We all want a great smile complete with sparkling white teeth all perfectly aligned in a row. Braces can help achieve this image, but ask anyone who wore dental braces as a teenager about the experience and many will shudder from the memory. If you or your child is on the starting block of the brace race, there are things you need to know that will make the process easier and help you understand what to expect.
Understanding braces doesn’t need to send you into a panic. Here are a few things you may want to know before your consultation.
How Long Will I Have To Wear Braces?
The treatment period for braces varies. Some problems are corrected in just six months, while other problems can take several years. But as a general rule, the more severe the problem, the longer it will take to correct. Once braces are removed, plan to wear a retainer that will help keep the newly aligned teeth in place.
Ongoing Tooth Care Will Be Important
When you have braces, you will need to brush your teeth several times per day, ideally after every meal. This may sound like a lot, but if you create the habit early on, it will eventually become a habit. Avoid using a whitening toothpaste when you have braces. It may cause you to have “two tone” teeth after the brackets are removed!
You should also floss at least once per day. Using one of the many “floss threader” products on the market can help make this an easier task. Your dentist can show you how to brush and floss properly.
If you are going to spend thousands of dollars and years of your time on your teeth, you’ll want to make oral hygiene a priority?
You’re Likely To Experience Some Soreness
Although it doesn’t hurt to get braces put on your teeth; the pain and pressure come a day or two later. Not only will your teeth feel sore, the brackets may also rub the insides of your gums and lips and cause mouth sores.
Luckily this stage only lasts a 2-3 weeks. Before you know it scar tissue will form inside your mouth causing everything hurts less.
To help soothe the mouth sores, rinse your mouth with warm salt water several times per day. You may also want to use dental wax or get a lip protector for braces. The initial stage of braces passes soon enough. In just a few months the braces won’t bother you very much at all.