Good luck with starting this journey Jennifer
My ortho doesn't use bands anymore, so I'm one of many on this board who've not had to endure spacers. I have read that many find them hard work ... but remember they're not in for long, and hopefully the main discomfort will be in the first few days ... so spoil yourself!
Funny how we think that we can get braces to fix a problem ... and then after a few consults realise that there's problems we never knew of, or in my case didn't care about. My treatment is to fix jaw pain caused by my bite. I never even realised I had crowding, gaps (well I knew they were there, but didn't realise they affected my bite), cross bites, class III (minor), partial open bite ... etc.
The best advice my ortho has given me is ... to rinse once daily with warm salt water
. He asked me to start doing this after my consult with him, which was six weeks prior to getting my braces, as I had to wait for dentist and hygienist appointments. Anyway the salt helps soothe, heal and toughen the insides of your mouth ... and my journey has been a breeze. I'm sure this rinsing has played a major role in this, and I will continue to do it daily for the duration of my treatment. If my mouth gets sore, my ortho said to up the rinses to 5+ times a day ... and it quickly sorts things out.
The second best piece of advice he gave me, was not to be afraid to use wax
. The old sayings about toughening it out are just other ways of saying if you've got bad teeth, tough luck ... cope with the pain! What a load of rot! I've rarely used wax, as the salt water has worked so well, but every now and then a tooth moves and will annoy a piece of skin, so I slap some wax on and usually within 24 hours all is good.
Purchases ... my best one has been buying a Dentakit
from this site. It means I can go anywhere with confidence, as I always have everything I need to clean in a small tidy black container.
The second best purchased gift ... was a cordless waterpik
. These aren't available in Oz, so a girlfriend overseas sent me one. It's great at gently blowing all food that's stuck around brackets and between teeth ... away!