The ups and downs of orthodontia

Par Dr. Normand Bach 18/12/2017

The benefits of orthodontic treatment are well-established. So if you experience some discomfort when you first have your braces put on, just remind yourself that it’s only temporary and that it’s all worth it in the end. What’s more, there are a number of little tricks you can use to minimize your discomfort! Here are a few tips that will help you ensure that your treatment is a positive experience.

Eating habits:

Dos:

  • Consume soft foods for the first 24 to 72 hours after having your braces put on. Soups, purées, applesauce and other foods that don’t require chewing are your best options at the beginning of your treatment.
  • Consume cold and frozen foods. Cold has a numbing effect on the mouth. And by sucking on an ice cube or eating ice cream, you’ll also reduce inflammation.
  • Tip: Place a baby teething ring in the freezer. You can relieve your discomfort by biting on it or simply leaving it in your mouth.

Don’ts:

  • In mid-winter, when clementine oranges are in season, although they’re very tempting, it’s better to avoid acidic foods and beverages. As delicious as citrus fruit may be, it will irritate your mouth as soon as it comes into contact with any little sores caused by your appliance.
  • Stay away from hard and sticky foods. You must observe this rule at all times if you want to avoid damaging your orthodontic appliance. Nuts, caramel, chips and the like should never be on your grocery list. Even if this seems overwhelming, just remind yourself that your patience will be greatly rewarded!

Treatments available at the pharmacy:

  • Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications are effective at reducing the discomfort associated with the use of orthodontic appliances. Ask your pharmacist which analgesic is best. To prevent an upset stomach, this type of medication should be taken with food, and it’s important to follow the recommended dosage.
  • Rinsing your mouth with salt water. No, it’s not just an old wives’ tale! Salt water is known to speed the healing of sores caused by your dental appliance rubbing against the inside of your cheeks.
  • Orthodontic wax: If your orthodontist hasn’t already given you some, get some orthodontic wax. It acts as a shield between your dental appliance and the inside of your mouth, providing welcome relief.
  • Toothpaste for sensitive teeth: Put all the odds in your favor! Combined with a soft toothbrush, here’s one more useful trick for reducing your risk of discomfort.

Last but not least, never forget that the best source of advice is your orthodontist! Your orthodontist is in the best position to help make your treatment as positive of an experience as possible. For best results, it’s essential to follow his or her instructions to the letter!

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