Things to Know Before Getting Braces for the First Time
Braces are a popular and successful orthodontic treatment. Used in both adults and children, braces are effective in treating a variety of teeth and jaw problems. From overbite to teeth misalignment, braces offer an effective treatment in a relatively considerable time frame. Despite knowing its benefits, many people still fear getting braces for the first time.
However, braces are actually nothing to fear or dread. In fact, in today’s article, we’ll take on a step-by-step journey to getting braces for the first time.
What should you know before getting braces?
Before anything else, you will need to make an appointment with your orthodontist. After diagnosing you, your doctor will decide if you need braces in the first place. Keep in mind that there are many types of braces, and you may even be offered several options to choose from.
Some type of braces you might wear as a treatment include aligners, lingual braces, a headgear, Invisalign, traditional braces and more. Brackets and wires come in many shapes and colors, which makes children get accustomed to their braces more easily.
Below, read our detailed guide on everything else you should know about getting braces.
Consulting your orthodontist
Before getting braces, talk out any concerns you have with your orthodontist. Whether it is a fear of pain, diminished self-esteem or questions on braces maintenance, your doctor can clear up all your doubts. Your orthodontist will do a head and mouth exam of your teeth and will have you do an X-ray of your teeth.
You will also have to do a teeth impression, which will serve to mold the braces for your teeth only.
How are braces installed?
When it comes to wearing standard metal braces, the application process is quick and easy. Have a look at the step-by-step explanation on how braces are applied:
– Initially, your doctor will place bands on your back molars if needed. This often comes with some pressure, but no pain.
– Your orthodontist will attach metal or ceramic brackets to each tooth. Brackets serve so they hold the wires in place. Commonly, brackets are glued to the teeth but cause no additional trouble. Additionally, brackets come in many colors which makes it easier to apply them in children.
– The brackets have to be pierced so your doctor can attach the wire to them. The wires may feel tight at first, which means they are actively working on aligning the teeth.
– The next step is inserting rubber bands over the brackets. These help the wires work better, and again, they come in many colors to choose from.
Other types of braces and aligners follow the same pattern of installation, but with slight differences in elements, depending on the device itself. Also, know that you will have to wear braces for a while, depending on your type of braces and your case.
What will my first week of getting braces be like?
When it comes to getting braces, most people fear living with them daily. However, there is nothing to be upset or worries about. Once your orthodontic appliances are placed, you could experience a milder discomfort or pressure. Not necessarily painful, but rather annoying, the pressure is a direct result of the wires pulling the teeth in their natural space.
If you are feeling uneasy in the first few days after getting braces, feel free to take a milder over the counter pain reliever to help you deal. At the same time, pay attention to nutrition. After getting braces, you will have to eat soft foods such as mashed potatoes, until the discomfort goes away. Foods like yogurt, oats, rice, and soup can help you avoid aches in the teeth and jaw.
How do I adapt to wearing braces daily?
Living with braces daily is not as difficult as it may seem. Still, you will likely have to make some changes in your everyday routine. Here is what you need to know about life with braces:
– You will have to steer clear of chewy and sticky food, as well as carbonated drinks.
– You could wear a headgear along with your braces. Headgear helps to bring the teeth back in their place, and you’ll have to wear it during nighttime.
– You will have to make regular appointments to maintain your orthodontic appliances firm and effective. If you lose or break a bracket, you should see your orthodontist to replace it. Also, your doctor will tighten the wire as first signs of progress manifest.
– You will have to wear your orthodontic appliances at all times over a period of one to three years.
– After completing your orthodontic treatment, you will have to wear a retainer for support. Retainers are removable and should be worn or the rest of your life. In such a way, they support the work braces have done in the past years.
– You will have to keep your appliances clean. Brush and floss your teeth regularly. Other helpful was to clean your teeth is with gargling and rinsing your teeth and braces. Ultimately, this practice will result in a greater effect and will keep you safe from infections. By maintaining the braces hygiene optimal, you will also avoid teeth damage, plaque build-up and other diseases.
– For extra protection, you can ask your orthodontist to prescribe fluoride-enriched mouthwash.
– You will have to floss your teeth with a flexible ‘threader’ which can reach even the most remote parts in your mouth.
– You will likely use braces wax, otherwise known as orthodontic wax. This is a specifically designed product to coat the braces’ wires and keep the device protected.
Make sure you stay informed on the types of braces available today, their uses, cost, and benefits. Each orthodontic case is different, so it is best to consult your doctor to determine the best treatment for you. Let go of any prejudices you have regarding getting braces and talk to people who have undergone the treatment as well. All in all, braces are not the enemy, but can actually help you get your dream smile with minimal effort.
