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Old 05-20-2010, 10:53 AM   #1
R055ANA
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8 yr old getting braces, tips please

hi there everyone!

My 8 yr old DD is getting braces. I and my sisters never had them and I just want to hear other's experiences with having braces. One thing I am concerned about is pain medication. We don't use it. Maybe I would get her some natural remedy if really needed but I don't want to use Tylenol or any of those other brands.

I am also concerned about what she will be able to eat. I can't imagine having to chop an apple into bits before she eats it and so many of the snack foods that we just take and run won't be a possibility - matzos, crackers, baby carrots and so on.

So I am looking forward to hearing from others who have been there done that.

Thanks,
Rossana

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Old 05-20-2010, 10:59 AM   #2
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Re: 8 yr old getting braces, tips please

I would recommend something for pain management. I had braces twice as a child/teen and it is a bit painful in the beginning. It is like an ache more than a sharp pain (if that helps). Think of it as similar to growing pains. Also keep dental wax in the house to cover any pokey parts and be sure to call the orthodontist immediately if something is rough and irritating the inside of her mouth. They can file things and clip things to make it more comfortable.

For foods, I don't remember being unable to eat much through the duration of my braces being on. Really sticky hard foods were a no-no but other than that I ate everything I would normally eat. For the first couple of days it was a bit more painful and I ate things like yogurt, cottage cheese and soft pastas, but you recover quickly. She will let you know what she is comfortable eating. I would skip on the really hard and crunchy foods for the first week or so while she gets used to her new braces. Soups are great as long as there isn't chewy meats in them.

Kearnan will be getting his first round of orthodontics in about a week as well. I'm a little nervous as to how he will handle it. I'm thinking a week of miso, rice and yogurt in our house.
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Old 05-20-2010, 11:04 AM   #3
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Re: 8 yr old getting braces, tips please

Well, it's been a while since I had braces (like over 10 years, lol) but I do remember my experience with them quite well.

I don't remember ever needing pain medication to get through. Her teeth will probably be super sore for maybe 1-2 weeks max after getting them on (as the teeth adjust) but after that it was smooth sailing. I just remember eating softer foods during that time. Whenever I would get them tightened, I think they would be somewhat sore for about a day, but it quickly passed. One annoying thing was that, as my teeth straightened, the wire going around them would tighten and then poke out the back near my molars; it would kind of scratch the inside of my mouth, but I just had to get my mom to take me back in to the office and they would clip it off.

I don't remember being that restricted in what I could eat, actually. I did get a Waterpik and that worked wonders...it blasts all the food out of your teeth and braces so nothing gets stuck!
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Old 05-20-2010, 11:09 AM   #4
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Re: 8 yr old getting braces, tips please

I had braces at age 8 and that was in the 70s when they were really painful. I don't think my parents did much pain medicine but if I had a kid with them now I would do pain medication for at least the first few days and then for a few nights after that. Ibuprofen is the best bet as it will last 6 hours per dosage.

I recall that chewing also helped the pain go away faster. Sounds odd but it worked. I had braces three times, oral surgery twice, and 5 retainers between the age of 8 and 18 so trust me, it works. My ortho recommended trident gum back them. Not sure if that is recommended with today's braces but it helped me to get past the pain faster.


And she will be fine with food. She will learn to be able to eat pretty much anything. I only really avoided corn on the cob and carmel or other really chewy things. Everything else was fine. So, just cut the corn off the cob for her but otherwise she can eat anything. No carmel candy.
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Old 05-20-2010, 11:22 AM   #5
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Re: 8 yr old getting braces, tips please

I also reccomend pain killers. Motrin or even tylenol.

My daughter had a lot of work done, and it wasn't just simple braces. But, she never could have managed without Motrin those first few days.

She had smoothies and mashed potatos for the first day or so. She had a spreader in the roof of her mouth, so she took longer to relearn to eat than most kids.

She also had to give up playing the clarinet for most of sixth grade because she couldn't manage it until the spreader was gone. (she moved to drums for a while)

Otherwise, it was a good experience. She loved getting new colors of bands on her teeth. She'd pick christmas colors, or school colors... it was kinda fun.
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Old 05-20-2010, 11:36 AM   #6
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Re: 8 yr old getting braces, tips please

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Originally Posted by escapethevillage View Post
I also reccomend pain killers. Motrin or even tylenol.

My daughter had a lot of work done, and it wasn't just simple braces. But, she never could have managed without Motrin those first few days.

She had smoothies and mashed potatos for the first day or so. She had a spreader in the roof of her mouth, so she took longer to relearn to eat than most kids.

