Getting braces is a unique experience to say the least. Adapting to having braces on your teeth can take some time as well. So, before sitting onto the dental chair to have this done, it is important for you to understand what to expect when undergoing this process. It will help you with the process of adapting and if you are informed properly, you don’t have to be confused or nervous. While the entire experience may seem daunting, the end result is definitely worth it.
Who Needs Braces
Braces are an orthodontic solution to improve the physical appearance of a patient’s teeth. This orthodontic treatment can solve problems such as crowded teeth, over and underbites, jaw positioning and disorders, crooked teeth, and more.
While the ideal age for placement of braces is between 10 to 14 years of age, this treatment can benefit anyone and of any age. A dentist familiar with your dental history is the best person to recommend if you need braces. Of course, the decision is ultimately up to you.
What to Expect with Braces?
There are several questions that people who are about to get braces ask. Here are some of the most common:
What will my smile look like?
This is an understandable question. Everyone wants to smile. And most everyone smiles in front of a camera where your appearance is captured forever. It is understandable that patients are curious about how they will look if they smile with braces on.
But the answer depends on the type of braces you get. Traditionally, braces are silver metal brackets attached to teeth and have a metal arch wire connecting the brackets. While some have clamps to attach these, others have rubber bands connecting the brackets and wire. So, in terms of appearance, there is a noticeable change which cannot be controlled.
What patients can normally control is picking the color of rubber bands. In this scenario, braces can even be a fun fashion accessory.
Of course, there are other options as well such as clear braces which are more discreet. Then there are invisible braces which are plastic trays fitted over teeth which are the least noticeable.
Are Braces Uncomfortable?
Adding metal brackets and wires into your mouth, of course that sounds uncomfortable. It is a natural concern. At first, there would be some discomfort. Braces are designed to apply gentle pressure on teeth to fix the problem at hand. This can lead to dull and aching sensation. During the first periods of braces, dentists will recommend soft foods and sometimes even painkillers for extreme cases.
Usually though, people new to braces feel more comfortable in a couple of weeks and get used to it. In a month or two, most people don’t even feel or recognize that they have braces.
Food and Braces
Another common concern is eating. There is a drastic change with your teeth so how can you eat and what should you eat?
It is advisable that at first, you may want to eat soft foods that are easy to eat such as smoothies, soups, mashed potatoes, and oatmeal. In a few weeks, once the discomfort goes away, you can start eating most of the normal foods.
Of course, having new dental equipment in your mouth can change your eating habits. For example, due to the shape of the braces, it generally prevents you from biting firmly onto crunchy food items. You may also need to cut and tear your food into smaller pieces so that you can easily put them in your mouth.
Sticky and gooey food items such as caramel are ideally avoided. This is because they can stick to the brackets and are almost impossible to remove. Of course, you wouldn’t want food permanently stuck onto your braces and teeth.
Cleaning your teeth and braces can be a bit tricky in some ways. Of course, this is still very important. Practicing good oral hygiene can avoid plaque building up on and around the brackets.
Make sure to clean your teeth well. Brush them after every meal to remove all food that is stuck on the wires and brackets. Also, using fluoride toothpaste is ideal when you have braces.
For anyone who has braces, you can generally expect some discomfort and inconvenience. Especially during the first few weeks. There is definitely a learning curve to go through in order to get used to them. But, after all is said and done, your teeth would look better than ever.
We have the tools, equipment, expertise, and experience to handle your cosmetic dentistry needs. Complete our contact form or call us at (714) 542-2224 to schedule an appointment!