During the first few weeks – and whenever your braces are tightened – you’ll want some extra help on hand. A travel kit ensures you have everything you need, even when you’re not at home.
In your travel kit, you’ll want:
- Orthodontist wax to cut down on cuts and protect your cheek against the sharpness of your braces.
- A mirror to help you see those tough to reach spots
- Extra floss, travel toothbrush, proxy brush, and toothpaste to clean your teeth after eating and drinking.
- MouthGuard, if you’re playing any sports.
You can pack acetaminophen for any teeth pain, but always consult your orthodontist before use.
6. Remember, It Gets Better. The pain might feel extreme now, but it’ll all pay off when you have a straight and healthy smile. Your new teeth will look great and be easier to clean! Keep your eye on the goal, and the months will fly by.
A Straighter Smile is in Your Future
Hopefully, these braces tips will help you feel more comfortable over the next couple of months. While there is undoubtedly an adjustment period, getting used to braces is faster than you might expect. Are you looking for a different approach to teeth-straightening? At Dakota Dental, we offer Invisalign services, which allow you to get straighter teeth more discreetly.