What to Expect Your First Days With Braces

What to Expect Your First Days With Braces

It used to be that orthodontics was exclusively the realm of teens, and there was just one type of braces: metal ones. The world of braces has blown wide open, with many options for patients. 

Even though more than 4 million Americans get braces each year, if you or your child is considering braces, it makes perfect sense to get all the details about them before committing.

Before deciding on orthodontic treatment with braces, many want to know how much discomfort is involved during the initial period when you get accustomed to them. 

Dr. Wayne Hickory and the stellar team at Embassy Row Orthodontics are always ready to educate you about the braces experience, from choosing which kind is best for you to exactly what treatment entails. Because he has built his practice on trusting relationships with his patients of all ages, you can count on Dr. Hickory through every step of your treatment. 

What problems can braces fix? 

The reason braces are the treatment so many turn to is because they solve a plethora of smile challenges, including:

The other interesting thing about braces is that they solve both oral health and cosmetic problems. They undoubtedly make your smile more beautiful, but by correcting problems, braces lower your risk for tooth decay because brushing and flossing teeth that are properly aligned and spaced is much easier. 

A multitude of braces options

Dr. Hickory is proud to offer diverse braces choices for patients that all get you to the same goal — a beautiful, healthy smile — but offer different benefits, depending on your preference. You can opt for the following:

  1. Traditional metal braces consist of brackets placed on the fronts of your teeth and arch wires that keep the brackets linked and help move your teeth to the desired positions. Small elastic bands ensure that the archwires stay properly placed on the brackets.
  2. Clear braces have the same components as metal ones but are more subtle and less visible than metal ones.
  3. Ceramic braces also blend with and match your teeth better, so they’re not as noticeable as metal braces. 
  4. Lingual braces still use the brackets and archwire system of traditional braces, but they’re put on the backs of your teeth instead of the front surfaces. They’re virtually invisible. 
  5. Damon braces are self-ligating, meaning they come equipped with a mechanism that secures the archwire to the brackets, so no elastic bands are involved. Damon braces treatment takes less time, and because you don’t have to try to clean your teeth around many little rubber bands, it’s easier to keep them clean.

No matter what type of braces you ultimately choose, having braces initially takes some getting used to. 

The first week with braces

When you first put your braces on, your mouth will know that something different is happening! 

When Dr. Hickory first fits your braces, you likely won’t feel a thing for the first few hours. After that, it’s normal to feel some tenderness and possibly headache as slight pressure begins to be noticeable. You can get relief by taking over-the-counter pain medication. 

During your first week of wearing braces, you may also experience the following:

After you get your braces, our team may send you home with a special type of wax you can rub on your brackets so they don’t cause inner cheek sores. Rinsing with salt water or using a topical medication like Orajel™ can help too. Stick to eating soft foods like yogurt, smoothies, and mashed potatoes.

The good news is that your mouth bounces back quickly. The only other time you might feel gum and tooth pain is when you get periodic tightenings (though no tightening is needed with Damon braces). Again, over-the-counter pain relievers do the trick and offer relief. 

Also, lingual braces are different because your tongue is closer to these braces than traditional ones, and your speech may temporarily be affected by them. The solution is to talk more, and your mouth will get used to them quickly. 

Don’t let anxiety about discomfort after your braces make you hesitate to get orthodontic treatment! Braces are worth it, and we can help.

Call our office at 202-342-9600 to schedule an appointment and learn more about braces options, or book one online

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