Patient’s Guide

Overview

Straight teeth and a great smile are a gift that not everyone gets. Starting your journey to a great smile can be a little uncomfortable but really is worth it! You have to be patient. Put your trust in your Clear Choice Orthodontist and we are certain you won’t regret your decision, our getting braces guide will let you know what to expect.

Any orthodontic treatment can be pretty annoying for the first few days after you start. You will find your teeth get sore, your cheeks and lips and perhaps even your tongue will become irritated and your bite might feel funny. Fortunately this usually settles down after a few days and we have advice and aids to help you through this period so let’s look at each issue separately.


getting braces guide for patients

Getting braces guide for patients

SORE TEETH
To move teeth we need to put pressure on your teeth. Initially you will feel the pressure and think “is that all there is to it?” Over the following few hours the pressure makes the teeth sore – perhaps only one or two to start with but after about 24 hours most of your teeth will be a little sore. A rule of thumb is that this discomfort reaches its peak at 48 hours then starts to subside. That’s not to say one or two teeth cannot be sore beyond that but you should be over the worst. Interestingly enough, it is common for individual teeth to get a bit sore between appointments and if you are concerned, call your orthodontist.

Simple pain medication such as ibuprofen and / or paracetamol should control your discomfort as needed. Your orthodontist can guide you so give them a call if you are not sure what to do.


CHEEK AND GUM IRRITATION
When getting braces it takes time for the cheeks and gums to adapt to the orthodontic appliances but they do. We will supply you with orthodontic wax and advice on mouth rinsing to reduce this irritation. Don’t worry, the irritation will subside.


FUNNY BITE
Often, as part of your orthodontic treatment, we change your bite. There may be a transition phase where you can’t bite your teeth together completely. If braces are used sometimes you bite on the braces until the teeth move to a better position. This does not last for very long and you adapt quickly to it.

Good news, they get out of the way pretty quickly but you can help by not chewing anything too hard in the first 24 hours. The advice is “eat mush for the first day” as chewing hard on any brace may knock it loose. You will find that the second and third day sore teeth will limit how much pressure you want to put on your teeth so there is usually a few days before you get more adventurous with your chewing and by this stage you’ve worked out how to manage. Nearly everyone will have a fairly normal feeling bite by the first adjustment. Remember, if you go too hard and dislodge a brace, it will be put back on in the same place and you will have the same problem – best to go easy over those first few days.

Finally

You’ve got to keep you teeth clean and you’ve got to be careful with your diet.

We will cover this during our chat but dirty teeth may lead to decay and ugly stains on your teeth – they can’t be polished out and the gums can get puffy and ugly. Poor decisions with diet can result in similar problems and repeated broken braces will just add time to your treatment.

If you get elastics or something that requires you to help, do what is asked. There is no magic to getting to a great result on time. Poor cooperation means a longer treatment which is no fun and in some cases, a poor result.

Make sure you let us know if you are encountering problems. We’ve been doing this for a long time and we’ll have the answers to help you out.

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