surviving first week of braces

Surviving the First Week of Braces

Getting braces on is a big life change, one that is exciting but also nerve-wracking. While you should quickly get used to wearing braces, there are some important things to know to make the transition to braces easier. Going from no braces to a mouth filled with metal brackets and wires takes an adjustment period, so here are some tips for surviving the first week of braces. 

Eat Soft Foods and Drink Cold Drinks During the First Week of Braces

Your teeth and gums will be sore the first week, so focus on eating and drinking things that won’t add to the discomfort. Foods like mashed potatoes, applesauce, eggs, and bananas are all good choices to help lessen the pain. For a sweet treat, try popsicles, smoothies, or ice cream. Opt for drinks like cold water or milk, both of which can help numb your mouth a little bit and eliminate some of the pain. Basically, try to eat things that require minimal chewing, as that repetitive motion will add to your discomfort until your mouth adjusts to its new hardware. 

Use Orthodontic Wax

Before you leave the orthodontist, the doctor or assistant will give you a couple items to take home with you. One of them will be dental wax. To help your mouth get used to having metal inside it, put wax on any wires or brackets that are causing discomfort. Over time, your mouth will get used to the dental hardware, but until then, use as much wax as needed to help you navigate that first week of braces.

Use an OTC Painkiller

Any pain you experience from braces should be minimal, but it can still be irritating and uncomfortable. To help ease some of this discomfort, take an over-the-counter painkiller like ibuprofen or Tylenol as directed and as needed. Before you go in for your bonding appointment, where braces are attached, take some OTC medicine so it’s already working by the time discomfort begins. 

Gargle with Saltwater

Dissolve ½ teaspoon of salt in warm water to create a saltwater rinse. This will help your mouth more quickly adjust to braces and ease some of your discomfort. Feel free to gargle with saltwater a couple times a day. 

Learn How to Brush and Floss with Braces on

Brushing and flossing correctly becomes even more important while wearing braces, since there are so many additional places for bacteria and plaque to hide. Make sure to brush and floss every tooth, paying particular attention to the areas around the brackets. Avoid eating foods like popcorn, caramel, or taffy, which can all become lodged in the crevices around your wires. Milnor Orthodontics also recommends investing in a water flosser, a device that eliminates bacteria in and around your braces. Maintaining good oral hygiene while wearing braces will eliminate pain during the teeth adjustment process and after the braces are removed.  

If you are considering getting braces, please contact the team at Milnor Orthodontics to learn about the first steps on your journey to a healthier smile. We will guide you through your entire orthodontic experience, ensuring you have the most comfortable care available. 

At Milnor Orthodontics, our experts are here to help you achieve a priceless smile. Call our office at (970) 484-3214 or visit to learn more. We're located at 1103 S. Shields St. in Fort Collins, Colorado.