With the leaps and bounds of progress that dentists have made in recent years, the dental braces process has become much easier to undergo and bear through. That being said, dealing with dental braces is still far from being a walk in the park—especially during the first week of its installation.

To help you tide over that first week of adjustment, here are four helpful tips to help you survive your dental braces:

  • Use pain medication as needed 

The first week of having dental braces in your mouth can be incredibly uncomfortable. Your teeth and gums will need plenty of time to adjust to the changes. Your teeth and gums will struggle to resist the constant pressure of the wires pressing against them—which can increase blood flow to the gums. Unfortunately, this can mean inflammation and pain!

Fortunately, the pain, discomfort, and bleeding will subside once your mouth gets used to it. In fact, most of them should be gone by the end of the first week. In the meantime, you can use over-the-counter pain medication. 

Don’t be afraid of the medication, as these are designed to help you manage the pain and continue with your daily activities. Without pain medication, you might not be able to continue work or school and may want to avoid eating—which is not suitable for your overall health. 

  • Avoid both excessively hot and cold food 

As discussed earlier, the increased inflammation of your gums can result in pain, resulting in heightened sensitivity to temperature. To avoid introducing more discomfort, avoid eating hot or cold food, especially during your first week. 

This means that hot food, including scalding hot coffee, or cold food, such as ice cream, are off the table. Remember that your mouth is still adjusting to the metal braces exerting a lot of force to correct your dental issues. For this reason, it’s essential to let your food warm or cool to room temperature before eating. Once the sensitivity subsides, you can go back to your regular eating habits. 

  • Stick to eating soft food items

As mentioned above, there will be a lot of inflammation and sensitivity in your mouth during the first week, which will result in discomfort, to say the least. It’s important to be gentle on your mouth, teeth, and gums during the first week—and this means also avoiding food that is tough to chew!

Given the strain on your teeth and gums, you may notice that it takes much more effort to chew and break down food into smaller pieces while eating. The more you chew, the more you may develop soreness in your gums and teeth. For this reason, it’s best to stick to soft food items, such as mashed potatoes or porridge, whenever you can. 

For a while, you’ll want to avoid grain-based foods such as cereals, which you’ll quickly realize is a lot harder to chew with braces on. 

  • Use a soft-bristle toothbrush

There’s no need to introduce any more discomfort than necessary. However, you still need to brush your teeth! 

Follow the path of least resistance and use a soft-bristle toothbrush. It will still clean your teeth and will avoid injuring your already inflamed gums. 


The hardest decisions require the strongest wills, and dental braces are one of them. This is especially true given that dental braces can take months to years to be fully effective. However, once the braces come off, you’ll be grateful that you endured it for your new smile. For now, take your pain medication, avoid chewing on tough food, and be gentle with your mouth.

If you’re looking for dentists in Chattanooga to help you with your dental braces, then  Shallowford Family Dental Group has you covered. Our services include general dentistry, teeth whitening, dental implants, veneers, and other cosmetic and restorative dental procedures. Contact us today to learn more about our services!

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