Teeth straightening through invisalign or braces is becoming a more desirable and common practice today. Having straight, white teeth and a beautiful smile is a reliable self-esteem booster, which can be helpful to remember if you feel fearful or hesitant about getting braces. What can be even more helpful for reducing fearfulness is simply learning more about what it is like to go to the orthodontist for teeth straightening. If you or your child or teen is feeling a bit fearful, this post will help allay those fears!
The Benefits of Straight Teeth
Having orthodontic work done brings many benefits, from the previously mentioned self-esteem boost to improved health. Here are the four most common benefits cited by patients and orthodontists:
- A prettier smile and more confidence in life.
- Better oral hygiene because brushing and flossing is easier.
- Lower risk of cavities, jaw problems and periodontal disease (gum disease).
- Reduced cost for teeth care in the future by fixing problems early.
What it is Like to Have Orthodontia
Having your teeth straightened is a process that takes time. How long it takes is determined by a number of factors, including the initial issues that need to be resolved and the type of treatment selected. Your orthodontist can give you an estimate of how long the treatment will take during your initial consultation. What having orthodontia work done will differ depending on the type of treatment.
Invisalign uses a set of clear aligners (similar to retainers) to straighten teeth in stages. The aligners can be removed for eating, tooth care and special occasions, but otherwise should be worn all the time. The aligners are visually subtle and many people won’t even notice you are wearing them. But this system is not suitable for all types of orthodontic issues.
There are a number of options today, including metal, ceramic, clear and behind-the teeth designs. Once installed, they will be on permanently until treatment has been completed. Rubber bands, headgear and retainers may also be included as a part of treatment.
Big Fears Laid to Rest
While feeling afraid is a very individual feeling indeed, the types of fears patients express before having orthodontic work done are often quite similar. Here are some of the most common fears our patients express before having their teeth straightened:
Fear that it will hurt.
This is probably the number one fear of all patients, everywhere! Fear of pain is very normal and understandable and occurs regardless of age or gender.
What to know: It may hurt a little to have your initial treatment hardware fitted and/or installed. And wearing aligners or retainers can sometimes be a bit uncomfortable until you get used to it. But there are many different aids orthodontists use today, from soothing ointments to wax protectors, to keep any discomfort to an absolute minimum.
Fear that it will look bad.
Kids and teens often feel especially fearful that they will “look funny” or get made fun of while they are wearing their orthodontia. These types of fears tend to get worse around special occasions such as prom or homecoming and around class picture time.
What to know: Because of the great range of colors and styles available in orthodontic technology today, it is possible to greatly minimize the impact of having your teeth straightened. A chat with your orthodontia team can allay these fears and identify a workable solution.
Fear that food will get caught in the hardware.
Having your teeth straightened may cause some issues with food getting caught in the hardware, aligners or bands, but food gets caught in between teeth even when no work is being done.
What to know: Having your teeth straightened will actually reduce and help prevent future issues with having food caught between your teeth, because gaps will be closed and overlaps will be resolved.
Fear that treatment “will last forever.“
In the life of the young, every day can feel like a year. So hearing that treatment might last a year or two years probably does sound like “forever!”
What to know: Talking with other post-orthodontic patients will help here. Having a beautiful, straight smile is something no one ever seems to regret taking the time to obtain, while there are many adults who seek orthodontia because they have always wished for a prettier smile. So in the bigger picture, taking one or two years to achieve a confidence-boosting smile may start to seem well worth it!
Fear that the mouth will smell during treatment.
Orthodontia has come a long way, and there are so many great aids to keep teeth clean and breath smelling sweet. So even though the thought of having hardware or aligners in the mouth may seem like it might cause a smell, actually it will have no impact at all.
What to know: Only the presence of disease or poor oral hygiene will cause any kind of odor to develop in the mouth. Otherwise, using special floss and mouthwash combined with regular brushing and teeth cleaning should resolve any lingering fears about odor during orthodontia.
Contact Us Today to Learn More
Here at Gluck Orthodontics, we treat patients of all ages who dream of achieving a straighter and more beautiful smile. Drs. Joel and Jonathan Gluck, a father-son team, specialize in offering each patient what they like to call “The Gluck Experience.” This customized, individual approach to orthodontic care results in a straight, white, healthy smile you can’t resist showing off.
Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation!