Braces are a common corrective treatment plan for both kids and adults looking for straighter and healthier teeth. However, it’s common for patients to have questions and concerns before and during treatment. Below are some frequently asked questions about braces that we receive at Steele Creek Orthodontics.
Why Do Patients Turn to Traditional Braces?
Metal braces are the traditional form of braces that patients trust. They have a longstanding reputation for turning the most complicated orthodontic problems into beautiful smiles. If you have issues with your teeth related to crowding, spacing, or pain, braces would be able to help you.
The strength and durability of braces make them suitable for all patients and conditions. More importantly, unlike other teeth-correcting mechanisms, they practically guarantee straight teeth and long-lasting results.
How Does the Orthodontist Apply Braces?
An orthodontist uses bonding cement to place metal brackets on the surface of each tooth. With a blue curing light, the cement quickly hardens. The orthodontist then runs a long metal archwire through each bracket and places metal bands on your back molars.
The rubber bands on each bracket hold the archwire in place throughout the mechanism. The rubber bands are usually the fun part for kids since they can show their personality through their choice of colors. Although many adults prefer the clear ceramic braces, some who turn to metal braces also appreciate showing their creativity through the vast color scheme.
The process of applying braces can take up to two hours, but your orthodontist will complete it in one sitting.
What Are the Drawbacks of Metal Braces?
Appearance often comes up among the most frequently asked questions about braces. Whether you’re in a high-profile position, such as acting, modeling, or public speaking, or you simply are nervous about opening your mouth with braces on, this metal mechanism can be a cause for concern. While some don’t hesitate to use traditional braces, others may opt for ceramic braces or Invisalign as a result.
Another drawback is the time spent with metal braces. For one thing, the bonding process can take around two hours. Afterward, follow-up appointments where the orthodontist checks on your progress can take half an hour once a month. Furthermore, braces tend to stay on longer than Invisalign or other orthodontic treatments — anywhere between six months and three years.
How Long Will I Wear Braces?
As stated above, patients tend to wear braces anywhere between six months and three years. Your orthodontist will determine the proper time frame depending on the severity of your case, the amount of work or tooth movement necessary, and how well you follow instructions during treatment.
How Can I Take Care of My Braces?
Among the frequently asked questions about braces are concerns about how to take care of them. On top of brushing and flossing more frequently to keep plaque, tartar, and food particles off your teeth and braces, orthodontists recommend staying away from certain foods. Hard and sticky substances like gum, candy, popcorn, nuts, and ice can break the brackets or the archwire.
When this occurs, visit your orthodontist to remedy the issue. However, the more frequently this occurs, the longer it will take for your braces to get you to your desired outcome. As a result, you may have your braces on longer than expected.
Do Braces Hurt?
Although braces shouldn’t hurt, it is not uncommon to feel discomfort and irritation during or after the bonding process. With each tightening, your teeth and gums can feel slightly sore. While eating softer foods like pasta or soup can prevent further irritation, we suggest taking mild pain medication for extreme cases.
It’s also possible for the ends of the archwire to poke the back of your cheeks or the brackets to cause friction on the inside of your lip. In those cases, ask your orthodontist for some dental wax, which you can place on the irritated area.
If you’re tired of hiding your smile, it’s time to make a change. Early intervention can prevent future dental complications, like cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss. These occur because overcrowded teeth can lead to more hiding spots for bacteria.