So, your dentist says you need braces. It’s probably not the best news you’ve received because the idea of getting braces may conjure up some painful and awkward images. But the reality of braces is actually much different than what we see on TV. In fact, for many teens getting braces can be an incredibly positive and confidence-boosting experience.
However, if it’s your first time dealing with braces, you no doubt have some really pressing questions you want answered before getting them. Here are some of the most common questions that teens have before getting braces:
Q: Will getting braces hurt?
- A: The process of putting braces on is quite painless. You will mostly feel slight pressure and a different sensation on your teeth. Afterward, the patient will feel mild discomfort from the shifting of teeth into the desired position. The amount of pain is temporary and differs from person to person.
Q: Is it painful during treatment with braces?
- A: Again, this differs from case to case. Initially, the teeth need to move into place. This shifting will cause discomfort from the outset, but the longer braces are worn, the more this discomfort subsides.
Q: How long will I have to wear braces?
- A: That depends on a few factors. The severity of the condition of your teeth before treatment, and the type of braces chosen by the patient. A mild misalignment and FASTBRACES could see your treatment over in about three months. For more severe cases, treatment could take up to a year or more.
Q: What foods will I have to avoid when getting braces?
- A: For conventional braces and FASTBRACES, you are going to need to use common sense here. Keeping your teeth clean with braces should be a top priority. You should also avoid foods that will get stuck in the braces or potentially damage the hardware. No popcorn or corn on the cob, no raw veggies (especially celery), no nuts, gum or sticky/hard candy. Try and take smaller bites and avoid any foods that would normally build up in your teeth such as cookies, pretzels, etc.
Q: How do I care for my teeth while wearing braces?
- A: Again, this depends on what type of braces you choose for treatment. For conventional orthodontic braces, use a quality toothbrush with a compact head. Take great care and extra time to brush all surfaces, including the tops and bottoms of the brackets while ensuring all food debris is removed from the front of the brackets and wires. Carry floss and interdental picks with you while on the go. Also, you may wish to invest in an oral irrigation system for the home. These devices are like power washers for your teeth and are very effective after brushing to wash away any remaining food debris.
Q: Won’t people make fun of me for wearing braces?
- A: Maybe. “Brace-ism” is real and sadly still a thing. Be confident that your real friends won’t be participating in making fun of you. The truth is that anyone who can’t see the benefit of having braces at this point in your life probably won’t be around to see the results of your new perfect smile. Braces are a common occurrence these days, and most teens simply see them as another step in their growth. And with so many options available, many teens even look forward to it. Some teens even enjoy displaying their individuality by choosing fun colours for their elastics, turning braces into a fun, customized accessory.
Q: What happens if a bracket or wire comes loose on my braces?
- A: Occasionally wires or brackets can become displaced during treatment. If this happens, don’t panic. Loose wires could poke the inside of your cheeks and cause discomfort, however, the solution is to simply use some of the orthodontic wax provided by the dentist. Pack it on the wire and you’ll feel better until you are able to make it back to the dentist for an adjustment. If a bracket comes loose or falls off, you should try to keep it safe and bring it back to the dentist as soon as you can.
Q: What options do I have when getting braces?
- A: These days, you have many options when it comes to braces. There are traditional braces that employ brackets, wire, springs, and bands. A qualified dentist installs these, and treatment can take up to two years in severe cases. FastBraces are relatively new and take an entirely different approach to straightening teeth. FastBraces offer less discomfort and fewer return visits to the orthodontist and in some cases can take as little as three months for treatment. Invisalign Braces are virtually invisible. They are made using state-of-the-art, 3D imaging of your teeth to create braces that can be removed for meals and nightly brushings.
Q: How do I protect my mouth when playing sports with braces?
- A: Most patients use an orthodontic mouth guard while playing sports where physical contact with the mouth is a real possibility. Should an injury occur, or if a component of your braces breaks, you should contact your dentist as soon as possible.
Q: What happens if I don’t get braces now?
- A: Orthodontic care can be essential, not just for appearance, but for physical and mental health. Although adult braces are available, by addressing a young person’s needs early you could avoid complicated and expensive dental surgery later on. In some cases, foregoing braces can also lead to conditions such as chronic headaches.