Getting braces is a significant step towards a straighter and healthier smile. While the prospect of wearing braces may seem daunting, proper preparation can help ease the process and ensure a smoother experience. This guide will lead you through crucial steps, from initial consultations to readiness for the braces installation, regardless of your age.
Let’s dive into the key aspects of preparing for braces and set the foundation for a successful orthodontic treatment.
When Should You Begin Your Brace Journey
The optimal time to start your braces journey will depend a lot on your individual circumstances. A visit to the orthodontist for an evaluation can help determine whether orthodontic treatment, such as braces, is necessary for you or your child. Some children may require early intervention to address specific issues before all of the adult or permanent teeth come in. Typically, orthodontic treatment is recommended to start between the ages of 11 and 15, a period when most permanent teeth have emerged.
Orthodontic treatment is not exclusive to children and teens though; many adults require braces to fix alignment issues and enhance their overall oral health. Regardless of age, factors to think about before embarking on this journey include your ability to adhere to the orthodontist’s instructions, maintain optimal oral hygiene, and comply with dietary restrictions associated with braces.
With all of that said the complexity of your orthodontic issues can influence the timing of your treatment. Personal preferences and lifestyle considerations also factor into the equation, with some adults and older teens opting to start treatment earlier, while others may choose to postpone for various reasons.
How Do You Begin Your Journey with Braces
The first step is to undergo an evaluation by visiting an orthodontist. Here at Advanced Orthodontic Specialists, we offer a free initial consultation for all new patients. During this assessment, the orthodontist will determine if orthodontic treatment, such as braces, is necessary for your specific case. Following the evaluation, the orthodontist will discuss potential treatment options, create a personalized treatment plan, address any pre-existing dental issues, and take impressions or 3D scans of your teeth. These impressions ensure the creation of custom braces or aligners that are tailored to properly fit your mouth. A future appointment will then be scheduled for the fitting or installation of the braces or aligners.
As far as what kind of braces are available – there is a range that you can choose from. There are traditional metal braces that have been redesigned for comfort. Ceramic braces with components similar to metal braces but with a less noticeable appearance for you to choose from. Additionally, SparkTM aligners and Invisalign™, are made of clear plastic, providing a removable alternative. They exert similar pressure on teeth as traditional braces, but are nearly invisible when worn, offering added convenience and comfort in oral healthcare.
What Should You Do To Prepare
Once you’re ready to begin your braces journey, there are a few steps that we recommend that you do to best prepare yourself. These are:
- Ensure you’re well-prepared with essential supplies for your braces journey.
- Keep orthodontic wax both at home and on the go to alleviate any irritation caused by braces, minimizing discomfort throughout the day.
- Have over-the-counter pain relievers readily available as new braces may induce mild pressure or discomfort.
While initial discomfort may last a week or two, it will quickly diminish as your mouth adapts and heals. For best results, maintaining good oral hygiene is paramount throughout your braces journey. Before, during, and after getting braces, prioritize regular brushing and flossing to prevent plaque buildup, which will contribute to the overall success of your treatment.
Anticipate the first few days with braces by stocking your fridge with soft foods like mashed potatoes, yogurt, smoothies, and protein shakes. Your teeth will be tender, so avoid sticky, hard, and chewy foods, such as hard candies, gum, corn, and soda. Steering clear of these foods is crucial to prevent broken brackets, dislodged wires, and bacteria buildup, and to maintain good oral hygiene during your treatment.
Choosing to pursue orthodontic treatment, particularly braces, is a big decision. Advanced Orthodontic Specialists is dedicated to guiding you in the right direction. Our expertise allows us to offer personalized advice tailored to your specific dental needs. While early intervention can be beneficial in certain cases, it’s important to note that not everyone needs braces at a young age. Routine dental check-ups are essential for monitoring tooth development and assisting in decisions about the ideal timing for orthodontic treatment. We are here to support you in making informed choices for your dental health journey.