Getting Braces: What You Need to Know

Looking to straighten your teeth? There’s no shame in wanting a straight, beautiful smile. People have been trying to correct them as far back as Ancient Egypt.

Fortunately, getting braces is a lot less painful than wrapping some wire around your teeth in the Ancient Egyptian style. The benefits of braces far outweigh the inconvenience of having them. That said, it’s important to go into this process knowing exactly what sacrifices you will have to make to straighten your teeth.

Whether you’re a teen or an adult, read on. Today, we’ll discuss everything you should expect before you head to the orthodontist.

There Are Different Types of Braces

When people picture braces, they imagine the classic metal brackets with a wire. While this is the most common type, there are other options.

One popular alternative is ceramic braces. These function exactly the same as brackets, except they use tooth-colored ceramic material instead of metal. This makes them much less noticeable–ideal if you are particularly self-conscious about them.

In certain cases, you may be a candidate for clear aligners. This is when an orthodontist takes a mold of your teeth and creates plastic “braces” for you to wear. As the name implies, they are invisible and allow you to straighten your teeth without anyone knowing. 

The best braces for you will depend on your specific situation. Speak with your orthodontist for further information.

Getting Braces Entails Some Pain and Discomfort

It’s important that we rip the Band-Aid off right now: braces are not a cakewalk. A beautiful smile comes with a price.

For starters, the procedure for getting braces can last up to two hours. There will be some pressure as the orthodontist installs the brackets and wires them together. 

Braces will make your teeth sore for the first few hours and days after the procedure. When you come in for regular adjustments, you will have to repeat this process.

That said, the pain from braces is not excruciating by any means. To be clear, though, it is the sort that may occasionally give you headaches.

Exercise More Caution With Eating

Braces are the perfect trap for pieces of food. Practically anything you eat has a chance of getting stuck in braces.

Everyone who gets braces has to keep a care kit and spare toothbrush on hand. When you go out to eat, it’s a good idea to take a quick bathroom break to clean your brackets. Leaving food there isn’t just unsightly, it can cause cavities and tooth decay.

Braces are somewhat delicate, too. Hard things like candies or ice can break wires.

It will be important for you to think twice before digging into a meal. If the food snaps a wire or a bracket, you will need to schedule a last-minute appointment with your orthodontist. You can save yourself from that inconvenience by being judicious about what you consume.

Diet Adjustments

Some things will be permanently off the menu. For example, sticky foods such as gum, caramels, and the like. Tough foods like jerky are off-limits as well.

Certain foods are acceptable in one form, but not in another. It’s OK to enjoy a side of corn, as long as it is not still on the cob. Make sure to slice up your apples, too, before you bite into one.

Look at the bright side! Many people view getting braces as a chance to knock off a few pounds. When you have to be more careful about eating, you will eat less–and lose weight as a result.

Readjust to Speaking

It’s totally normal for someone with braces to acquire a minor lisp. This is because the space the brackets take up will alter the way you normally speak.

This will impact your speaking, but only for a short while. Over time, everyone with braces gets used to them. You will soon be able to speak the same as you used to.

You will also notice that your lips are more pronounced after braces. This will be a subtle change, but one that some people are particularly self-conscious of. Rest assured, most people won’t notice it.

Cleaning and Flossing Present New Challenges

Naturally, you will have to relearn how to clean your teeth. Brushing them will mostly remain the same, even if it takes longer. When it comes to flossing and cleaning your braces, though, the real fun begins.

Flossing is already difficult enough without braces. It gets significantly more challenging with them. That said, you should not abandon flossing–that won’t do your oral health any favors!

Luckily, there are options to help you with your flossing. You can use a threader to more easily slip the floss through the gaps. Or, you can use a water flosser–which requires no floss at all!

Remember: You Are Beautiful!

If there’s one thing anyone should know about getting braces, it is this: you are still beautiful! Further, most people don’t think about your braces as much as you might believe.

Others notice them, sure, but they aren’t secretly judging you for them. It is very unlikely that anyone will treat you differently for having them. You’d be surprised how little braces weigh into people’s opinions of you.

And if someone does treat you differently, who cares? That just shows how shallow and narrow-minded they are. So stay confident, with or without braces.

Visit Gleason Orthodontics

Getting braces is a big decision, but it is well worth it for a stunning new smile. That said, there are some caveats most aren’t aware of before getting them. Keep the above in mind, but remember: the benefits of braces vastly outweigh the sacrifice.

Gleason Orthodontics is your best friend when it comes to perfecting those pearly whites. Schedule a free consultation now and get a no-charge, no-pressure evaluation from Dr. Gleason.