FIVE-STAR PATIENT TESTIMONIALS
Awesome experience with Dr. Ivanov! He shows great passion in his work, and cares about his patients and their concerns. I had my braces for 1yr 11 months and now I’m wearing my retainers. It amazes me as I look at my before and after pics of how great he is. Very happy and well pleased with my results that I referred a colleague of mine. Special thanks to Dr. Ivanov and his team for the fabulous job done!
I took my son to Dr. Ivanov because he had a severe overbite. The doctor explained everything to me with patience and understanding. I noticed the improvements in no time. I thought my son would be in braces for 3-4 years. My son, under Dr Ivanov’s care, now has the straightest most beautiful teeth (in only 2 years)!. The shape of his face adjusted to the changes as well and he looks ‘Hollywood’ Ready’. I am very satisfied with the doctor’s work. His office staff is great as well. Dr. Ivanov is very professional and I highly recommend!
Amazing experience! I’ve had my braces for 6 month now and I’m impressed of how much my teeth have changed. No pain at all. Dr. Ivanov is such a sweet person and very professional, he knows what he’s doing and always cares for patients personal concerns. Highly recommended!
Dr . Ivanov is in one word AMAZING . I been under his care for a year and I got to say What a change!!! I cannot wait to see the final results . . He always answers all my questions, in every visit he will take the time to understand how my teeth are improving and always makes the right decision. The staff is awesome, I always feel right at home . I made the best choice when I decided to get my braces with Dr . Ivanov. There’s is no doubt he is the best ortho . Thank you Dr. Ivanov for the hard work and for being so amazing and helping me feel awesome with every month visit . Anyone who is looking for a good ortho and the best care , there’s no other , Dr. Ivanov is the man!!!
Dr. Ivanov, Amy, and Helen are great! Dr. Ivanov took his time to get to know me, understand my needs, and come up with a treatment plan within my expectations. He offered various treatment options, and Amy and Helen offered payment options. They answered multiple questions without hesitation and with patience. They are all very friendly and personable. Happy I got my braces with them today. P.S. They all worked very quickly to get my braces on as painless as possible. And it went better than expected.
Dr. Ivanov was amazing. When I first got my braces I was scared it was going to last 4yrs for my teeth to look better but it only lasted 2yrs and the results are beyond amazing. I’m really happy with everything and would absolutely recommend him to anyone. Thank you so much.
Dr. Ivanov was my orthodontist. I had a very difficult case, I had an opening in my front area when I closed my mouth. Most orthodontist that I went to said that this case would be impossible to do without surgical intervention. Dr. Pavel thought outside of the box and was able to straighten my teeth WITHOUT surgical intervention. I felt that I was in safe hands because after careful research I found that he graduated at the very top of his class. He was able to do a complex braces technique called the MEAW technique to straighten my teeth. He has restored my self confidence and smile. I highly recommended Dr. Ivanov, he will go out of his way to make sure that your treatment plan is well thought out and he will spend his time to evaluate your situation. He is the Best Orthodontist in the North Miami\Aventura area.
I’ve been visiting Ivanov since December 2015. I had crossbites, crowded teeth, and just all the works. Together with his professional and amazing staff I was able to slowly over the years fix my smile into something life-changing. I am internally grateful to him as well as his staff, especially his assistant and front desk. If you don’t come here then you’re just passing up a great opportunity to change your life for the better and meeting amazing people who will help every step of the way to getting you a better smile! Thanks again, Mr Ivanov.
Very good experience. The attention was great. The doctor is very punctual and they don’t make you wait, which for my busy schedule is super important. Also, the time the doctor told me I had to wear the braces was the exact time I needed and I was very happy with the results. Definitely recommend him.
Dr. Ivanov and his staff really feels like my second family here and they’re always looking out for the best of me. When I first came into the office, my teeth were quite messed up, but now only after a year, it feels surreal that the braces could fix them so well. I see myself smiling alot more and feeling much more confident to show my teeth than to just smirk like I used to. They give you good advice on how to take care of yourself and take the extra step to make sure you do. When I come here for my checkup, I never feel awkward or uncomfortable because they’ll welcome and talk to you as a friend as well as your dentist, something I feel good about when I think about it walking out and saying “See you next month!”
Dr. Ivanov was amazing. He was very understanding and took the time to explain, every step of the process for my daughters braces. I am proud to say with great care her braces were finally removed and the end result is the beautiful smile she now has. Thank you
Usually, when a professional says that the reason they do what they do is to see the end results and how happy it makes their patients, you have to take it with a grain of salt. However, with Dr. Ivanov, he doesn’t even have to tell you why he does what he does for you to know that it’s out of pure kindness and enjoyment in seeing a (perfect) smile in his patients. From the very first moment I met him for a consultation for orthodontic work, I knew I was in good hands. Dr. Ivanov is one of the most humblest, kindest, and caring individuals I’ve ever met in the professional field and I know that I’ll have that perfect smile in no time.
