7 Must-Know Tips for Helping Your Child During Their First Week with Braces

FamilyKids & Teens

  • Author Simplibraces
  • Published March 13, 2024
  • Word count 500

Whether your child’s first appointment is rapidly approaching or you just left their orthodontist’s office, you might be wondering how you can make the transition to life with braces smooth and painless. Well, there are actually several easy ways you can help! Here are seven to start.

  1. Stock Your Fridge and Pantry with Soft Foods

Immediately following their first appointment, your child’s teeth may feel sore. So, the last thing they’ll want to eat is carrots, walnuts, tortilla chips, and other crunchy foods. The best thing to do is stock your fridge and pantry with foods that are delicious, soft, and nutrient-dense, like oatmeal, hard-boiled eggs, plain yogurt, and vegetable soup.

  1. Keep Dental Wax On Hand

Although the soft tissue in your child’s mouth will adapt to the presence of their braces with time, their tongue, gums, and the inside of their cheeks will be sensitive at first. To prevent uncomfortable irritation, encourage them to place some dental wax over the sharp edge of their brackets and wires. Since it’s water-resistant, they can keep it in place until it’s time to eat!

  1. Reinforce Good Oral Hygiene Habits

Consistent brushing and flossing are important for numerous reasons, including the fact that they will prevent cavities that result in treatment delays. A consistent oral hygiene regimen also helps prevent mouth sores, which can be incredibly uncomfortable. So, do your best to reinforce good dental care habits!

  1. Encourage Your Child to Rinse with Warm Salt Water

But what if a mouth sore has already developed? In that case, dissolve some salt in warm water and have your child rinse their mouth with the mixture. This natural disinfectant will help prevent bacteria buildup and help the wound heal.

  1. Use a Cold Compress to Ease Discomfort

If your child’s teeth feel sore, and dental wax isn’t doing the trick, offer them a cold compress. Placing it against their cheek for 10 minutes at a time can help ease uncomfortable puffiness and soreness.

Note: You can also use a towel-wrapped icepack if you don’t have a cold compress at home!

  1. Buy an OTC Pain Reliever for Children

If all else fails, give your child an OTC pain reliever as instructed. Be sure to ask their orthodontist for their recommendations first, though! They may recommend using a specific one, like one that alleviates their discomfort without alleviating the inflammation.

  1. Ask Their Orthodontist for Tips

Lastly, don’t hesitate to ask your child’s orthodontist for their tips! They may recommend taking home a few additional elastic bands so you don’t have to stress if one breaks. Similarly, they might know specific oral hygiene tools that patients find helpful, like an interproximal toothbrush.

Remember, they are there to be an ongoing resource, so don’t hesitate to bring any questions you have to them.

Since the first week is often the biggest adjustment, keep these tips in mind to help your child ease into life with braces smoothly!

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