By fixing bite issues, braces can straighten smiles and help improve overall oral health for people of almost any age. However, there’s a lot to consider when deciding whether braces are right for you and which type of braces will address your concerns.
So what's it like getting braces on?
Getting braces put on can be exciting, but it can also bring feelings of anxiety. It takes about two hours for traditional metal braces to be put on top and bottom teeth. An orthodontist can choose to put braces on upper and lower teeth at the same time, or in some cases, treatment may be more effective by starting with upper followed by lower at a subsequent appointment.
Although there can be some discomfort associated with getting braces on and subsequently adjusted, tenderness normally lasts for a day or two and your orthodontist can help you manage any pain you may experience. For example, orthodontic wax can be used to relieve sore spots in the mouth by coating brackets.
The orthodontist will have already taken x-rays, photos and impressions of your teeth and will have developed a treatment plan based on those findings. Teeth will be cleaned and dried and devices will be used to keep the mouth open and also to ensure the working area of teeth remains dry.
Metal bands will often be placed on the back molars for anchorage. Then, a bonding agent will be applied to the teeth and a bracket placed on each tooth. A special light is used to make sure the brackets are firmly adhered to the teeth. Once the brackets are securely in place, the wires are attached to the brackets and held in place either by small rubber bands or, if self-ligating braces are used, by a type of small clip. Wires are trimmed to ensure they fit comfortably inside the mouth.
Regular follow-up visits will be scheduled to check that brackets are intact, to adjust arch wires and to ensure teeth are moving according to plan.