What To Expect When Getting Braces

Dentist Blog

Getting braces is exciting, but if you're like many people, you may have a lot of questions. Here are a few questions and answers about the process of getting braces and what to expect afterwards:

How long does it take to apply braces?

Having braces installed generally takes a couple of hours. Bring along your cell phone stocked with your favorite songs or an audio book to distract you and help the time pass quickly.

How are braces applied to the teeth?

Your orthodontist will first make sure your teeth are clean and dry. The bonding glue is then applied to your teeth and the brackets, which may be made of metal or porcelain.

The glue may taste bitter, but it is harmless. The next step involves attaching the archwire to each of the brackets using elastic bands.

If the brackets used are self-litigating, they do not require the use of elastic ligatures. Instead, self-litigating brackets include tiny holes or tunnels through which the archwire is fed. This can help reduce the amount of friction that must be overcome in order to properly move the teeth into position, since friction is generated by the pressure of elastic bands against the archwire.

Does the application of braces hurt?

The process of having your braces applied is painless. However, your jaw may be sore afterwards from holding it open for so long. In addition, some discomfort will be experienced from the pressure applied to the teeth by the braces. The alignment pressure may cause your teeth to feel sore for about a week or so after the application.

What should you do after your appointment?

Since your teeth will be sensitive, avoid hard or crunchy foods that can exacerbate the discomfort of a sore mouth. Instead, choose soft foods that require minimal chewing, such as soups, mashed potatoes, eggs and yogurt.

If the discomfort is too great, consider lessening it with an over-the-counter medication, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

Is it normal to develop sores in your mouth or on your lips from your braces? What can be done about them if they surface?

It is normal to develop sore areas in your mouth or on your lips as these soft tissues adjust to the brackets rubbing against them. To lessen the development of sores, apply an orthodontic wax to your brackets around the areas where you sense irritation.  

In addition, to help soothe sores from your braces, rinse your mouth with warm salt water regularly. The salt acts as a disinfectant and helps shrink swollen tissues. Oral analgesic gels can also be applied to sites of irritation.

To learn more about what to expect when you first get braces, schedule a consultation with an orthodontist in your area at a clinic like Eagle Orthodontics.


15 April 2016

Mouth Rinses Are Not Just for Bad Breath

I have always brushed and flossed my teeth daily, but I still had the occasional cavity when I visited the dentist for a check-up. He told me it was normal to have a cavity on occasion and that I shouldn't let it stress me out too much. Well, I am not one to just accept any problem I am having, so I started looking into how to improve my oral hygiene even more. I had always thought mouthwash was just to improve your breath, but I found some that said they helped keep cavities away. I started using one every day before bed. I haven't had a cavity in two years now, and I think the mouth rinse is the reason! I created this blog to remind other people that even if they brush and floss regularly, they can always find ways to take even better care of their teeth.