Are you or your child new to braces? While you may experience mild sensitivity the first week or two of orthodontic treatment, adjusting to life with braces doesn’t have to be difficult!
Our experienced team of orthodontists will ensure that you leave any of our 8 Northwest Florida offices thoroughly educated on caring for your braces, but one topic is important to discuss for your initial week with braces, and it’s sleep! More specifically, we’re gonna discuss how to get a good night’s sleep with your new braces.
So grab a braces-friendly snack and let’s learn all about sleeping comfortably with braces.
Tips on How to Sleep with Braces
Your sleeping habits won’t require any major adjustments throughout your treatment. But for your first night with braces, there are some things you may want to consider to prepare for a restful sleep.
Once you’ve gotten used to your braces, and your teeth and gums have adjusted, sleeping will be eaZzzy!
Have a Good Oral Hygiene Routine
Committing to a thorough oral hygiene routine is more important than ever when you have braces. There are more tiny spaces for food sticks and fester so it’s crucial to brush your teeth after every meal. Use a fluoride toothpaste and soft bristle toothbrush to clean your gums, between each tooth, and the spaces between your teeth and braces— especially before you go to bed. By keeping your teeth and braces clean, you can prevent any unhealthy symptoms from developing.
Symptoms like inflamed gums, tender gums, yellow teeth, toothaches or bad breath due to poor oral hygiene can be pretty uncomfortable and distracting when you’re trying to sleep. Keeping your teeth and braces clean will serve you in many ways!
Try sleeping on your back
If you tend to sleep on your side or stomach, try sleeping on your back for a few nights. When you lay on your side and stomach, your cheeks are pressed against the pillow, which can irritate your mouth. By sleeping on your back, the contact between your braces and mouth is minimized, so your cheeks can relax without being pushed against your braces.
You don’t have to worry about any considerable dangers when it comes to sleep position. You may just wake up with a bracket imprint on the inside of your cheeks and some minor soreness that goes away pretty quickly.
Keep dental wax on hand
Dental wax— or orthodontic wax— helps relieve tender cheeks or gums. Before you go to bed, simply pull off a few pieces of orthodontic wax, place them over any brackets or wire ends that tend to irritate you or place some wax on all of your brackets.
While you sleep, the wax will act as a barrier between your braces and your mouth, so you can sleep soundly and wake up rested.
What if you swallow dental wax? Most brands use non-toxic, natural substances like carnauba wax, beeswax or paraffin wax. Make sure that the brand you choose uses non-toxic ingredients, so if you dream of a juicy burger and mistake the wax for your next bite, you won’t get sick… you’ll just be a little disappointed.
If you’re feeling sore, take Tylenol
During your first week with braces, it’s normal to experience some soreness in your gums. Eating soft foods and taking it easy on your braces helps prevent discomfort. But if you’re still feeling some soreness before bed, you can take an over-the-counter acetaminophen medication like Tylenol.
We suggest Tylenol or another acetaminophen medication, because ibuprofen and other NSAIDs can actually slow tooth movement (NCBI).
After the first week or so of your treatment, you should feel good enough to sleep without pain medication!
Wear a nightguard or mouthguard if you grind your teeth.
If you’re someone who grinds your teeth at night, it may be best to wear a mouthguard when sleeping with braces. If you bite down hard enough on a bracket or wire, you could wake up feeling pretty sore and uncomfortable in the morning.
Wearing a mouthguard also prevents any clenching or grinding tendencies from contributing to mouth soreness.
Not sure which mouthguard or night guard is best for your smile? As a certified provider of UnderAmour mouthguards, one of our experienced orthodontists can custom fit a nightguard for you at your next appointment!
Want more tips on sleeping with braces?
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions! We’re here to guide you through your treatment process, from your very first visit, to your last appointment.