What Your Child Should Expect [Before and After Braces]

Orthodontist for children

What Your Child Should Expect Before and After Braces

It’s common for children to be nervous ahead of their orthodontics appointment, but the truth is getting braces doesn’t need to be scary or even painful. Orthodontics can be a bit uncomfortable at first, but knowing what to expect can help with the adjustment period.

Getting Orthodontics Doesn’t Hurt!

The most common concern among parents is that getting orthodontic treatment will be painful or uncomfortable. The truth is having the brackets placed on the teeth does not hurt at all. Some mild discomfort and soreness are common afterward once the wire is engaged with the brackets, and this may last up to a week, but this can be treated with Tylenol. Saltwater rinses can also help with any discomfort and tenderness of the mouth.

The First Day with Braces

Placing the brackets on the teeth will not be painful. For the first few hours, eating can be a bit time-consuming as your child learns to chew with the orthodontics. Some discomfort can be expected as the teeth begin to move.

After the first orthodontic appointment, have your child check the archwires to make sure there are no areas where the metal is poking that will be uncomfortable later. Make sure you understand all instructions from your orthodontist, including whether your child will need to wear elastics or make any adjustments to a palatal expander. This is the best time to ask any questions about food to avoid, how to care for your child’s teeth, and when you should come back if there are any issues.

Be sure you ask for recommendations on materials you may need, such as cleaning aids designed for orthodontics and dental wax to help with sores.

There May Be Soreness at First

After the first appointment, there will be an adjustment period because the gums and teeth aren’t used to the metal brackets. Many people get sores in their mouth at first, but orthodontic wax can help protect the inside of the mouth while the sores heal. These sores will go away as your mouth adjusts to having orthodontics. Tylenol is recommended to help with any soreness at first, which usually lasts for 4 days to a week or two. Avoid ibuprofen and aspirin, which can slow tooth movement.

Adjustments Will Be Necessary

Orthodontics will need to be adjusted occasionally to help your child’s teeth get straight. This is also true if you choose Invisalign, in which case you need to switch to a new aligner every few weeks or so.

Regular appointments will be necessary to make adjustments to the archwire, change elastic colors or metal ties, and monitor the orthodontic treatment plan. Because orthodontics work by slowly moving the teeth into the proper alignment, gentle activations are used during regular visits. After each adjustment, some pressure and discomfort are normal. This pressure usually alleviates within two to four days.

Oral Care Is Still Important

Proper oral hygiene is essential while receiving orthodontic treatment because the brackets and wire can make it harder to floss and brush. Your orthodontist will explain the best way to floss and brush to avoid any decalcification around the brackets and tooth decay.

There Will Be Food Limitations

It’s very important to follow the orthodontist’s guidelines on foods to avoid and which should be eaten with care. Common foods to avoid with orthodontics include:

  • Nuts and chunky peanut butter
  • Caramel and gum
  • Chewy and sticky candy like taffy
  • Popcorn
  • Hard candy
  • Chewy food like bagels
  • Food you need to bite into like carrots and corn on the cob

The Final Appointment

Having orthodontics removed typically takes about an hour. During this final appointment, your child will feel pressure as the brackets are removed, but it won’t hurt. Pliers are used to remove the brackets before the glue is scraped off the teeth. A mold will then be taken for a new retainer.

When the wires and brackets are removed, it’s common to have calluses inside the mouth that usually go away after a few days. Your child’s teeth will probably feel strange for awhile and they may be a bit tender. Your child will likely need to wear a retainer afterward as well. A retainer is recommended to keep the teeth in the correct position once the brackets are removed. Retainers are custom-fit, but they can be somewhat uncomfortable at first. A retainer will need to be worn overnight.

Having the orthodontics removed is the first time your child will see how straight and beautiful their smile has become. This can be an extremely rewarding experience after the hard work that can come with orthodontic treatment, but follow-up care will still be important to keep the teeth straight and healthy.

Contact Nalchajian Orthodontics Today

If you live in California, then call Nalchajian Orthodontics to schedule an appointment with one of these orthodontists:

• Dr. Greg Nalchajian
• Dr. Nicole Nalchajian

We have two orthodontic facilities, including:

• Fresno – 559-432-7100
• Clovis – 559-299-9561

After your examination that includes medical images, you will enjoy a free consultation to learn more about orthodontic treatment.

Nalchajian Orthodontics

7501 N Fresno St, Suite 105, Fresno, CA 93720

Phone: (559) 432 7100

What Your Child Should Expect Before and After Braces

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7501 N. Fresno St, Suite 105 Fresno, CA 93720
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