Our smiles are a big part of our identity, and having the ability to smile with confidence is important and can have a significant impact on our self-esteem. Having straight, aligned teeth not only can help boost your confidence but can improve your overall oral health as well.
What are braces?
Braces are fixed dental appliances that exert fixed, constant, gentle pressure onto teeth to straighten or realign them. Braces can be used for several conditions where the position of the teeth needs to be corrected. This includes crowding, crooked and misaligned teeth, overbites and underbites, and gaps between the teeth. Braces are not only a cosmetic treatment that can help improve the aesthetic and appearance of your smile and face, but they can also be used to treat serious dental conditions such as underdeveloped jaws.
Should I get braces
Getting braces can be a stressful experience for some, and knowing what the procedure involves can help alleviate some of the associated anxiety. It is important to be aware that everyone will have a slightly different experience, depending on what the requirements of their treatment are.
The initial appointment will be one of the longer of all your appointments for your orthodontic treatment. It will involve conditioning the surface of the teeth to prepare them to receive the brackets, placing the brackets with light-activated cement, and inserting the first wire.
What’s it like to have braces
Once the wire has been placed, your dentist will typically recommend that you return in 3 – 4 weeks for your first adjustment appointment. During this appointment, your dentist will remove the wire and make any required adjustments, or they will insert a new wire. If the wire is replaced, it will usually be slightly more robust or have a different arrangement. This will help the teeth to continue moving into the correct position. Each time you visit your dentist for an adjustment appointment, they will use different wires or materials to push or pull the teeth into their desired position.
Once the braces are placed, you might find that it takes roughly a month to get used to them completely. However, it isn’t uncommon to experience some discomfort after adjustment appointments. This is normal and should resolve relatively quickly. If necessary, it can be treated with over-the-counter pain relief.
How long will I need braces for?
The duration of treatment is dependent on the condition that is being treated, the type of braces required, breakages, and your age. Usually, treatment can take anywhere between 6 – 24 months. Your dentist will discuss the proposed length of your treatment during your initial appointment. If you are unable to attend regular adjustment appointments, you will likely find that the time that your braces are in place may be prolonged.
Looking after your braces
Having braces means that you will need to spend more time and effort to maintain your oral health and hygiene. Due to the nature of braces, they often trap food that needs to be diligently removed and cleaned. You will need to brush your teeth and floss after every meal or snack. Your dentist may even recommend that you use a device called an interdental brush that allows you to clean between and around the wires.
It is imperative that while your braces are in place that you maintain routine examination and clean appointments with your dentist as they recommend. This will not only help ensure the health of your teeth and gums but will also prevent staining.
Whether you are 12 or 24, getting through orthodontic treatment can be tough. The long term goal is not only for an aesthetically pleasing smile that boosts you or your child’s smile, but also the long-term benefits of healthy, aligned teeth. Our dentists all understand the importance of connecting with you or your child to help make your journey with braces easier. Before treatment, they will let you know what to expect from your braces, how to care for your teeth during treatment, and what they will be accomplishing for your smile.
Our friendly staff are here to help
If you have any further questions regarding any procedure, please feel free to contact our friendly staff.