At Whitlock Orthodontics in Springdale and Fort Smith, AR, we know that even though most people have braces or clear aligners at some point in their life, getting braces can still be nerve-wracking. If you are feeling nervous, remember, it’s totally normal to be nervous! Once you get your braces, you will never have the same smile again. This means getting your braces applied classifies as a major life event, and that validates a few nerves!
Braces are an adjustment, but Dr. Boyd Whitlock and the entire Whitlock Orthodontics team want every patient’s braces journey to be smooth and pleasant. Luckily, there are various small things you can do before you get braces that will have a big impact on your treatment. From the items in your fridge, to your oral hygiene routine, we have compiled a short list of easy ways to help you adapt to braces.
Clean your teeth thoroughly
Before you come into Whitlock Orthodontics to get your braces applied, make sure you clean your teeth as thoroughly as possible. Dr. Whitlock needs a spotless, plaque-free surface for the braces cement to stick to, so make sure to effectively brush your teeth before your appointment. If at all possible, schedule a dental cleaning soon before your braces application appointment. The cleaner your teeth, the less likely it will be for a bracket to become unglued down the road.
Brace yourself for soreness
You are sure to experience a little soreness or discomfort right after you get your braces applied, so be ready to combat that. Dr. Whitlock and his team will go over care instructions so you know exactly how to fix that. An ice pack of some over the counter pain reliever such as acetaminophen usually does the trick!
Get your braces care kit ready
Because you will experience some soreness for a while, it is extremely important to have a braces care kit around your house, and one to take on the go. Stock up on over the counter pain relievers to combat the dull pressure caused by braces. You’ll find this especially helpful during the first few days after your braces application.
Orthodontic wax will truly be your best friend during your braces journey. Our team at Whitlock Orthodontics will provide you with plenty of wax once you get your braces applied. This wax is specifically designed to alleviate pain caused when braces rub on the inside of your cheeks and lips. If your cheeks and lips begin to feel irritated, apply a little bit of the orthodontic wax to your brackets and it will create a barrier between your braces and your mouth. Make sure you always have wax on hand when you leave the house. You never know when you might need help minimizing discomfort throughout the day.
Lip balm is another crucial item you’ll want to keep stocked in your braces care kit. When you first get your braces, your mouth and lips experience slight stretching simply because there is more in your mouth than normal. This slight stretching can cause your lips to feel dry and chapped, so lip balm will be a lifesaver during your orthodontic treatment! Keep some in your backpack, purse, gym back, in your car and on your bedside table to ensure you always have some near.
Stock your Fridge
Braces take a little time to get used to, so experiencing soreness for the first few days after braces application is totally normal. You’ll want to avoid any foods that are sticky, crunchy, chewy or hard. Stock up on plenty of soft foods for a braces friendly diet like yogurt, pudding, smoothies, applesauce, mashed potatoes and protein shakes. Add some extra nutrition to your soft diet by blending spinach into your smoothies or pureeing your favorite vegetable into a delicious soup. Try to avoid extra sugary foods and drinks like soda and ice cream. You’ll be back to a more normal diet as soon as you adjust to the feeling or braces. Just remember to avoid extra sticky, chewy and hard foods for your full braces duration. If you have any nutrition questions, feel free to call our Springdale office at 479 -751-1103, or our Fort Smith office at 479-434-4332.
Consider your schedule
It will take a few days for your new braces to feel normal and comfortable. Try to consider your calendar and events schedule, and make sure you give yourself a while to adjust before attending any major events. Steer clear of any events that require a lot of talking or eating after your braces have been applied.
Take a before picture
You will definitely want to capture a picture of your smile, and your face, before Dr. Whitlock and his team apply your braces. Your smile will start changing the moment you get your braces applied. Once your teeth start to shift into your dream smile, the shape of your face will start to change as well! Even if you don’t love the way your smile looks, you will still want to see the comparison once you finish treatment. Looking back on your old smile will help you appreciate your new one even more!
If you or your child are ready to start your braces treatment with Whitlock Orthodontics, don’t hesitate to call us today to schedule your free consultation appointment. We would love to join you on your orthodontic journey and help you find your best smile!
Whitlock Orthodontics proudly serves the orthodontic needs of families in the Springdale and Fort Smith communities and the surrounding area. In addition to Invisalign, Dr. Whitlock also offers several braces treatment options as well as early orthodontic treatment.