Braces are so common today that they’re often seen as a right of passage for pre-teens and teenagers. Still, going to the orthodontist to get braces can be a nerve-wracking experience. Don’t fret and let the jitters get in the way – empower yourself with information.
Here are 7 key facts everyone should know before an orthodontist appointment.
1. There’s more than one type of braces
Before heading to your appointment, read up on different types of braces and discuss your options with your orthodontist. Your doctor will decide what’s best for you, but it’s good for you to have a basic understanding your braces and how they will affect your teeth. You can also personalize your braces by choosing fun, bright colors or just clear, inconspicuous ones. There are three basic types of braces:
• Brackets to the front of the teeth
• Brackets to the back of the teeth
• Metal bands that wrap around the teeth
2. You should do a thorough pre-appointment cleaning
It’s important for your teeth to be plaque-free before your orthodontist installs your braces. If possible, get a professional cleaning done by your dental hygienist prior to your appointment.
3. Be prepared for some initial discomfort
Braces are a huge adjustment. The application might make your teeth very sensitive initially or cause sores in your mouth. Ask your doctor about taking pain medication to ease any pain. Pamper your mouth immediately following the appointment and go on a soft diet of soup, bananas and pasta. And keep in mind that it’s a temporary adjustment. If you’re still experiencing severe discomfort past the first few days, consult your orthodontist.
4. Learn how to best care for your braces
Your orthodontist should give you some best care practices for your braces, so be sure to pay close attention.
These will include things like avoiding sticky foods and brushing regularly. Flossing may also be more challenging with braces, but not doing so can lead to cavities or gum inflammation. So talk to your orthodontist if you continue to experience issues. Also, be consistent about regular checkups with your orthodontist.
5. Loose bracket? Don’t fret
Don’t worry if your braces get loose. It happens. But don’t try to fix anything yourself. Immediately call your orthodontist if your braces feel loose or a bracket pops off. Make sure nothing is floating or loose in your mouth because it could lead you to swallow or choke on it. Most often your orthodontist can re-cement the braces to your teeth in no time.
Have more questions about braces? The talented, experienced team at Star Orthodontics, Corpus Christi, Texas, can tell you all you need to know about caring for your new smile – and your new braces.
The doctors use the latest advancements in orthodontic technology and braces, including low-dose radiation, digital and 3-D X-rays. Online account management for patients and automated appointment reminders help keep patients on track.