For the longest time, braces were only worn by the awkward kids in school and were a target of everyone else’s jokes. But as with everything else, the allure of braces has grown tremendously in recent years, thanks to technological advances that not only made them more effective but also allowed the introduction of “cool” features like fun band colors and customizable patterns.
Other functional inventions like clear brace aligners have also made it possible for adults to wear braces without fear of stigma. In today’s world, braces are cool, very effective, and can be worn by everyone.
But before you book a visit to your orthodontist, there are a few things you may want to consider.
How Braces Work
Although this particular point will be addressed in depth by your dentist, it is still important to know what braces can or can not do before you get yours installed. In this regard, you may be surprised to know that modern braces not only improve teeth alignment, but can also improve your bite, reduce bad breath, and make digestion easier. Don’t expect them to sort teeth pain or cavities though.
Some Prior Dental Work is Needed
In case your orthodontist doesn’t tell you this, know that you will need to get a dental examination at least a week before the installation. This helps correct issues that may interfere with the workings of the braces, such as teeth discoloration, and overcrowding.
You’ll Need to Avoid Certain Foods
Regardless of the type of braces you will go for, you will need to wholly adjust your diet for the entire treatment period. Some foods, more so sticky ones like gummy bears and candies, can stick to the braces and either loosen them or cause you considerable pain. Foods that are hard to chew, such as corn on the cob and raw carrots, are also not recommended for people with certain types of braces.
Brushing is Super Important
Brushing with braces on is not easy and may even be a bit painful. However, it is a very important part of the treatment process – arguably even more important than in ordinary times. See, food particles easily stick between the wires and brackets and can cause a whole lot of bacterial problems if left there for too long. As such, you need to brush after every meal instead of the usual twice a day.
Some Discomfort is Normal
Most people experience some mild pain for the first few days after initial placement and you shouldn’t get too worried as long as the pain is not unbearable. As a rule of thumb, contact the orthodontist as soon as the discomfort starts for more personalized advice and anti-pain prescriptions. For home-based solutions, try some sugarless chewing gum, or sucking on ice cubes.
Additional Protection is Necessary for Athletes
If you play sports, particularly contact sports, you absolutely need to wear a mouthguard during games and training to protect your teeth, and the inside of your mouth, from being hurt by the brace wires during collisions or falls.
Braces are a Commitment
Getting the braces installed is just the start of a long and arduous journey. And apart from the dietary and hygienic chances we have mentioned, you will also need to visit the orthodontist every 4-6 weeks for an assessment and also stick to any additional adjustments they may make. Expect to spend a lot of time and money throughout the treatment period.
Looking to know if you need braces or have braces installed? Book your free consultation with one of our specialists and see your dental fortunes change. We also have dedicated kids orthodontists to deal with all your child’s dental issues.