What To Expect During Your First Month With Braces

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What to Expect During Your First Month with Braces

I just recently got my braces. Growing up, I never really had issues with my teeth alignment. But it all changed when I got my wisdom teeth.

My teeth adjusted and got crowded.

So I finally went to the orthodontist, and now I have metal wires on my teeth. 

Getting braces can be a big adjustment, but it’s essential to achieving a healthy, beautiful smile. So if you’re wondering what to expect during your first month with braces, look no further. 

From managing discomfort to adjusting to a new oral hygiene routine, here are helpful tips for new braces wearers.

What are dental braces?

Braces are an orthodontic treatment to straighten teeth, correct bite issues, and improve overall dental health. They consist of small brackets attached to each tooth and a wire running through them. 

The wire is then tightened over time, gradually shifting the teeth into the desired position.

Braces can treat various dental problems, including overcrowding, spacing issues, crossbites, overbites, underbites, and other types of malocclusion. They can also be used to address jaw alignment and speech issues.

Watch the process of putting on braces in this video.

Why do you need braces?

Aside from their cosmetic benefits, such as providing a straighter, more beautiful smile, braces also have significant health benefits. 

Crooked or misaligned teeth can be more challenging to clean properly, leading to an increased risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health problems

By straightening the teeth and correcting bite issues, braces can help to reduce the risk of these problems and promote better overall dental health.

A beautiful smile can boost your confidence, which is good for mental health.

Getting used to the feeling of braces.

During your first month with braces, you’ll likely experience discomfort as your teeth and mouth adjust to the new hardware. 

You may feel soreness or sensitivity in your teeth and gums, especially after adjustments. 

Sticking to soft foods and avoiding hard or sticky foods that could damage your braces is essential. 

Over-the-counter pain relievers can also help manage any discomfort if it gets too much. 

With time, you’ll get used to the feeling of braces, and they’ll become a natural part of your daily routine.

How much do braces hurt on a scale of 1-10?

Based on personal experience and other people’s accounts, braces don’t hurt when attached, adjusted, or taken off. I can rate the pain from 0 to 1.

What to Expect During Your First Month With Braces

1. Adjusting your diet to accommodate braces

One of the most significant adjustments you’ll need to make during your first month with braces is your diet.

Stick to soft foods like mashed potatoes, yogurt, and soup, and cut up fruits and vegetables into small pieces. 

With time, you’ll learn which foods are safe and which to avoid. 

Remember that hard, crunchy, and sticky food can damage your braces or get stuck in the wires and brackets, making them difficult to clean. 

Foods to avoid when you’re wearing dental braces:

  • Chewing gum
  • Popcorn
  • Nuts
  • Hard candy
  • Sweets
  • Soda

How long after getting braces can you eat normal foods?

I ate normal foods right after getting my braces but avoided the hard and sticky foods listed above. 

Check out this list of food you can and cannot eat when you have braces.

2. Proper oral hygiene with braces.

Proper oral hygiene is crucial when you have braces. 

Food particles can quickly get stuck in the wires and brackets, leading to plaque buildup and potential tooth decay. 

Cleaning your teeth and braces after meals is essential to maintaining good oral hygiene during braces treatment.

Here are some tips on how to clean your teeth and braces after meals:

  • Rinse your mouth with water. Rinsing your mouth with water after eating can help to wash away food particles and reduce the risk of plaque buildup.
  • Brush your teeth at least twice daily using a soft-bristled toothbrush and natural toothpaste. You can brush your teeth on the first day of braces. Just do it gently.
  • Use a floss threader or interdental brush to clean between your teeth and around the wires. Gently insert the brush or floss threader between the wires and teeth, and clean the areas thoroughly.
  • Use mouthwashMouthwash can help to kill bacteria and freshen your breath. Swish a natural mouthwash around your mouth for 30 seconds before spitting it out.

Proper oral hygiene with braces

3. Managing discomfort and pain.

It’s common and expected to experience discomfort during the first few days or weeks after getting braces. 

This is because your teeth and mouth adjust to the pressure and the attachment. 

You may feel soreness or tenderness in your teeth and gums, and your lips and cheeks may also become irritated from rubbing against the braces. 

To manage discomfort, here’s what you can do:

  • Eat soft foods and avoid hard, crunchy, or sticky foods. 
  • Use orthodontic wax to cover any brackets or wires that poke, causing irritation and soreness. 
  • Take over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help alleviate any pain. If your discomfort persists or becomes severe, contact your orthodontist for advice.
  • For mouth sores from the wound caused by the sharp point of the bracket, I found Apicuria Oral Spray massively helpful. It soothes the pain instantly - and I mean in only a matter of seconds.

