The Basics of Braces

So you need braces. Well, do not panic; it is not as bad as you think. They aren’t nearly as bad as some people may be ready tell you. Just remember, even though it may not seem like it, a great number of people have them, including adults. Be confident – this helps others see you instead of your braces.

Expect the braces to feel odd at first. The first night after you’ve had them placed is probably going to be the hardest. Try to sleep on your back, instead of on your stomach or face down, so that you can avoid most of the pain caused by the constant pulling and pressure on the braces. Remember though that this subdues after two or three days. A mild painkiller such as Tylenol or ibuprofen may help with the pain and swelling as well.

Brushing with Braces

Brush your teeth and the braces two times a day. You might be given some little chew tablets that show you where the plaque is located. Brush your teeth for at least two minutes and be sure to get under the wires. When flossing thread the floss string and push it down under the wires between your brackets.

Remember to floss every tooth, even the ones in the far back. Gently clean between brackets (under the wires) with the wire brush to get all the plaque off. Use mouthwash to clean your mouth. Make sure that the mouthwash says it removes plaque. As an added bonus, it will give you nice breath. Don’t forget that the braces are on. Once you get braces, you will have the full-time responsibility of taking care of them.

More to Help You Along

It is also important to care for your lips. Keep some lip balm constantly on hand, either in your purse, pocket, backpack, locker, or even carry it around. Your lips will probably be dry after you get the braces on, so keep applying lip balm consistently, throughout the period that you have braces. This will help keep your smile healthy and your smile looking great.

If you have been given headgear as part of your treatment, wear your headgear. You might complain at the unattractiveness of the headgear, but you will thank yourself later for the lifelong awesome and pleasing teeth.

Don’t be ashamed of your braces. They’ll be taken out one day and you’ll have perfect, straight teeth. Try to draw attention away from your braces a little bit by also changing your hair or buying a new couple new outfits. Don’t put any lipstick on your lips, only lip gloss; that makes your lips look well taken care of but not out there.

Remember after a while, the braces will feel like they’re not even there. Indeed, your friends will accept it as a permanent part of you and probably won’t even mention them after you first get them. After all, some of your friends will probably either have them or get them eventually too.


Dr Sam Burrow D.D.S., D.M.D. – Dr. Burrow was born in Charlotte and moved to Charleston to obtain a Bachelors of Science in Biology at the College of Charleston. He graduated magna cum laude and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, and then stayed to earn a D.M.D. with honors at the Medical University of South Carolina. Dr. Burrow completed his orthodontic residency at University of Detroit Mercy in Michigan and is now in practice with his father at Burrow Welchel & Culp Orthodontics in the Charlotte area.