Braces 101: What to Expect When Getting Braces
The short space of time you will wear braces for is worth a lifetime of having a great smile and well-aligned teeth. To prepare yourself for getting braces, we’ve put together this blog post which covers everything you should know about your orthodontic journey.
Before getting braces
Braces don’t just improve the look of your smile. Braces are often recommended by a dentist to correct teeth, jaw, and bite alignment issues and improve the oral health of your teeth.
Before getting braces, there may be some dental work you need to have done first. This could include getting teeth removed so that your teeth are not impacting others during the straightening process.
Your dentist should talk you through what dental work needs to be done before you get braces. At Gentle Dental, we aim to only remove teeth if it is absolutely necessary to the patient.
Your dentist should also have a rough timeline for how long you will need to have braces for your teeth to shift into position. Most patients need to have braces for around 18-24 months. One of the benefits of having braces as a teenager is treatment is generally faster than in adults. If you have the option to get braces in your teens, we recommend doing so.
What to expect at your orthodontics consultation
Your dentist will schedule an initial consultation to listen to your concerns and what you want to achieve by having orthodontic treatment. After the examination they should discuss their findings with you and recommend some options to correct the problem. At this stage, your dentist should discuss how much braces cost, length of braces treatment, and answer any questions you may have about the process.
At Gentle Dental, once the consultation process is complete, we take digital scans, photographs and x-rays of your teeth for diagnosis and treatment planning.
What to expect while getting your braces on
Getting braces is a relatively painless experience. During the appointment your dentist glues brackets onto each tooth and places a wire along them to start gently straightening your teeth. Some metal braces allowed for colours to be included around the metal bracket on each tooth. Braces colours come in many shades and are a fun option for kids and teenagers.
The process of getting braces is usually completed in an hour or less. You may feel some pressure on your teeth for the first few days after getting braces fitted.
You will usually have consistent appointments throughout the next 18-24 months to check and tighten your braces. Your teeth may feel a little tender after each tightening appointment.
What to expect while having braces
Braces are a commitment and it’s important that the patient follows the dentist’s instructions on teeth cleaning and care. Failure to follow proper orthodontic care could prolong the length of your treatment.
You may need to adjust the foods you eat after getting braces. Very soft and very hard foods can be a problem, for different reasons:
- Soft foods – like white bread and popcorn – can easily get stuck in your braces and are hard to remove.
- Hard, or sticky foods – like toffee, jerky, chewing gum – can actually dislodge the metal brackets on your braces.
Brushing your teeth is very important when you have braces. Food can easily become stuck in the brackets and wires of your teeth so it’s important that you brush thoroughly twice a day.
Carrying a small toothbrush with you when you are out of the house is a good idea. This will help clean your teeth if you get food lodged between the braces while you are at school or work.
What to expect while getting your braces removed
Congratulations on getting through your braces journey! When the day comes to get your braces removed you may find your teeth feel weird and slightly slimy. That’s usually just because you’re not used to the feeling of smooth teeth. You should get used to not having them on fairly quickly.
- Getting your braces removed is not a painful experience. Your dentist will use tools to remove the brackets from your teeth and buff off any glue that remains on the surface of your teeth.
- You may be given a post-treatment plan which involves using a mouthguard at night. Make sure you wear it every night as your teeth may still move in the years after your treatment.
- If you have a metal bar paced behind your teeth, take extra care to brush and floss behind it. There are special types of floss that can be inserted behind the teeth for a better flossing experience.
Knowing what to expect before you get braces makes the experience easier. At Gentle Dental, we do gentle braces and use state-of-the-art technology to make the process as comfortable as possible. If you are interested in discussing orthodontics, book your appointment here.