3 Pro Tips for Your First Week With Braces

So you finally took a major step toward the beautiful new smile you’ve always wanted—what an exciting time! 

You’re eager to begin your smile transformation, but you’re also wondering “What is the first week with braces like?” and “how do I prepare?!”

Whether you’ve chosen traditional metal braces or clear ceramic braces, life with braces is an adjustment! Keeping your braces clean, choosing braces-friendly foods, and knowing what to do in the event of a braces emergency— it can sound overwhelming when you first get started. We promise it’s not too complicated and the process is incredibly rewarding! 

Our board-certified orthodontists are here to help you prepare with 4 essential tips for new braces wearers. Here’s how you can comfortably and confidently sail right through your first week with braces!

1. Create a braces discomfort plan

We’re going to be honest with you! While everyone’s experience with braces is different, it’s common to feel some tenderness around your gums and teeth during the first week with braces. Your teeth aren’t used to the pressure of your brackets and wires, so it can feel odd to suddenly have braces on your teeth 24/7.

The good news is that you can take precautions to help minimize soreness if you experience braces discomfort on the first day, second day, or third! 

Salt water rinses are a great way to provide gentle relief to the irritated soft tissues of your cheeks and gums! Just simply add a teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water and swish your soreness away. 

Pro tip: after a salt water rinse, warm up a piece of orthodontic wax and apply to any area that’s especially irritated! 

Orajel™ is another solution to help relieve discomfort; it’s a topical gel medication that uses benzocaine, a local anesthetic, to numb the gums. It works by blocking nerve signals in the body and can desensitize the mouth to help with soreness. 

Still experiencing braces discomfort after these tricks? Take an over-the-counter pain reliever like Tylenol or Ibuprofen to help alleviate your discomfort.

2. Stock up on Braces-Friendly Food!

Soft foods will be your very best buddy during your first week with braces. Soft snacks and cold foods are easier to eat when your teeth and gums are sore. Be sure to stock up on things like:

  • Mashed potatoes
  • Mac ‘n’ cheese 
  • Tender cuts of meat like soft-cooked chicken
  • Soup 
  • Soft sandwiches 
  • Pancakes 
  • Yogurt
  • Bread for making toast 
  • Pasta 
  • Eggs (hardboiled, scrambled, etc)
  • And ice cream of course!

Biting down on hard food, like an apple, can leave you feeling pretty uncomfortable. Knowing what to eat with braces the first week depends on your own personal experience. If you’re ready to move back into harder foods after a few days of having braces, then that’s great! You decide when you’re ready to reintroduce all of the braces-friendly foods in your fridge.

Throughout your braces treatment, it’s best to avoid hard candies, nuts, and other hard, crunchy foods that could damage your braces. One of the best tips for new braces wearers is to get creative with your palate! Try out some new braces-friendly recipes—you never know which one could become your new favorite.

3. Become an expert on braces emergencies!

No one ever expects an accident to happen, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared in case! And at some point in your treatment, you may experience a common orthodontic emergency. We use “emergency” lightly, because in the event of a true emergency, we urge you to go to the emergency room. 

A common minor orthodontic emergency, like a loose archwire, a broken bracket or a piece of your braces agitating your cheeks, can be resolved with some orthodontic wax! Orthodontic wax comes in close second to cold, soft foods during your first week with braces—be sure to carry ortho wax on you at all times!

If a bracket detaches from your tooth or becomes loose, or a wire pops out of your braces, just place a small ball of orthodontic wax on the bothersome bracket or wire, and make an appointment to see us as soon as possible! Our team is ready and equipped to handle any braces repair so you can quickly resume your treatment.

Enjoy Your First Week with Braces in Comfort!

Though the first week with braces requires some lifestyle changes and dietary adjustments, you’ll quickly realize how rewarding the process is. It’s all worth it to reach your smile goals! 

Some patients start to notice improvements in their teeth after only a few weeks of having braces. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions! Our team is here for you, and we love chatting about your experience! We’ve got tips, tricks, and advice to support you through your journey with braces or clear aligners.

If you’re looking for a Scottsdale orthodontist, we’d love to meet you! A beautiful, healthy smile is worth the wait with us. Get started by requesting a complimentary exam for you or your child today!