Getting Braces? Here is all you need to know!

orthodontist and patient

Humans tend to be naturally scared of what they don’t know. The perfect example would be getting dental braces. Most often, people dread getting braces and completely overlook the need for it. But if you know your options and are mentally prepared, it becomes a lot easier.

Being mentally prepared helps you calm the jitters when you are in the orthodontist’s chair. So, read on to know what to expect before getting braces.

There is No Age Restriction

It’s true that a child’s tissues are more flexible and malleable than an adult’s. But many adults take orthodontic treatment and report excellent results. As an adult going for orthodontic treatment, here’s what you need to know:

  • Since the bones in an adult stop growing, some structural changes can only be accomplished with surgery.
  • The treatment may take longer than a child’s.

Types of Braces:

With technological advancements, you now have various options to choose from. Talk to your orthodontist about the option that best suits you and the effect of the treatment on your teeth and positioning. Here are the 5 major options you can choose from:

1. Metal BracesMetal Braces are least expensive and fastest way of fixing teeth positioning.
2. Ceramic Braces – Ceramic material in these braces has the same color and texture as teeth. Ceramic Braces offer quick treatment but stain easily.
3. Lingual BracesLingual braces are on the inside of the bite and can be very difficult to clean.
4. Self-ligating Braces – These braces use braces with clips or doors instead of the traditional rubber wire. These are less painful than other types of braces.
5. Invisalign – These are clear trays that can be removed to clean teeth. Invisalign treatment is usually more expensive.

You May Need to Change Your Diet

Some foods can stick to your teeth and damage the braces. This will not only interrupt the treatment but can also hurt your teeth. Here are a few foods you will need to use caution with:

  • Popcorn
  • Bubble Gum
  • Caramel
  • Sticky or hard chocolates and candies
  • Nuts and pretzels
  • Foods that you bite onto such as carrots, apples, tough meat, etc.
  • Raw vegetables

For the first few days, you will need to stick to soup, yogurt, pasta, soft bread, etc. to avoid discomfort.

Your Teeth will Need Cleaning Several Times a Day

Oral hygiene is paramount once you get braces since food can get trapped in your teeth and cause not just bad breath but tooth decay too. always Keep a dental kit with you that you can clean your mouth after every meal.

You will Have to Wear Retainers

The treatment won’t stop right after the braces come off. You will have to wear a retainer to keep the teeth from moving back into their original position. Your orthodontist may recommend a bonded permanent retainer, so speak with them about your options.

Cost and Treatment Times Differ

The cost of your orthodontic treatment depends on factors such as the location, expertise of the orthodontist and type of the braces. In most cases, the average treatment period is 2 years, but it usually depends on the treatment that’s ideal in your situation. There are several things you can do get your braces off faster.


  1. What Changes Should I Prepare For During Treatment?

    You need to make a few lifestyle changes when you are getting braces. Though it depends on what sort of braces you choose, getting dental braces will only cause a few minor shifts in your daily routine. You’ll have to be slightly more regular with your oral hygiene routine, and a few sticky and hard foods will not be a part of your diet in the beginning. But make sure you consult your orthodontist about bringing necessary changes in your diet and lifestyle before you get orthodontic braces.

  2. How Frequent Will My Follow-Up Visits Be?

    You will need to visit your orthodontist periodically after getting fitted for orthodontic braces. For traditional metal braces, the follow up is generally once a month, for invisible aligners, it’s every six weeks. But your follow up time might depend on your unique situation.

  3. Should My Oral Hygiene Routine Be Any Different When You Have Braces? How?

    When you have orthodontic braces on your teeth, you need to put in a little extra effort into your oral care. You should always take precautions to avoid damaging braces.Although brushing twice a day is generally recommended, when you wear dental braces, you should brush every time you eat.You should rinse your mouth with water and brushing after every meal should be on your checklist after every meal.Also use waxed floss every meal, because food can still get stuck in your mouth when you get braces.You can also use mouthwash regularly. Toothpaste or a mouthwash with active fluoride can help strengthen your teeth and protect you against cavities.

  4. Will Braces Affect My Lifestyle? How?

    You will need to make a few minor adjustments to your lifestyle after you wear orthodontic braces. You will need to brush, floss and gargle with a mouth wash after every meal, and there will be a few foods that will be off-limits. Other than that, there will not be any hindrance to your lifestyle. If you play a sport, you might need to wear a mouthguard to make sure that your braces are not damaged.

  5. How Much Pain or Discomfort is Involved?

    There will be an initial week or two of a little bit of discomfort while wearing braces, but once you adjust to them, the pain or discomfort is nil. For the first few weeks, it is recommended that you only eat soft foods until you can learn to clean your braces periodically. There are times when braces can cause sore gums, but the orthodontist generally covers the braces and metal wires with a soft piece of wax, so they don’t cause any irritation to your child’s mouth.

While these tips will help you stay better prepared, you need to accept that some discomfort is common. Your teeth might initially be sensitive but after a week or two, you will get used to the pressure on your gums. While braces help with teeth straightening, there are a number of other benefits as well. Take good care of your teeth to sail smoothly through the treatment and your smile will be beautiful than ever.

Think you’re ready to get your orthodontic braces? Book consultation today.

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Dr. Satish Pai, M.D.S

Dr. Satish Pai is an orthodontist and Ivy League trained dentist who has served as a faculty at Columbia University. He believes a perfect smile not only makes a person look great but feel great. As the founder of Putnam Orthodontics and a Partner at Brite Orthodontics, he is dedicated to providing the best orthodontic treatments to his patients. He also writes to educate people about everything orthodontics and the importance of correctly aligned teeth along with good oral health. In his free time, you can find him golfing, doing yoga or surfing, and spending time with his family.

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