Orthodontic Dental Braces Guide- The Who, What, Where, When and Why
Most everyone wants that perfect straight smile. Unfortunately, most people are not born with perfectly aligned teeth. This is where braces can come in to save the day!
How do you feel about crooked teeth?
For adolescents especially, looks are like gold and no matter what your age is, having misaligned teeth can be a real spoiler.
Think about what it does to your smile, your self-esteem, and the impression that others may have about you.
You could be the best at maintaining good oral hygiene but still find your teeth developing in an unusual way.
Visits to your dentist may then reveal a need for corrective actions. Probably braces. Yes, dental braces may be recommended to help straighten your teeth.
This process of getting braces should be done by a dental specialist called an orthodontist.
We know how most people feel when they have to get teeth braces but the long-term benefits are massive.
So, we’ve put up a guide to give you vital information about teeth braces.
The different types of dental braces, the cost of braces, helpful advice when using them, and more.
The information you find here should help you feel more comfortable as you go through orthodontic treatment.
Why are braces important?
Braces are important for many reasons. Many people just want a perfectly straight smile but there can be so much more to the need for braces than that.
Misaligned teeth can cause many dental and health problems. Severely misaligned teeth can cause speech and feeding issues, facial malformation and periodontal issues. This includes pain from overcrowded teeth and poor oral hygiene due to lack of being able to properly clean and floss teeth.
What are the different types of braces?
Unlike in the past, today there are a wide range of braces that are available.
Some of the options that orthodontics offer are:
Metal teeth braces
Metal teeth braces are no longer anything like what they were in the past. These braces are a combination of wires and metal brackets. When compared to the older versions, they are smaller and not easily noticeable.
After you complete your traditional dental braces treatment, you’ll be given retainers. These aligners help to maintain the new position of your teeth.
Ceramic teeth braces
These braces are similar to metal braces in terms of shape and size. However, the brackets may be transparent or color like the teeth. Some ceramic braces come with wires that color like the teeth as well to reduce how obvious the braces are.
Lingual braces: Braces behind the teeth
Much similar to traditional metal braces, Lingual braces have brackets that are placed behind the teeth. While they are invisible since they are inside teeth braces, they are relatively more expensive.
Invisible braces or Clear braces
Invisible braces or clear braces are made up of clear plastic aligners that look like a mouth guard and can be removed. You can also replace them every two weeks. They are almost invisible and can be used in teenagers and adults.
Which type of braces are the best?
Your orthodontist will have to help your decide which type of braces are best for your particular dental case. Everyone’s teeth and mouths are very different. What type of braces is best for one person may not be the best for another person.
How much does it cost to get teeth braces?
Orthodontic treatment is not cheap.
Fortunately, there are different payment options, as well as dental membership options, to assist you with the dental braces price.
How much you money you have to pay for braces depends on the teeth braces type that you need or want. Other factors that influence the price of braces include:
- Your location
- Your age
- Type of treatment
- The clinic offering the braces
Expect to spend anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000. Invisible braces usually cost more than traditional metal braces. This doesn’t imply that they are better in any way.
Get advice from your dentist on the right type of braces for your teeth.
When to get braces?
When to get braces can vary from case to case. Be sure to ask your dentist when the best time for you or your child to go visit the orthodontist.
In the past, most dentist recommended seeing an orthodontist around the age that all the baby teeth fell out which is typically between 11-13 years old.
But more recently, orthodontists are saying the sooner the better. I have patients as young as 6 years old getting certain phases of ortho treatment done.
Orthodontists are now saying the earlier the better. If they can get some of these children seen earlier, they may be able to do certain steps to go ahead and get the teeth in a more favorable position. They may have their braces done in different phases called phase treatment.
Are dental braces painful?
Usually, getting the braces put on should be painless. However, your teeth may get a little sore after they put them on for the first few days. As you wear and try to adapt to using braces, prepare to deal with some slight pain. Not a severe pain but more of a soreness type pain. You know, just enough to aggravate you when you eat.