She also had to give up playing the clarinet for most of sixth grade because she couldn't manage it until the spreader was gone. (she moved to drums for a while)

Otherwise, it was a good experience. She loved getting new colors of bands on her teeth. She'd pick christmas colors, or school colors... it was kinda fun.
Kearnan has to have the palatial divider and that is my biggest concern. I had one but it was removable. I took it out to eat (actually had it top and bottom) and to brush my teeth ect. My brother had the permanent one but I don't really remember how he handled it. Kearnan already has soooo many feeding issues, I don't look forward to something that adds to that. Of course he prefers crunching textures so maybe this will actually help. He will have to get used to mushy foods for a little while. Luckily he is wanting to learn the violin so it won't hurt there.
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Old 05-20-2010, 12:43 PM   #7
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Re: 8 yr old getting braces, tips please

I agree it is a dull ache and can go on for a couple days. I would think pain management is more important the first few times she goes in, but you do get accustomed to the feeling, and need less over time, until they do something new. Maybe you can try Hyland's at first and see if that helps her at all.

I was stubborn so I learned to eat almost everything which no change, but hated corn on the cob, because it made such a huge mess of my braces. I did learn to eat apples, but not every one does.

I second the dental wax, have it everywhere in the car, your purse, the house, where ever cause that stuff really helps protect your mouth from getting gashed up.

Last edited by Fairycat; 05-20-2010 at 12:45 PM.
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Old 05-20-2010, 06:40 PM   #8
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Re: 8 yr old getting braces, tips please

I was an orthodontic assistant for 8 years before I had my oldest.

Each person is different with regard to the soreness and discomfort or pain they will experience. Usually, the younger kids do better with it, actually. That's because their teeth in constantly changing at that age, with baby teeth falling out and adult teeth growing in. She might be pretty sore and miserable or she could not even notice. But, she will probably be sore. You don't have to use any pain relievers. But, if you do, I suggest something with Ibuprofen in it, like Advil. (Unless she is allergic or something) It works much better for ortho soreness than Tylenol because it is an anti-inflammatory.

As far as foods, you really just need to use your common sense. They will tell you what she can and can't eat. But, basically, anything that is hard, she won't want to bite right into. If she does, it could break the brackets off. Anything super sticky isn't good either. One of the biggest things I would encourage you to keep her away from is popcorn. The little clear sheath part (whatever that is called) can get stuck in and under parts of the braces and cause her to get inflamed, even infected, and really sore. It can also pop things off if she bites into a kernel. But, the thing I've seen the most damage from is popcorn.

Couple of other tips:
1. Get her a water pik. Doesn't matter the brand. It's great for cleaning in and and around the braces.
2. Cold things do feel good. So, a smoothie is a good idea.
3. They will probably give you wax to put on her braces if something is bothering her. I wouldn't recommend using it unless she has an actual sore in her mouth or something sharp to your finger poking her. The reason is because the mouth has to toughen up and get used to the braces. They aren't smooth like your teeth. If you cover them with wax because they are annoying or uncomfortable, your cheeks are never able to get used to them and you always feel like you need it. If she has a sore, definitely use it!
4. If she does get a sore, take your finger and put it in her mouth and feel around the braces where the sore is. If you feel something sharp, take her back right away. Braces are not as smooth as teeth, but they are not supposed to be sharp either. Sometimes patients get sores on their cheek just from getting used to the new braces or even from sleeping right on their cheek where a bracket is, but nothing is actually wrong. But, it's not uncommon for something to be poking either. It does happen.
5. Expect a week or 2 for adjustment. She will probably even produce more saliva at first.
6. Expect soreness after every appt. She might not always feel sore, but often she will. The first time is the worst though.

Okay, that got long. I hope it helps. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. I'm sure she will do great. The majority of kids do wonderfully and it ends up not being a big deal. Good luck.
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Old 05-21-2010, 06:15 AM   #9
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Re: 8 yr old getting braces, tips please

I remember having them as a teen and the wax was a definite necessity to have on hand. One of the other things that was easy to eat after my orthodontic visits was Jello, just to add to the list of soft foods already suggested. I don't remember there being any horrific pain and never took any medication, but I was a little older than 8 yrs. old too. My jaw would ache for the first day or so and then I'd be OK until the next visit. I chewed gum also, but not chewy sticky stuff or popcorn.
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Old 05-21-2010, 06:15 AM   #10
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Re: 8 yr old getting braces, tips please

I remember having them as a teen and the wax was a definite necessity to have on hand. One of the other things that was easy to eat after my orthodontic visits was Jello, just to add to the list of soft foods already suggested. I don't remember there being any horrific pain and never took any medication, but I was a little older than 8 yrs. old too. My jaw would ache for the first day or so and then I'd be OK until the next visit. I chewed gum also, but not chewy sticky stuff or popcorn.
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