Are you considering getting braces? Who doesn’t want a lovely set of pearly whites? While you may have some control over the cleanliness of your teeth, having perfectly even teeth is something you have to leave to genetics and fate.
Medical science has made its advancements into making your little imperfections perfect. Dental braces can align and straighten your teeth and help position them to fit your mouth. Reasonably, you might want to fix your crooked teeth or arrange your overbite.
As appealing as braces are, there are a few things you must consider before getting them.
1. Get Your Dental Work Done in Advance
Oral hygiene must be ensured before your brace installment. Not all teeth repairing work is required before the orthodontic procedure, though there are some crucial ones. Your family dentist will guide you through the process.
The dentist will first do a check-up of your oral health and recommend a clean-up. Tooth decay, gum concerns, and fractures only get worse with braces. All existing cavities must be filled, and any impairment within the tooth should be treated to ensure that bacteria do not spread in your mouth and cause infection.
Wisdom teeth may also have to be removed to avoid interference with the orthodontic surgery. Adding braces to infected gums will lead to more complications if not treated in advance.
Oral clean-up will be suggested based on your hygiene. Even if it is not required, it will be recommended by the doctor to ensure the braces are properly stuck to your teeth.
2. Modify Your Diet Prior to the Surgery
Certainly, some dietary limitations will come with the orthodontic fixtures. Sudden changes in your meal plans can be difficult to cope with. Bring the necessary changes to your diet at least a week prior to the surgery to ease into the process.
Eliminate food that has a hard and sticky texture. Chewing gum, caramel, gummy bears, beef steaks, etc, are foods you should avoid. Food that you need to bite into, such as fruits, corn cobs, or others should be cut into smaller pieces rather than taking a full bite.
Change your diet to soft foods or fluids to abstain from excessive chewing. Pasta, soups, mashed potatoes, and smoothies will be the best additions to your meal.
It is common for food to get stuck within the braces for hours before being removed. This is, unfortunately, the most challenging part for an adult having to socialize regularly. Rinse your mouth thoroughly after meals to avoid unpleasant situations.
3. Carry Lip Balm With You
Lips can dehydrate fast during the brace installation. Chapstick is crucial during the treatment process. Your lips are stretched for the duration of the procedure, which takes several hours, causing the skin to become dry and chapped.
There is no way to moisturize your lips during the process, so it is smart to carry a nourishing lip balm with you. It can become your safest protection against painful, chapped lips.
It is wise to carry balm that is refreshing and has healing properties. You will need to use the chapsticks for several days after the brace fitting.
4. How Braces are Installed
Traditionally orthodontic brackets are placed directly onto the teeth one at a time. First, the teeth are completely dried after a thorough cleaning. Orthodontic glue and cement are added to the gap between each tooth and the brackets are placed. Wires are placed to keep them aligned after their position is secured.
Special indirect bonding techniques can be implemented, which allows all the braces to be installed at once. An impression is prepared so that the dentist can get a copy of your teeth. Initially, it feels like pressing your teeth into a doughy material.
A stone mixture is poured into your impression and dried. Your teeth models are then carefully removed. The models are trimmed, and a machine is used to make the indirect bonding trays that will be used to put on your braces. The indirect bonding trays are then carefully trimmed.
5. The Brace Fitting Process Causes Discomfort
The actual process does not hurt unless you have additional concerns which require dental implants. However, it causes discomfort and uneasiness. You will feel mild pain right after the placement and when the wires are secured. Chew sugar-free gums and suck on small cubes of ice to relieve the pain. Prepare over-the-counter pain medications to ease recovery.
You will face soreness for the first couple of days. Avoid putting any pressure while you are getting used to your new braces. Eat soft foods and drink lots of fluids. Mix half a teaspoon of salt in lukewarm water and rinse regularly. Salt works as a disinfectant and reduces inflammation.
The procedure itself takes a couple of hours, with additional waiting at the clinic. Take the rest of the day off and recover with some warm milk.
