How to survive braces is a very common question that I get asked. Both my son and I have had the privilege of having braces. So when any of my friend’s children are getting ready to have their braces put on, they ask me a million questions and for my must-haves…. So here they are!
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Hygiene Care For Braces:
- Electric toothbrush (similar to this one. Our orthodontist provides these so thankfully this wasn’t an added cost)
- Water pic! I cannot tell you how frustrating and time-consuming flossing becomes when you have braces. I just do not have enough time in the day to do it. The water pic took care of that for me Monday – Friday, and then I did the hated chore of flossing on Saturdays and Sundays.
- Soft pics in different sizes and one-time use toothbrushes. When you’re out to eat or eating at school/work it will save you the embarrassment of food being stuck in your braces for the rest of the day.
Pain Relief Is Key To Survive Braces
- Advil and Tylenol
- Wax (again provided by our orthodontist). I didn’t like the wax and couldn’t figure out how to use it. My son loves it and has no issue with it.
- Ice Packs
- Heating Pad
You should also pack a braces kit for you to take on the go. You never know when you’ll need something or a wire will pop out. Click here to read about my recommendations for an on-the-go braces kit.
Food You Can Eat After Getting Orthodontics Treatments:
We have a local restaurant that makes the most amazing chilli. My son and I stock up on that when we have more intense treatments. We also pick up smoothies from a local cafe.
I also usually stock up on the following:
- ice cream
- Items for protein shakes
- Items for smoothies
- Canned Chilli
For my best soft food diet options, click here.
What To Expect With Braces:
When you first get them put on, they rip the inside of your cheeks up. It takes time before your cheeks adjust to this. Expect yourself or your child to be on a soft food diet for a little while and to be in a bit of pain. Stock up on chapstick as your lips are going to be very chap for the next little bit.
If you’ve never had braces and your child has them, please don’t feel like they’re overreacting. Honestly, some treatments put me on my butt and I was eating soft food for days (which left me extremely cranky). When your bite temporarily stops aligning it is very frustrating and I found my jaw would hurt a ton from not being able to fully rest.
For the duration of braces, you can’t eat anything chewy (candy, raisins, etc) or hard (almonds, chips, etc). They can break the brackets on your braces. If you do break a bracket, or your wire pops out (super annoying when this happens!!!!) call your orthodontist immediately. You do not want to wait too long as your teeth can shift in that time.
I had Invisalign originally but switched to normal braces as I couldn’t follow the rules. Keeping them on 22 hours a day was super difficult, and working in construction, was unsanitary due to how often I would have to take them in and out of my mouth. I had my braces on from 2018 until 2021. I’m still in my braces journey though as I’m awaiting two dental implants. Once that is done I will write a post about what to expect and must-haves for dental implants.
My son has had his braces since 2020 and will have to have corrective jaw surgery at some point which is also a post I plan on writing once that’s been done.
Disclaimer: I am not an orthodontist, dentist, or medical professional of any type. These are my very simple thoughts and ideas that I formed while having braces, and helping my son when he had braces. If you have any questions or concerns please contact your orthodontist or dentist immediately.
If you have any extra tips and tricks for how to survive braces, I would love to hear about them in the comment section!
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