At Hemphill Orthodontics, we realign smiles with the power of braces so our patients can enjoy the lifelong confidence they provide. Like all orthodontic appliances, they come with a learning curve. Our team is here with a guide for your first week in braces and to offer some beneficial tips for your routine, such as what to eat and what oral hygiene practices you can put in place to keep your appliances in excellent condition. Your braces journey starts here!
What To Expect During Your Braces Placement
Following your consultation, the first step of your braces treatment is placing them on your teeth. This process takes around an hour to complete to ensure your brackets, wires, bands, and other pieces are intact and in the positions that Dr. Hemphill deems most effective.
We will glue the brackets directly on your teeth using a special dental glue called composite. This adhesive helps everything stay secure during the treatment. You can expect a short adjustment period, lasting about a week after your braces are solidified. Depending on your oral health, the appliance used, your age, and case complexity, treatment could last anywhere from 6 months to three years.
Following Oral Hygiene Practices
The basis of oral hygiene starts with brushing your teeth. It is one of the most important tasks you complete each day to preserve your dental health. When wearing braces, it requires some extra time to ensure you keep your teeth as well as your appliances clean. Hemphill Orthodontics recommends using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to brush gently without damaging your appliances.
Don’t forget to inspect your teeth to ensure you have removed any small food particles left behind. Crooked teeth allow accessible spaces for food to hide, but our team will let you know any specific places to watch out for.
Like brushing, it takes time to learn how to floss around your braces to avoid plaque and bacteria buildup. If you have wires going across your teeth, using just a string of floss or a floss stick will not allow you to get to the bottom of each spot and thoroughly clean the teeth.
Instead, Hemphill Orthodontics will provide special flossing tools for this exact purpose. All you need to do is weave it below your wire and move it around to dislodge anything lingering. This extra step protects your teeth from long-term issues and will keep them healthy long-term.
Form Healthy Habits Now
As mentioned, average treatment times range from six months to three years, so you have plenty of time to spend with your appliances. The earlier you instill healthy habits, such as consistent brushing and flossing, eating the right foods, and being prepared for emergencies, the easier your job will be further into your treatment.
The power to keep your teeth safe and healthy lies with you, but please use us as a resource to answer any questions or concerns you have throughout treatment. Our goal is to make your experience as easy and stress-free as possible!
What To Eat With Your Braces
Foods To Avoid
As strong as your braces are, you must keep them in mind while picking out foods to eat. As tempting as it can be to continue as usual, we recommend you stay away from anything too hard, sticky/chewy, or crunchy to protect your appliance from damage that could cause an emergency. This may include pretzels, tough or chewy breads, crunchy veggies, hard candy, and gum.
Your favorite food may be part of this list, but worry not! The effort you put toward keeping your braces journey on track now, the sooner you can enjoy your smile AND your food!
Foods You Can Eat
There are still tons of delicious foods you can enjoy during treatment. Dr. Hemphill suggests pasta, eggs, yogurt, seafood, soft cheese, soups, and cooked veggies. In other words, something soft and easy to chew is the way to go. You may even find something new that you love during the process! If you are unsure about a particular food, we can help!
Handling Emergencies At Home
Broken or Loose Bracket
As a result of eating food that is too crunchy or sticky for your appliance, broken or loose brackets may occur. Please let our office know as soon as it happens so Dr. Hemphill can decide if an emergency appointment must be scheduled. In the meantime, the best temporary solution is to push or rotate the bracket back into place and use a small amount of orthodontic wax to secure it.
Due to the constant slight pressure placed on your teeth to shift them into place, your teeth may feel sore for the first few days after getting your braces put on or tightened. This is entirely normal and will go away on its own, but if it bothers you, you have some options for at-home relief.
Never underestimate the power of warm salt water! Give it a quick swish in your mouth to clear any lingering bacteria and help soothe irritated areas. You can also take over-the-counter painkillers to the job. Feel free to ask Dr. Hemphill for recommendations on what to use.
If your wire starts to shift out of place and develop a sharp end, don’t worry. This can happen over time due to everyday actions such as chewing. However, it can quickly irritate the inside of your gums, cheeks and lips, so the sooner you take care of it, the sooner relief will come your way.
We recommend placing a piece of orthodontic wax to cover the area and prevent future cuts. This should last long enough so you can attend your next appointment. If this piece comes loose, you can place another one. Orthodontic wax is made of a digestible material, so there is no need to worry if you realize it is gone and you probably swallowed it.
Enjoy A Lifetime Of Smiles With Hemphill Orthodontics!
Just like that, you’ve completed the first week of your treatment! Braces are a fantastic tool that Hemphill Orthodontics specializes in providing. You can count on us to meet your smile goals and help you maintain your smile for a lifetime. Contact our Celina practice to schedule your free consultation and get started today.