6. Brushing Becomes More Important After the Procedure
Maintaining healthy teeth after treatment is possible by practicing good oral hygiene, particularly brushing. It becomes a little more difficult to maneuver the brush, but it is nonetheless crucial.
It is recommended to use a toothbrush with bristles. Brush along the gumline in gentle circular movements. Get into all the gaps and edges of your braces to rid of any food particles that might be stuck. Sweep the inner and outer surfaces for hygienic teeth.
Another way to tackle the upkeep of your teeth is through flossing. Floss up and down on both sides of the tooth while hugging the contours of each. You can use a platypus flosser. Use the spatula to go underneath the wire and move it back and forth to reach every gap.
7. Your Teeth Will Show Changes in the First Month
Braces make fast changes to your teeth and give you a confident smile. Change may fluctuate depending on your age, metabolism, bone density, and medications. Younger patients show rapid development due to faster metabolism. However, your choppers will be much straighter in only the first month, regardless of the factors.
The brackets will be crucial to fixing your overbite in addition to the alignment of your teeth. Over and underbites are equally important in assuring your positive smiles. These changes will show much slower than the straightening.
Heavier force on the braces will not lead to faster changes in adjusting your teeth. It causes the opposite effect. Decreasing the force needed to drag the teeth into position will allow a natural shift, even if the process takes longer.
8. Braces Will Change How Your Lips Look
The volume of your lips will remain unaffected by the brackets; however, it will temporarily change its look. The fittings of the braces will press against your lips and make them seem more pronounced.
Your top lips will appear more defined if your underbite is pushed into alignment with your upper teeth. If your protruding front teeth are repositioned, it may allow your lip to sag a little more.
The brackets might cause bruising in your inner lips if wires come loose from the fittings. Apply orthodontic wax to your braces and teeth to avoid abrasions on the lips. The wax will provide relief from injury. Learn the proper way to apply the wax from your dentist and rinse it out before every meal.
9. Make Post-Surgery Visits to the Dentist
Routine dental check-ups should begin in childhood. It has major health benefits and regulates your oral hygiene. Regular check-ups aid your dentist in diagnosing oral infections in an early stage. Good rapport with the doctor built over time will help them assess your needs and guide you through the orthodontic process.
It is even more important after your braces have been fixed. Make periodical visits to your dentist every four to eight weeks to get it tightened and corrected to make sure your teeth are moving in the desired direction. The length of the treatment depends on the severity of your case. It could take two to three years to complete the entire process.
If you have any cheek irritation due to brackets, use a little bit of wax to secure it in place and call your orthodontist as soon as possible.
10. Your Smile is Priceless
You will go through a lot of discomfort for the duration of the orthodontic procedure. Soreness, numbness, and slight pain are just some of the issues. However, all of the pain and discomfort you experienced during treatment will be completely erased from your mind the moment you remove your braces.
The feeling of having a perfect smile is next to none. The procedure and routine check-ups can take between eight months to two years. If you continue to look forward to the outcome, the time will simply fly by!
Every orthodontic treatment is expensive, including braces. Talk to your insurance company to set up a deal and aid your treatment. Even then, you will have to pay some money out of your own pocket.
All the expenses become worth it when you wear your pearly white smile with confidence.
The nerve-wracking process of getting braces can be eased by learning the small details in advance.
All the required dental work should be done earlier to avoid a painful process. Supplementary dietary changes need to be made to help you eat. Carry lip balm during the process to moisten your lips and prepare over-the-counter pain medications for post-surgery relief.
Brushing can become difficult but it is important to clean every corner of the brackets. Use orthodontic wax for slight abrasions to your lips.
You will start to see changes in the alignment of your teeth as early as the first month. Your lips may look protruded but the initial shape of it will not be affected by the braces.
All will be worth it when you see your new, healthy smile.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website's content and editorial direction since 2013. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra's expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.