Braces are a common orthodontic procedure for both children and adults. This affordable cosmetic procedure can provide you with a picture perfect smile that makes you feel more confident and attractive, while correcting any dental issues that are causing you pain or embarrassment.

Choosing the Right Braces

There are a range of brace options to choose from. The right ones will depend on factors like your dental needs, age, lifestyle, and budget. Each type of braces is different, so the wearing experience will also be different. For instance, wearing traditional metal braces will result in a much different experience than wearing Invisalign.

How to Clean Them

Regular brushing and flossing should be enough for traditional braces. Remember to brush at least twice a day to remove any food or bacteria caught in your braces, which can lead to bad breath, plaque, and other dental issues. If you have trouble flossing, consider purchasing floss threaders or a water pick to floss more easily and effectively. You may also want to use a fluoride based mouth rinse before bed to further protect your mouth and braces.

What to Avoid Eating

Avoid eating hard, crunchy, sticky, chewy, or overly sugary foods that can attach themselves to your brackets or wires and wreak havoc on your braces. Drinks like soda, coffee, and tea can also stain your teeth around the brackets, which can leave unsightly marks on your teeth once the braces are removed. If possible, avoid these drinks altogether while you have braces, or use a straw to reduce any teeth staining. When eating, you may want to cut things up small and use your back teeth to chew for additional protection.

Treatment Time

Treatment time will vary on a patient by patient basis. Most patients require treatment from 24 – 28 months, but the treatment can last anywhere from 9 – 36 months. Patients who have braces for a longer period of time tend to have more severe dental concerns or do not follow directions well during treatment. If you want beautiful, straight teeth, it is crucial that you follow the orthodontist’s recommendations.

Pain and Sensitivity

Most orthodontic patients experience some form of pain and sensitivity (especially following an appointment), but you should be able to treat it from home, with over-the-counter pain medication. You can also add wax to any poking wires. In most cases, any pain or discomfort will diminish after the braces settle into their new position. If the pain is more than ibuprofen can handle, just call Dunn Orthodontics.

Future Appointments and Treatment

Once you have achieved the perfect smile, it is important to keep it that way. Following treatment, you will most likely be given a retainer or dental appliance to wear, which needs to be worn every night, or as often as recommended. Many patients forget about this important part of maintaining your new smile, which can result in problems down the line. The last thing you want is to get braces again in five or 10 years because you didn’t wear your retainer. Rest assured that you will receive more information during your initial consultation, as well as throughout the treatment period, to ensure you know what to expect.

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