Ivan and his staff made my experience a smooth and convenient process. I am absolutely delighted and satisfied with the progress and how far my teeth has come. Ivan and his staff works effortlessly to ensure that my teeth are perfected beyond my expectations. If I had any other choice I would still choose Ivanov Orthodontic experts.
Very good service they took great care of me Helen is very very sweet and caring she walk me through everything ivanov was so welcoming and caring he is very passionate to his patients felt very comfortable the STAFF IS AMAZING THE PLACE IS CLEAN IM SO EXCITED TO START THIS JOURNEY WITH THEM ISABEL WAS VERY CARING WITH SHE EXPLAIN EVERYTHING VERY WELL I recommend Anyone to come here if you want fast and friendly service thank for the experience
My family and I are so happy with the results of Dr. Ivanov!!! So knowledgeable, kind and always available to answer questions. I am so happy we found him and his staff. I am looking forward to addressing my dental needs now that the family is on track!!! How many can say that about their dental experts. Way to go Dr. Ivanov!!!
James C. Murphy
Since day one, i’ve had positive and friendly energy with every staff member including your future orthodontist Dr. Ivanov. Dr. Ivanov have given every patient he’s recieved the optimum care and dedication to receive their dental goal. He will provide you the steps and information you need to make your journey a successful one. You’ll become so confident with your new smile at the end!! With the amount of time and work he has done with you, you’ll never doubt selecting Dr. Ivanov as your orthodontist.
He is awesome. You will start seeing changes quick in your smile. He shows passion in his work, he cares about you and your smiles. The office is very nice and great customer service. You will be in good hands if you choose to go with him.
If you or your child have misaligned teeth or any other tooth abnormality, you will want to have this problem corrected as soon as possible. Sometimes the solution is simple and may require minor surgery for treatment, but sometimes it will be work that the dentist cannot carry out and this needs to be dealt with by a specialist. If the teeth are crooked, a dentist will not have the expertise to deal with the problem. Getting braces or Invisalign is the perfect way to get the smile you always wanted and once the treatment is finished, you will be so proud of your new appearance. A general dentist cannot perform the further specialized treatments that an orthodontist can. An orthodontist will have trained to be a dentist and once qualified, trained further so that they can work to straighten teeth. It is around 2 – 3 years in extra training that is undertaken; so, there is no need to worry that they will not know what they are doing.
Firstly, it is likely that your dentist will be able to recommend an orthodontist, but if not, you should be able to find one on your own. There are a couple of things that you should check if you can before you make an appointment:
- Reviews – If you don’t know anyone who has used them, can you find any information about them online? Their own website will only have good reviews, so you should be looking on independent sites. People always want to share their experiences – good and bad – so you should be fine.
- Payment options – Unless there is a medical reason for the braces, you could find that your insurance may not cover the full cost. Often there will be the chance of a payment plan, so investigate the option of using that as it will make it much more affordable.
The First Appointment
When you first meet the orthodontist, a two-way interview will be conducted. During this time, you can ask the orthodontist what will be your treatment options and any other concerns you may have, and they can ask you for a full medical history. Some will offer a free consultation and at this point you can meet the people you will be treated by and where the treatment will take place. However, you go about making the decision, there will be a time when you have made the decision and are ready to get your braces.
The Start Of The Treatment
To be sure that the braces will be correct, the orthodontist will want to know the exact condition of your mouth and teeth. While the teeth will be the things they will be moving, they also need to know if there is a problem with the gums. First of all, there will be x-rays taken as these will make sure that the orthodontist is able to see any teeth which may have underlying problems and if they do, then they are the teeth that will be dealt with first. There is no point in straightening a tooth that needs a filling, as it may not last until the end of the straightening journey. After that they will be taking impressions, and hopefully they will warn you that this could be the worst part of the treatment. And providing you follow their instructions, they will only have to be obtained once. There are just a few steps for them:
- The orthodontist will fill an upper and lower impression trays with a thick substance.
- You will have one inserted at the top and then the bottom one will be put in.
- The substance will begin to harden over the teeth. It is while this is happening that you may feel uncomfortable as breathing can be a little difficult.
- The impressions will be removed, and any excess substance will be removed from your lips, teeth and mouth.
- The molds will be taken from the impression trays and used to design the braces.
Once the braces have been designed, you will have an appointment to have them fitted. If you have not looked after your teeth as well as you should have done, then it is possible that you will have to undergo a deep cleaning at the orthodontists before the braces will be put on. They will use a special paste, and this will enable the braces to be put straight onto the teeth. If you have concerns about the cleanliness of your teeth, you could arrange to have the job done at your dentist office a day or so before you will be getting braces. The main reason for this is to prevent plaque on the teeth. Once the braces are in place it will be hard enough to keep the teeth as clean and hygienic as they normally are, but if you have perfectly clean teeth to start with you will be giving yourself the best possible start.
