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Preparing for braces can either be really exciting as you start to imagine that new smile for you or for your child or it can be a little overwhelming. Things to consider are what will eating with braces look like, how can I clean them properly, and what does overall care and upkeep look like? What you may not have thought of is what will sleeping with braces feel like and how will this affect my or my child’s quality of sleep.

Despite the nerves of having braces and possibly the worry about caring, eating, smiling etc. with them (don’t worry, that will fade and you’ll be a pro in no time) sleeping with braces can be a breeze! It’s all about finding what is most comfortable for you and minimizing discomfort as much as possible.

If you’re a side or stomach sleeper try switching to your back just for a few nights while your mouth adjusts to its new equipmenting. Laying on your side or your stomach means your cheeks will be directly on the pillow adding added pressure to your cheeks and gum. This could leave you feeling a little uncomfortable or waking up with tender, swollen, or even cut gums in the morning. Sleeping on your back will limit the contact your braces have with your cheeks.

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If you’re prone to grind your teeth at night this can be precarious for the state of your teeth. Bruxism, also known as teeth grinding, breaks down the teeth and exposes them to harmful bacteria and can lead to increased cavities. Additionally, biting down and grinding with braces can lead to waking up feeling pretty sore and definitely irritated. A great way to prevent this is to inquire with your local orthodontist about a mouthguard that you can wear while you sleep.

Don’t sleep on the dental wax. See what we did there?! No, but really. Applying some dental wax before sleep can help alleviate sore, tender, and irritated cheeks and gums. No need to worry about possibly ingesting it as dental wax is non toxic.

Have more questions about sleeping with braces? Schedule your appointment with Sullivan Orthodontics in Bend or Redmond, Oregon. Sullivan’s team of top tier orthodontic professionals can help you or your child every step of the way during your journey with braces.