Though having braces is a common experience for children and teens, many are nervous because they do not know what they should expect. Whether your child chooses traditional metal dental-braces or clear invisalign dental-braces, the process still involves the same basic idea of slowly moving the teeth into a proper alignment. Here are answers to many of the questions that your child might ask about the process of getting dental-braces.
How Are Braces Put On?
The exact procedure of getting dental-braces will depend on the type of dental-braces that your child gets. If they choose traditional dental-braces, the orthodontist will first attach the brackets to the teeth with a bonding glue. After the glue is dried, the archwire will be secured to the brackets with elastic rubber bands. The archwire is typically secured with tiny rubber bands, which can be colored in fun colors. There may also be another set of rubber bands that adjust jaw position and biting movements through connections to the top and bottom teeth, but these are not always necessary. If the dental-braces are Invisalign dental-braces, then moulds of your child’s mouth will be taken, and they will be provided with custom made aligners, which must be worn for roughly 20 to 22 hours each day.
Does It Hurt to Get Dental-braces?
This is the most common concern that most children have about dental-braces. Getting the dental-braces put onto the teeth is not a painful or unpleasant situation. Instead, the procedure will only last an hour or two, and it is pain free. However, once the dental-braces begin adjusting the teeth, your child might experience some soreness. Here are some tips for how your child can manage the discomfort of dental-braces:
- In the first few days after getting dental-braces, eat soft foods, such as soup, yogurt, smoothies, mashed potatoes, or scrambled eggs.
- Use over-the-counter pain medications, including ibuprofen or acetaminophen
- Gargle with salt water.
- Eat ice cream to keep any swelling down.
- Avoid any acidic drinks, such as soda or citrus juice.
- If pain is extremely uncomfortable, an oral anaesthetic can help to numb the mouth.
Will the Brackets Rub Against My Mouth?
It can take some time to get used to having dental-braces. One of the most common complaints in the early process is that the brackets can rub against the interior of the mouth, causing sores on the inner cheeks. However, applying orthodontic wax to the dental-braces at first can give your mouth time to get used to them without any pain occurring.
What Can You Eat With Dental-braces?
After your child starts to get used to their dental-braces, they can begin enjoying most of their favorite foods again. Fruits, meats, grains, vegetables, and dairy can all be eaten while your child has dental-braces on. However, certain foods should be avoided because they could break the wires of the dental-braces or get stuck in the dental-braces. This includes sticky and gooey foods and hard and crunchy foods. Though treats such as caramel apples should probably be avoided, it is still possible to eat items such as corn on the cob, if you slice the kernels off of the cob instead of biting them off.
Do You Have to Take Special Care of Your Braces?
It is slightly harder to clean teeth and gums while wearing dental-braces. Because food can get stuck in them, your child will need to exercise more caution while brushing their teeth and flossing. A brush with soft bristles is recommended, so that it can fit around the dental-braces. Dental-braces also tend to wear down a toothbrush faster, so you may need to replace toothbrushes more often while your child has dental-braces.
What Happens at the Follow-Up Appointments?
After first getting dental-braces put on, most patients see their orthodontist every four to six weeks. At these follow-up appointments, the progress of your child’s teeth will be checked and the archwires will be readjusted to continue the realignment. Many children look forward to these appointments because they can pick new colors for their rubber bands. Popular choices include red and green for Christmas or colors that match a school’s sports team.
What Does Getting the Dental-braces Removed Feel Like?
There should be no pain or discomfort after the dental-braces are removed. At most, your child may feel some pressure on their teeth while the glue is being cleaned off their teeth. It should take about an hour for the dental-braces to be removed and the teeth to be cleaned. Most patients report that it takes a bit of time getting used to how their mouth feels without dental-braces again, but this quickly wears off.
How Important Is it to Wear a Retainer Afterwards?
After your child’s dental-braces are removed, they will be fitted with a custom retainer. This retainer keeps teeth from moving back to their original position after the dental-braces are off, so it is very important. Typically, your child will need to wear the retainer for about 12 months after they get their dental-braces off, and then they can just wear it occasionally at night. However, each case is unique, so your child might end up wearing their retainer for a longer time period.
If you are trying to find the right orthodontist for your child in Nashville, look no further than Gluck Orthodontics. Dr. Joel Gluck and Dr. Jonathan Gluck lead a talented team that is known for their excellent customer service and orthodontics. Call us today at 615 269-5903 to schedule an appointment.