Choosing to wear braces is a big step towards achieving a more beautiful and healthier smile. It’s an important decision, as braces promise better dental health and increased self-confidence. But it’s also natural for you to feel nervous about the procedure. The following article covers some important things you need to know before getting braces so you can feel more prepared before stepping into the dental clinic.
Why should you even get braces?
Braces are one of the most common orthodontic treatments because of the myriad benefits they offer. Fixing dental problems that might harm oral health is the main reason to get braces. People who have misaligned teeth may find it more difficult to maintain good oral hygiene, which increases their risk of developing gum disease, cavities, and foul breath. On the other hand, teeth that have been straightened with braces are simpler to clean and preserve.
Braces are also worn for aesthetic purposes. A straight, well-aligned smile can increase a person’s self-confidence. Moreover, braces can also help fix overbites, underbites, and crossbites. These conditions may cause challenges with chewing, jaw alignment, and even jaw discomfort. However, the use of braces can help resolve these problems. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of quality orthodontic services in Minnesota. Among all the dentists offering services in the state, dentofacial orthopedics and orthodontics was the largest specialty reported. Even in smaller cities like Wayzata, MN Orthodontic clinics offer proficient and affordable services for braces. Addressing orthodontic issues early on can help you maintain your oral health over the long term and prevent more expensive dental work in the future.
Things to know before getting braces
- Visit an Orthodontist
Scheduling an appointment with an orthodontist is the first and most important step in your orthodontic journey. The dentist can examine your oral health, talk with you about your objectives, and decide whether braces are the best course of action for you. They can also provide helpful information about what to anticipate by outlining the treatment alternatives, anticipated timeframe, and cost.
- Types of Braces
There are many different types of braces, and each has benefits and things to keep in mind. Traditional metal braces, ceramic braces, and Invisalign (clear aligners) are the three most popular forms. The most effective and long-lasting braces are made of metal, but they are also quite noticeable. Ceramic braces are less noticeable; however, they could be more susceptible to stains. Although invisalign offers an almost undetectable solution, it might not be appropriate in every situation. Your orthodontist can assist in the decision to choose the right type of braces for your teeth.
- Duration of the Treatment
Wearing braces might sometimes be a short-term journey, but it’s more often longer than you expect. The extent of your orthodontic problems and the type of braces you select will determine how long your treatment will take. The total time for treatment ranges from 18 months to three years. It’s crucial to understand that you might be stuck with them for quite a long time before you make your decision.
- Costs and Insurance
Braces can be costly. The price varies according to various factors, including the type of braces, where you live, and the orthodontist’s personal costs. You can check your coverage and ask your orthodontist about financing alternatives since dental insurance frequently pays part of the cost. To make the cost more bearable, many orthodontic offices now also offer installment plans.
You’re bound to feel some discomfort after getting braces, especially in the beginning. You may experience pain, have trouble eating specific meals, and notice changes in your speech. Braces must be tightened often in order to advance your treatment, typically after every four to six weeks. At first, the discomfort might be unusual, but you need to remember that over time, you will adapt to these changes, and the discomfort will decrease.
- Oral Hygiene
When wearing braces, it’s important to practice good dental hygiene. Food fragments can easily get stuck in the braces, causing plaque to build up, cavities to form, and gum disease to develop. That’s why maintaining your oral hygiene is very important. At first, brushing and flossing with braces may seem very challenging. However, your orthodontist can guide you on how to clean and floss your teeth properly. If you want to efficiently clean in between the wires and brackets, you might also need specialized equipment, such as floss threaders and interdental brushes.
- Diet Restrictions
Certain foods may cause your braces to come off or damage them, making treatment more uncomfortable and time-consuming. Accordingly, foods that are hard and sticky should be avoided, such as caramel, almonds, popcorn, and chewing gum. You’ll need to change your diet to incorporate softer foods and chop meals into smaller, easier-to-handle portions. Your orthodontist can provide you with dietary advice according to your treatment. Brushing after every meal is also important to prevent potential cavities.
- Possible Speech Modifications
Wearing braces may make you lisp or have trouble pronouncing some words. This is very common and goes away as you become used to the braces. Your orthodontist can also recommend speech exercises to deal with the potential speech changes.
- Retainers are Important
You will need to use a retainer after removing the braces in order to maintain the results. The retainers will ensure that your teeth don’t shift back to their previous positions. Specific instructions on when and how frequently to wear your retainer will be given to you by your orthodontist.
- Your Mouth will Feel Dry
Some people experience a dry mouth after wearing braces. This is usually because they habitually chewed gum all day or drank a lot prior to getting braces, which stimulated saliva production. You might also face the same problem, and to deal with this, you should stay hydrated and drink water frequently. If the problem continues, discussing it with your doctor will help you identify the issue.
Deciding to get braces is a big choice that might have a long-term effect on your confidence and dental health. Successful treatment depends on knowing what to anticipate before, during, and after the treatment. Some of the most important things to think about are picking the appropriate kind of braces and keeping good dental hygiene. Although the process may be difficult, the reward of a more attractive, healthy smile is well worth the effort. So, embrace the procedure with persistence and patience, and before long, you’ll be proudly showing your brilliant, straight teeth.