My nephew would get mouth sores from accidentally bumping his mouth from playing, and I recommended Apicuria to my sister.

It doesn’t sting and tastes sweet, so it’s kid-friendly. My nephew loves it.

Apicuria Oral Spray

Adjusting to Braces

How to manage to speak with braces

Speaking with braces can take some getting used to, but with a few simple tips, you can manage any difficulties and speak confidently during your braces treatment. 

  1. Practice speaking. Practice speaking in front of a mirror or with a friend or family member to get used to the feeling of braces in your mouth. This can help you to adjust to any changes in your speech and improve your confidence.
  2. Speak slowly. Speaking slowly and enunciating your words can help you to communicate more clearly and reduce the risk of mispronouncing words or slurring your speech.
  3. Use orthodontic wax. Orthodontic wax can help to reduce any discomfort caused by your braces and prevent them from rubbing against the inside of your cheeks or lips while speaking.
  4. Drink water. Drinking water can help to keep your mouth moist and reduce any dryness or discomfort caused by your braces.

Expectations for saliva production and drooling

It’s normal to experience increased saliva production and some drooling during the first few weeks of braces treatment. 

This is because of the braces and war. However, your mouth can stimulate your salivary glands, causing them to produce more saliva than usual. 

This excess saliva can make swallowing difficult and may result in drooling or spitting.

However, as your mouth gets used to the braces, your saliva production should return to normal, and any drooling should subside.

Keeping your teeth and braces clean can help to reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth and prevent excess saliva production.

Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water can help to thin out your saliva and make it easier to swallow.

Expectations for saliva production and drooling

Adjusting to sleeping with braces

Sleeping with braces can be challenging, especially during the first few weeks of treatment. To alleviate your discomfort, follow these tips:

  1. Use orthodontic wax. Apply a small amount of orthodontic wax to any brackets or wires causing discomfort or irritation. This can help to prevent them from rubbing against your cheeks or lips while you sleep.
  2. Elevate your head. Sleeping with your head elevated can help reduce swelling and inflammation in your mouth and make breathing easier. You can use a wedge pillow or raise the head of your bed slightly to achieve this.
  3. Give yourself time to adjust. It may take a few nights to get used to sleeping with braces, so be patient with yourself and allow your body to adjust gradually.
  4. Take melatonin. If you’re having difficulty sleeping, take melatonin 20mins before bed and create a nighttime routine to condition your body.

How often to expect follow-up appointments

The frequency of follow-up appointments during braces treatment can vary depending on the specific treatment plan and the patient's needs. However, most orthodontists generally schedule follow-up appointments every 4 to 8 weeks.

During these appointments, your orthodontist will check your treatment progress, adjust your braces or wires, and monitor your oral health. 

They may also take new X-rays or impressions of your teeth to ensure that your treatment plan is on track.

Attending your scheduled follow-up appointments is important, as they are essential to the braces treatment process. 

Missing appointments or delaying treatment adjustments can prolong your treatment time and may result in less effective results.

Contact your orthodontist for guidance and support if you have concerns or questions between appointments. 

Braces follow-up appointments

In summary

Braces are an effective and time-tested treatment that requires a commitment to proper oral hygiene and regular visits to an orthodontist. But, the benefits are well worth the effort. Braces can help you achieve a beautiful, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime. That’s what I keep reminding myself of when I feel a slight pull and pressure in my teeth, and know that the braces are adjusting them to align correctly. But I honestly can’t wait for them to be removed for good. 

This post contains affiliate links, so I’d get a commission if you purchase through my links at no additional cost. This helps me maintain my site. Thanks in advance!

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  1. Thanks for this informative post.

  2. I have never had braces- but this sounds like great information for anyone about to get them. :) ~Jess

  3. What an informative post! I’ve never had to wear braces so it was interesting to hear your experience.

  4. Now you are in the time of patience. You will get beautiful teeth in the near future.

  5. Such an interesting post! I had braces as an adult and can really recommend it. Using orthodontic wax was necessary in the beginning.

  6. Hi Lux, Wow, this is a great post. So much helpful info for folks who are, or will be, wearing braces. You know, I had to wear braces when I was a kid … that was some 60+ years ago. 😊 I would definitely have loved to had all the info you provided back then. Thank you for recently stopping by my blog and leaving me a kind comment. Great to hear from you! Take good care and have a fine week ahead! John

  7. Good information for all the people out there about to go on this journey. Thanks for sharing!

  8. I had braces when I was growing up. It seems so long ago, but I'm glad I did.

  9. I did invisilign during covid and am so thankful for the results. wish I had done it sooner.

  10. Good information. I have never had braces- but I wish I had had them growing up. It is hard as you get older to have your teeth out of alignment. Thanks for sharing!