You’ve seen plenty of people with braces, but the thought of all that metal in your own mouth might seem overwhelming. At Ideal Dental, we know all about how braces work, and we can answer all your questions. From before the braces go on, to after they’re removed, we’ll help you get your teeth aligned and keep your smile in great shape. Let’s start with some of the questions we get asked most often.
How Do I Know if I Need Braces?
A dental specialist called an orthodontist can determine if you need braces. Signs that you do include crooked or misplaced teeth, teeth that don’t meet, an overbite or an underbite, or a problem with your jaw. Sometimes, braces are primarily cosmetic, so you have a great smile that you can be proud of. In other cases, they can fix a physical condition like a disorder of the jaw joint (TMJ) that impacts your overall health.
Will I Need to Do Anything Before I Get Braces?
If your mouth is crowded and there is not enough room for all your teeth, it’s possible that you will need dental or orthodontic work prior to getting braces. This could mean removing a tooth, or it could mean that you’ll need an appliance called an expander that is worn on the roof of the mouth and helps expand your teeth to make more space.
How Long Do Braces Take to Work?
A typical patient will wear braces for between 16 and 24 months. In rare cases, braces will need to stay on longer to accomplish your goals. Your orthodontist will assess how long your treatment should take during the consultation process.
How Do Braces Straighten My Teeth?
Braces consist of brackets that are applied to each tooth using a special dental adhesive bonding, with wires that run between the brackets and rubber bands or O-rings that connect the brackets and wire. Rubber bands are changed at each visit and can be clear or a color combination of your choice. On a regular basis, the wires are gently tightened to apply pressure on the teeth to move into their correct positions.
How Often Do I Need to Visit the Dentist When I Have Braces?
Dentists want to make sure that the braces are aligning your teeth properly and that you’re taking good care of your teeth in spite of the brackets and wires in your mouth. You’ll likely have an orthodontic appointment every six weeks or so, and you’ll need to schedule teeth cleanings at least every six months.
How Do I Keep My Braces Clean?
It’s easy for food particles to get stuck in your braces, so it’s important to clean your teeth after you eat. Brush with a soft toothbrush and use flossers or products designed for people who wear braces. It’s also a great idea to use a fluoride rinse that can reach all the tough places in your mouth and prevent decay. Your dentist will let you know about foods to avoid when you have braces, but it’s always a good idea to keep from eating chewy or sugary foods. Electric toothbrush options are great along with oral irrigators such as a WaterPik.
How Do I Stay Confident With Braces on My Teeth?
How do Braces Work?
Some people hesitate to smile when they have braces. These days, many people of all ages have braces, and they’re nothing to be ashamed of. You may want to practice smiling in a mirror right after you first get braces, so you can perfect your smile around the brackets. It’s also important to keep your teeth clean and commit to brushing and flossing after every meal, so you won’t feel self-conscious about the possibility of food stuck in your braces or teeth.
What Happens When My Braces Are Removed?
You may be given a retainer or other appliance to wear at night that will help keep your teeth straight. Some people find that their teeth are a little sensitive after the braces come off, but that should fade away after a few days. You should continue with your good oral hygiene habits, especially brushing and flossing after eating, so your teeth continue to look great. Your dentist will continue to monitor your teeth to ensure that your smile stays straight and bright.
Would you like to know more about getting braces and how to care for your teeth before, during and after the braces are placed? At Ideal Dental, we can help you work towards your dream smile. Contact us today to get started.
Ideal Dental was founded in 2008 and has over 80 locations across the state of Texas. Ideal Dental offices provide patients with a wide range of dental services including general dentistry, teeth whitening, orthodontics, oral surgery and emergency dental. Ideal Dental’s mission is to put smiles on the faces of hundreds of patients that visit its offices daily.