More than 4 million people in the United States have braces.
Whether you’re an adult getting braces for the first time or your kids need braces, it’s a good idea to inform yourself about the process.
We’ve put together this guide to make the entire process easier and less stressful! Read on to learn about the types of braces out there, how to care for your braces, and what you can expect from this orthodontic treatment.
The Different Types of Braces
There are many options out there for correcting your smile. Some options might be a better fit for you than others, depending on what type of treatment you need, your age, and your preferences.
Traditional metal braces are usually the type that most people picture. These braces are made from high-grade stainless steel and use brackets and wires. Elastic ties gradually move your teeth into the desired position.
Metal braces are best for crowded teeth or severely misaligned teeth. They’re also used to treat bite problems.
The downside to metal braces is that they can rub against your cheeks and irritate the inside of your mouth. Braces wax can help with this.
Ceramic braces use clear or tooth-colored brackets and wires. As a result, they’re less noticeable than traditional braces. However, they can stain if you drink tea, coffee, and soda.
Self-ligating braces don’t use elastic ties. There’s less friction, which can result in a more comfortable experience. The downside to self-ligating braces is that poor oral hygiene can damage the braces.
Invisalign is a clear plastic aligner and a popular option among adults. These nearly invisible braces are custom-fitted and align the teeth gradually. You’ll receive several sets of custom-fit aligners during the process.
You May Feel Some Discomfort
Traditional braces require some time to get used to them. You may feel some discomfort or mild pain as they’re applied and for the first few weeks afterward.
You may feel pressure or an ache in your mouth after you get braces. You can take an OTC pain reliever to help with the discomfort.
Braces can also rub against your cheeks and irritate your gums. Using braces and wax helps to protect your mouth against the metal. You can also use an oral numbing gel if it’s an issue.
Just remember, that the pain is temporary, and the results are worth it!
You Should Avoid Certain Foods
Wearing braces takes commitment, and you have to care for them if you want to see results. That means avoiding certain foods that can get stuck in your braces or do damage to them.
Examples of foods to avoid include:
- Hard candy
- Crunchy foods
- Corn on the cob
- Chewy foods
- Sugary foods
Oral Hygiene Is More Important Than Ever
There are a few extra steps you need to take when you get braces. It’s vital you keep them clean, though there is a bit of a learning curve.
You need to spend more time brushing your teeth, as you need to get the area around each brace. Flossing is also tougher with braces, but it’s important you never skip it.
Flossing threaders help a lot when you have braces, as you can get the floss between each tooth and along with the braces.
It’s a good idea to get into the habit of brushing after each meal when you wear braces.
Getting Braces for a Brighter Smile
If you want a healthy smile and straight teeth, braces can help! However, it’s important to remember that they take commitment, and you may experience an adjustment period.
Talk to your orthodontist to find the best ways to care for your braces and make the process easier.
If you’re ready to achieve a brighter smile, schedule an office visit today.