Getting braces can be daunting and slightly overwhelming. However, knowing what to expect during each step of the process can help alleviate some of your anxiety. After your initial consultation with the orthodontist, you will receive a treatment plan based on your needs. While the process is very similar for every case, your experience can differ greatly depending on your treatment plan.
Placing the Braces
Your first appointment will be the longest. The orthodontist will begin by cleaning and polishing your teeth to ensure the brackets will bond properly. After that, an adhesive will be placed on your teeth in order to attach the brackets. Finally, a wire is placed through the brackets securing them in place. The entire process can take anywhere between one to two hours and the process itself is not painful. However, it is common to feel uncomfortable after the appointment due to your tongue and cheek rubbing against the braces and possible swelling. Talk with your orthodontist to help with any pain you may experience.
Caring for Braces
It is vital to properly care for your braces to ensure you get the best results. Brushing and flossing thoroughly everyday is important but you will need to brush longer than the typical two minutes in order to properly clean around the brackets and remove plaque. Always use waxed floss to prevent it from getting stuck in between your braces. There are also several foods that should be avoided while in braces such as: caramel, gummy candies, popcorn, and nuts. These can get stuck in the braces and cause them to detach. Also, limit foods high in sugar and acidic content since they make oral hygiene much more difficult. At our office, patients can expect a Prophy Jet cleaning at every appointment, which is a tool that deep cleans your teeth in those hard to reach places around the brackets.
Regular adjustment appointments, every three to ten weeks, are necessary to keep your treatment on track. At the appointment, the orthodontist will evaluate the movement of your teeth and insert a new wire in order to continue moving the teeth into the right position. The new wire will be slightly stronger or have a different configuration than the previous one to pull or push your teeth into the next position to achieve your desired end results.
Once treatment is complete, the removal process is painless and relatively simple. The bond between the brackets and your teeth is gently broken and the remaining adhesive is also safely removed. Slight inflammation of the gums is common after removal of braces and should subside in a few days.