Are you seeking braces for yourself or your child?
Starting the journey to straighter teeth is exciting, but if you’ve never been to an orthodontist or worked towards straighter teeth and a better bite before it’s reasonable to be apprehensive.
How is it going to go? What can you expect from the first braces installation? Is there going to be any pain or discomfort?
We’re here to help ease your worries. Keep reading to learn all about what to expect when you or your child is getting braces.
1. Mild to Moderate Discomfort
Straightening your teeth is like moving bones in your mouth incredibly slowly. While the process is supposed to be gentle, it’s not going to be painless, especially when you’re first getting started.
The pain from braces can be as minimal as mild discomfort or throbbing and as extreme as pain that keeps you or your child up at night. When your bite is changing there’s a lot of pressure on your teeth.
The discomfort should pass as you get used to the braces, but whenever they’re tightened or adjusted it may return.
Conventional metal braces may also cause pain on the lips and sides of the mouth while clear aligners can irritate the gums and tongue when they’re first put in.
You can avoid and manage some of the discomfort by taking over-the-counter pain medication, drinking cool water, using lip balm and topical oral anesthetic, and using chewing sticks if you’re using clear aligners.
Mild discomfort can be treated with salt water rinses.
If you have excessive pain be sure to check with your orthodontist about what’s considered normal.
2. Meal Changes
If you’re used to eating whatever you want whenever you want you’re going to have to make some adjustments when you get braces.
When you first start treatment you’re going to be in pain. This means that on your first day with braces (and through the first week or so depending on your pain) you’re going to want to stick with soft foods.
When you get fitted for metal braces it’s best to avoid anything chewy, hard, large, sticky, or carbonated. It’s also best to avoid excess sugar for the health of your teeth while you’re getting through your treatment.
Invisalign users have some more flexibility. These braces come out during meals so you’re able to eat most of the things that you love. That being said, you’ll also need to bring a toothbrush and floss with you whenever you eat so you can remove any residual food or drink from your teeth.
3. Best Hygiene Practices
Even though you’re routinely seeing an orthodontist or dentist you can still end up with cavities or other tooth problems while you’re completing your treatment.
Brushing with metal braces can be difficult and it’s easy for food to get stuck inside the wires. Brushing carefully, using mouthwash, and avoiding sugary foods is the best way to keep your teeth clean and healthy. It will also help you to maintain their whiteness, something that can be hard to pay attention to while your teeth are adjusting.
You should look for a toothbrush with rounded bristles for easier and gentler navigation. You should also seek out fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash to keep your teeth healthy and cavity-free.
Even if braces make it difficult to floss you still need to get between your teeth regularly to avoid plaque build-up. You can use a floss pick, floss threader, or water floss device to make this easier.
Invisalign users need to brush your teeth after every meal or snack before you put your aligners back in. Not doing this can cause cavities from food and drinks caught between the aligners and your teeth.
4. Followup Appointments
Getting your braces isn’t a one-time occurrence. When you first get your braces your orthodontist will schedule your next appointment and give you an idea of how often they’d like to see you depending on your circumstances.
During your appointments, your dentist will adjust your braces and ensure that the teeth are moving as planned. This will cause some soreness though it should be easier than the first day.
Invisalign users still need to get checkups even though you replace your aligners on your own.
5. Duration of the Process
From your first day of braces, you’ll probably be excited to get them off and see your new and improved smile.
Don’t get too excited though. Orthodontic work can take a long time and there’s no safe way to rush it.
When you get your braces you can expect to take anywhere from 6 months to 6 years to complete treatment depending on the state of your teeth and jaw. Mild cases for people with mostly straight teeth or people who weren’t careful with retainer use the last time they got braces are more likely to be on the shorter end.
The installation process can take 2 hours and the subsequent appointments should be about an hour each.
6. You Notice Them More Than Anyone Else
Many people are self-conscious when they get their braces put on. Children and adults alike can feel uncomfortable or insecure with the new look.
In reality, the average person isn’t going to pay attention to your braces and the reward of a great smile when you’re done is worthwhile.
Patients who are insecure about the appearance of braces should consider opting for clear aligners instead. For children in particular, though, braces are commonplace and shouldn’t be a concern.
Getting Ready for Your First Braces Installation?
It’s normal to have the jitters before your first braces installation. There’s nothing to be worried about.
While you may have some discomfort and difficulty eating at first, you’ll end the experience with a healthy bite and a beautiful smile that’s easier to maintain.
When you’re looking for the perfect orthodontist for your smile journey, visit our site to look at the services that we provide. We want to get you the smile that you deserve.