New to braces or Invisalign, or about to start orthodontic treatment? We’re excited you’ve decided to make this investment in your future smile! As you begin to adjust to your new hardware, you probably have a ton of questions about how to make your orthodontic treatment easier. As your Tulsa and Claremore orthodontists, we’re here to tell you everything you need to know.
At The Brace Place, we’re committed to helping our patients achieve the smile of their dreams — as easily and comfortably as possible. If you’re new to braces or Invisalign, here are our top tips and tricks for making your orthodontic treatment as easy as saying “cheese!”
1. Stock the Fridge with Braces-Friendly Foods
One of the best ways to prepare for Invisalign or braces is to get your home ready before you even start treatment. That way, you won’t have a thing to worry about when you get home from your appointment. Whether you’re about to start orthodontic treatment yourself or you’re preparing to support your child through the process, we recommend stocking your fridge with yummy, healthy foods that are safe for braces and Invisalign to take the guesswork out of mealtimes.
For braces, this means nothing hard, crunchy, sticky, chewy, or anything you have to bite into (like whole apples or corn on the cob). For Invisalign, you can pretty much eat as you normally would, since you can simply remove your aligners during meals. You’ll also want to be careful with foods and drinks that could stain your aligners (like beets, coffee or red wine), and always make sure to brush and floss before putting them back in!
2. Brush and Floss with Extra Care
It can take a little time to get used to living with Invisalign or braces. There’s a lot to learn and many new routines you’ll need to develop. The most important thing you can do to set yourself up for success with braces or Invisalign is to take extra care when brushing or flossing. While you probably already brush your teeth twice a day, you’ll need to brush after every meal with braces and Invisalign — no exceptions! That’s because food can get caught in your teeth or behind your braces. If you don’t brush or floss it away, it could cause harmful build-up or cavities. The sooner you get super diligent about your oral hygiene, the easier your orthodontic treatment will be.
3. Build a Braces or Invisalign To-Go Kit
All it takes to have a smooth and simple experience with braces or Invisalign is a little preparation. We know it can seem like a lot of change at first, but if you plan ahead, treatment will feel like a breeze. As you already know, you need to brush and floss extra carefully when you have braces or Invisalign, which can be easier said than done when you’re on the go. That’s why we suggest our Claremore and Tulsa orthodontic patients create a travel kit for Invisalign or braces, stocked with everything they need to take care of their hardware no matter where they are. Put a travel toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, a small mirror and orthodontic wax into a toiletry bag that you can carry with you anywhere. You’ll never have to worry about getting caught with food in your teeth again (and your teeth will thank you!).
4. Ease Discomfort with Simple, At-Home Solutions
Most patients will experience the most discomfort during their first week with braces or Invisalign. That’s because your hardware is working hard to guide your teeth into the ideal position and create your perfect smile. For the most part, this discomfort will subside over time, but as you progress through treatment, certain times may be more uncomfortable than others. Fortunately, there are some simple at-home hacks for braces pain.
If you have braces, your teeth might be a little extra tender after you get your brackets tightened. For Invisalign wearers, each time you switch to a new set of aligners, you could experience increased sensitivity. To reduce discomfort from Invisalign or braces, try rinsing your mouth with a saltwater solution (2 tablespoons per cup of warm water) or take a mild painkiller like Tylenol before your tightening appointments. If your brackets are irritating the inside of your lips, orthodontic wax will be your new best friend. Simply place a ball of wax over the poking part of your braces and we’re confident you’ll be feeling good as new in no time.
Learning to live with braces or Invisalign can be quick and easy, as long as you’re armed with these simple hacks. Still have questions about how to prepare or adjust to your orthodontic treatment? Call The Brace Place today.