HELP! My Child Is Getting Braces – What To Expect The First Week
The first few days after getting braces are tough. Your child will likely experience some discomfort and sleepless nights but it isn’t forever. The first week is all about the mouth adjusting to the brackets, hooks and wires and getting used to the pressure on the teeth. The pressure is what will eventually make the teeth move into the right spot. Follow these tips for a much easier and comfortable first week.
What to do in the first week of getting braces
Offer pain relief
New braces have to be adjusted and with this comes discomfort so try to have some mild pain relief on hand. There may also be instances where the cutoff point at the back of the braces moves and can poke the gum or the mouth. If this happens, bring your child back to the dentist to have it snipped and offer pain relief.
Keep the braces clean
Your dentist will give you a special cleaning pack to keep the braces clean. Have your child get into a good routine to ensure their braces are kept nice and clean by using a soft toothbrush and focusing on each individual tooth as they brush. It’s a good idea to have them brush after lunch too, ensuring that all remnants of food are removed.
Offer cold and soft foods
In the first week, cold and soft foods are your child’s friend. If you need to cut the food with a knife, it’s best your child doesn’t eat it. Your child will, no doubt, be very happy with the option of ice cream, custard and jelly. Healthier food options are eggs, mashed potato, soup, pureed pears and yoghurt.
Avoid spicy and citrus foods
While the mouth is getting used to the braces, they can sometimes rub on the gums causing abrasions that can become irritated, particularly by citrusy and spicy foods. It’s best to avoid these foods while the mouth adjusts.
Ditch the normal floss
Experienced parents and dentists swear by a water jet flosser for children with braces. Although they cost over $100, the consensus is that this is a must-have investment when getting braces.
Get your child to sleep on their back
If your child is a tummy or side sleeper, try to get them to sleep on their back in the first week. Sleeping on their stomach or side means the lips will be forced into the braces, making them become sore or causing cuts. Put some pillows beside your child to stop them from rolling.
Getting braces is a big adjustment, particularly for children, but the discomfort and dietary changes aren’t permanent, just a worthwhile inconvenience for a set of lovely, straight teeth.