There will be new sensations and you will feel some level of teeth pressure. This can induce aches. Your gums and lips may also become sore due to the presence of metal or plastic in close proximity to the tissues.
You’re likely to experience some difficulties with chewing or talking at first.
Within a few weeks, all of these effects should diminish significantly.
Getting teeth braces treatment may present initial problems but remember that your objective is to have a mouth that is healthy and a smile that sparkles. This should be your motivation.
With time, you’ll adapt completely to having braces in your mouth that you may not even notice them. Prior to that time, you will need a great deal of patience to get through the first weeks of turbulence.
How long will you have to have braces?
On average, you can expect to use teeth braces for up to two years. Two years is the average braces time. However, some people may have to wear braces up to 6 years depending on your particular treatment case.
How to get rid of tooth pain from braces
To ease your pain from braces, your dentist may recommend painkillers for the soreness. This is usually a type of over the counter anti inflammatory pain medicine such as ibuprofen.
Using a salt water solution can help to relieve some of that pain and pressure by keeping your mouth clean. Also, it will prevent bacteria from building up.
They will also give you some dental wax to help protect your mouth and gums from sharp wires and spots that may be irritating gum tissue.
Do braces affect speech?
Braces do not typically affect speech too much. You may have to learn how to pronounce a few words a little differently but for the most part the speech change is not noticeable.
Do braces damage teeth?
Have you ever seen someone after they had their braces removed that had white boxes stained on their teeth? This is called decalcification. This is common in someone who did not brush properly around their brackets.
Plaque can build up easily in this area and if not removed properly it can de-calcify the teeth. So to avoid this be sure to stay on top of your home care.
Foods to avoid with braces
For the first few days after braces, your teeth may be a little sore. I recommend a soft diet for a few days until the soreness subsides. But what about foods to avoid with braces. We all know there is a list of what not to eat with braces. That includes:
- Chewing on hard, non-food objects. (Examples: pen, pencil, fingernails)
- Chewing ice
- Sugary candy
- Sticky candy (Example: Bubblegum or Chewing gum, taffy)
- Hard foods (Example: nuts, hard candy, chips)
Helpful advice while using dental braces
While dental braces treatment will help to restore your teeth, never neglect proper oral hygiene during the period. Your dental hygiene is of the upmost importance while you have braces on.
Ensure that your teeth and mouth are kept in the best possible condition.
It can be a but of a learning curve to brush around your brackets and wires. But it is not difficult. Just takes a little practice and perfecting the technique.
Your braces may cause your bristles to wear out faster due the metal brackets.
While you may exercise more care when flossing, it is not impossible. Make sure that your orthodontist shows you how to properly brush and floss your teeth with your braces.
It is okay and recommended to brush your teeth and floss at least two times daily. If you eat or drink foods and beverages that have high sugar content, you may have to brush more frequently.
Never miss out on your dentist or orthodontist appointment.
You should continue to see your regular dentist for routine cleaning and exams during orthodontic treatment.
You will also have regular appointments with your orthodontist. These appointments are generally every 2 months or so.
During these appointments they do many different things to aid in moving your teeth. They also fix any broken wires or brackets and address any problems.
After your braces are removed, you should be given some type of retainer. This retainer will help ensure your teeth stay aligned properly and do not start to shift back to their old position. Keep your retainers clean. Check out this post on cleaning retainers.
Check out this post if you find your teeth are yellow after braces.
Final Thoughts on Braces
By maintaining braces that are shiny and clean, you’ll be more confident of your braces. As you use your dental braces, ensure that you get regular checkups with your dentist. If you notice any changes during the period, contact your dentist immediately.
Teeth Braces Guide 101 – What You Need To Know
Kelly is a registered dental hygienist and oral health care provider. She is passionate about oral hygiene and encourages people to achieve optimal oral health. She has been working in the dental profession for 16 years and worked in many different roles in the dental industry. Kelly is currently a pediatric dental hygienist specializing in children’s dentistry. She is committed to helping others with their oral health care issues and helping others achieve a smile they love.