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First Days with Braces

You just got your braces on and you are wondering…Now what!? Here are a few tips to help you through the next few days:
  1. How long will I be sore? You will usually have the most soreness on the second and third day after you get the braces on. On the fourth day, you will still have soreness, but you will feel like you have ‘turned the corner.’ The soreness will decrease on each successive day until you feel back to normal after about one or two weeks. Soreness is a very subjective sensation. For some people the soreness is a minor irritation while for others it can be significant.
  2. What should I take for the soreness? Tylenol (acetaminophen) is the best medicine to use with braces treatment. All the other common medications (ie. Advil, aspirin, etc.) SLOW DOWN TOOTH MOVEMENT. However, for the first couple of days as you adjust, you may take a full dose of Tylenol and a full dose of Advil (ibuprofen). This double dose provides more than enough pain relief during the first few days. You may take both medications together, or alternate them so you take each one every 2-3 hours. After the first few days, you should discontinue use of the Advil and only take Tylenol as needed to maximize tooth movement. PARENTS PLEASE NOTE: Please pay attention to maximum daily dosages for each medication given your child’s age and weight. Also BE CAREFUL not to give both Advil and Motrin which are both ibuprofen sold under two different brand names as this could result in an overdose.
  3. What if some of my braces come loose? Please be aware that the adhesive that we use to put the braces on is designed to be temporary since braces are obviously not meant to be permanently attached to the teeth. An occasional side effect is that a brace or two may come loose in the first 48 hours after the braces are placed. Don’t worry…this happens sometimes and is easily fixed! Call us and we will see you right away to re-attach the loose brace(s).
  4. What if my braces are causing sore spots? Some sore spots are a normal part of the braces process. Please use wax or gum to cover the brace or wire that seems to be causing the sore spot. If the sore spot does not go away after two or three days or if it seems to be getting worse, then call us so we can make you more comfortable.
  5. A critical key to success with braces is proper brushing. Please use the brushing supplies we have provided to clean your teeth properly several times each day. The most important time to brush is right before you go to bed. Make sure that you go to bed each night with spotlessly clean teeth and gums.
  6. Finally, avoid those tough and sticky foods that can cause your braces to come loose. Refer to the ‘No-No Food list’ that you were given as a guide.
  7. Can I chew gum? YES! Our only restriction is that the gum have Xylitol as its sweetener. Xylitol is a special sweetener that has been shown to prevent cavities. Therefore, even though you may have an occasional loose bracket, Dr. Couto feels that the benefits of this new gum outweigh the downsides. Xylitol-flavored gum is available at most supermarkets and convenience stores today. As far as we know, we are the only orthodontist office in Coquitlam that allows our patients to chew gum!

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