A final good clean, floss and gargle before the appointment should keep the orthodontist happy and let them see that you are getting braces to improve your look and are going to comply with their requests. As well as the cleanliness aspect, it will reduce the time you have to spend in the chair getting braces fitted, as they will not have to carry out a deep cleaning first.
Various Types Of Braces
Before the appointment to have the braces fitted, you should be aware of the type of braces that are going to be fitted. You may have little choice in the braces that are used as certain ones are going to be a lot more expensive than others. There are at least four different types and the orthodontist will tell you which one you should have.
- Children’s braces tend to be brackets that are attached to the teeth. There will be elastic and wires, and over time they will move the teeth into the position they should be in.
- Some can be attached to the back of the teeth. The process is the same when getting braces, but the brackets are harder to see.
- Metal bands that can be wrapped round the teeth.
- Invisalign – These are clear and can be removed. They will be more expensive, and it is usually older people who choose these. They are harder to see, so fewer people will know that they are having work done.
Within reason, your orthodontist will decide which is right for you. You need to be honest during this conversation as you could end up getting braces you did not want. There are going to be certain aspects where they will not interfere – examples of this will be allowing children to have brightly colored bands to make the braces seem more fun.
Self Ligating Braces
Self-ligating braces are close to the teeth straightening devices that have been used for generations and would have automatically been offered to previous generations who were getting braces. The self-ligating style ones, can be ceramic or clear but still will be visible because they are bigger compared to normal ceramic braces. There is also an absence of elastic bands as there are clips used instead, and they are just as good at holding the wire on the tooth. As a result of this, cleaning will be more efficient and effective. These braces will be suitable of any sort of problem and give the orthodontist total control over what happens. The only concerns are that they are not totally invisible and can be damaged if not treated gently.
This particular style of braces are harder to see as they are attached behind the tooth close to the tongue hence the term “lingual braces”. They work just as well as other braces and soon you should have perfectly straight teeth. The wires will be moving the teeth as well as traditional braces the only difference being no one else will know about it. In case you are worried that the back of your teeth will not be suitable to hold the braces, this will not be the case as they will be made to fit them. Their major advantages are that they are only visible to the wearer and work the same magic as traditional braces, the end result being straight teeth. There are a couple of disadvantages including having to get use to having something in that part of the mouth, and also the expense incurred when getting these particular style of braces.
Adults will find these the most attractive type of braces, although they will also be the most expensive. The main advantage is the fact that they are clear, but it also helps that they can be removed when you eat or need to clean them. It means that you can make sure that your teeth are really clean, and food will not be left in the braces. They should be left in for 22 hours a day, so there is the option to leave them out for a short time if there is a special event being attended. This should, however, only be done once or twice as the movement that has been made could be reversed and the teeth will end up in the same place as when they started. Invisalign is also a quicker way to get straight teeth. At the initial appointment, plans will be made for several clear braces to be made and every few weeks you visit the orthodontist to have them checked. Often you won’t even have to go to the orthodontist as you will just change the aligners for the next ones at home.
Discomfort Of Getting Braces
While there will not be a great deal of pain if the braces are placed on the teeth correctly, it is likely that they may take a little getting used to. There is no need to be worried if you feel a little bit of discomfort for the first few days, but if it drags on, it will be best to get back in contact with the orthodontist who fitted them and have them checked out. Most of the time it will be just the settling in period, but on occasions, there could be something loose that is digging into the soft tissue, or something that has been put on too tightly and forcing the teeth to move too quickly.
Even when the braces do not hurt you will be advised to eat only soft food for a while. The ideal things will be soft foods for example soup, bananas and well-cooked pasta. It will be expected that you could need some pain medication as well and there is nothing wrong with taking pain killers that can be bought across the counter. If you are getting to the second week and still find that you need them, again it may be best to have the braces checked out.
Taking Care Of Your Braces
You should be given information when you first leave, and they will be the obvious things such as:
- Brush your teeth regularly and carefully. You want them to be clean, but you do not want to damage them.
- Use a Waterpik – This is going to get rid of the pieces of food that have not been dislodged by the toothbrush. It is easy for them to get caught in the braces, between the braces and the teeth and also between the teeth.
- Make regular appointments to see the orthodontist. They need to know that things are going as they would expect them to and if not, they can alter the treatment they were carrying out.
- Be careful about what you eat even once you are used to wearing braces. Anything sticky can get caught and will be both difficult to remove as well as leading to the risk of infection and damage to the enamel.
It is understandable that people are worried about getting braces and this will be more the case when it is a child. You can make things much easier for everyone by asking questions as this will both put your mind at ease and alert the orthodontist to areas where they need to give you extra information and updates.