You might be a little worried about how they will feel and look, and at the same time, excited about starting the journey towards your new smile. There’s no doubt that braces fitting day is a big one, but we’re here to reassure you that in the not-too-distant future, you'll know it was all worth it!
The First Day of Braces
There are a couple of things you can do to prepare for a smooth first day of braces.
The Pain Factor
The good news is having your braces fitted isn't painful. However, you may experience a dull ache within a few hours of leaving the clinic. To reduce this uncomfortable feeling we suggest you take an over-the-counter pain relief medication such as ibuprofen or paracetamol before coming into the clinic for your appointment - but if you're worried, double-check with a professional. Keep up the pain relief every 4-6 hours if needed and as directed on the packaging. It may take a few days for the ache to subside, and likely to be worse early in the morning and subside as the day goes by.
If you’re having your braces fitted in the morning, you shouldn't have a problem returning to school or work and participating in your usual after-school/work activities.
What to Eat & What Not to Eat
If you’re experiencing achy teeth, you may not feel like eating hard or chewy foods. Be prepared before your braces fitting appointment so you don’t need to run to the shops for suitable foods. Have plenty of soft food options on hand. Eating only ice cream for the next few days might sound appealing, but you’ll get sick of it pretty quickly, and there are plenty of tasty, healthy options.
Choose foods that don’t require lots of chewing or biting - think more sips and slurps. Potato mash, soft pasta, fish and soups are easy to eat without needing much action from the teeth or jaws. If your go-to snack is an apple, go softer for a few days - a smoothie, yoghurt, and other soft fruits such as banana, watermelon, and dragon fruit can be better alternatives.
As soon as your teeth are feeling up to it, resume eating your usual diet. Just remember the few foods on the braces' forbidden list. It’s best to avoid anything hard or chewy or reduce the size of foods like carrots or apples- You may want to give crusty bread, ice cubes, hard lollies, toffee, and whole hard fruits and vegetables a pass for the time being. Cut your apple or carrot into small, bite-sized pieces that won’t break a bracket. Sticky and chewy foods such as certain lollies, toffees, licorice, roll-ups, and nuts can also put you at risk of needing a rush trip back to the clinic for repair. You can read more about what foods to eat and not eat here.
Brushing your Teeth
You might wonder if it’s okay to start brushing your teeth the day you get braces. The answer is yes, big yes. Our therapist will give you a quick tutorial on how to brush and floss your teeth once your braces are on, so it’s a good idea to practise the technique the same day before it’s vanished from your memory! You’ll also want to wash away any food particles and bacteria from the food and drink you’ve had since your appointment. There are plenty of hiding spots around braces for the bacteria to hide. You’ll want your pearly whites to be looking their best when your braces come off, and brushing and flossing from day one will get you there.
Don’t be alarmed if you talk a little funny after the braces are on - it’s totally normal. The good news is that your speech will return to pre-braces as soon as your tongue and lips have familiarised themselves with your "new mouth". Within a few days, you should be talking normally. Lingual braces (applied to the inside of teeth) can take longer and require more practice to get to grips with speaking without a lisp.
The inside of your mouth also has a new normal to get used to. The brackets can cause ulcers on the inside of the mouth. Luckily, the mouth heals quickly, and the ulcers clear within a couple of days. We’ll make sure you take a goodie bag home on the first day with everything you need, including wax, to keep your mouth healthy. Don’t be a hero, if there is a feeling of irritation to the lips, cheeks or tongue, use the wax over the offending brace or attachment. If you run out of wax, call the office or drop in and collect some additional supplies. In the meantime many people find that a small ball of cotton wool with vaseline rubbed into it, to make it gluggy, will also protect the cheeks and lips from the appliances.
Think About the End Game
Right now, on your first day of braces, it might seem like you have a long, hard road ahead. But trust us when we say that time flies by pretty quickly. You will get used to your new normal and adapt to it like a boss. Before you know it, the braces will come off, and you'll have a lifetime of incredible smiles ahead of you. You got this!
We look forward to seeing you back in the clinic for your first checkup and adjustment. But in the meantime, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us online or book an appointment. We’re here to support you every step of the way.