Traditional metal braces are typically what comes to mind when hearing the term “braces”. They are an effective orthodontic treatment for teeth straightening, misalignment correction, and even improving overall bite. However, wearing braces can be a scary experience for a lot of kids and adults alike, whether it is the appearance or the physical pain that comes with getting them on. Before getting your braces done, here are some things you should expect.
How do braces work?
Braces work by exerting constant, gentle pressure to move the teeth to their proper position over a period of time. They consist of small metal brackets bonded to the front of the teeth, with a metal archwire running through, secured with small elastic coloured or clear bands. Treatments can last between 12 to 24 months. Afterwards, it is crucial that you wear retainers all day for 6 months followed by nightly long term. Retainers ensure that the teeth stay in their desired position in the long run.
Expect it to be a little uncomfortable
Braces are a big commitment, and patients should expect some soreness and discomfort during the first few weeks. The standard brackets and wires that most people use in their treatment are made of metal, and they can feel the pressure when they are first worn. However, the discomfort that you will feel with braces is generally mild and temporary. If you notice a significant increase in pain or if you are concerned about your overall treatment plan, you should consult your dentist right away.
Avoiding certain foods
Eating certain types of food can cause discomfort and potentially damage your braces. Hard and crunchy foods like nuts and chips can dislodge the wires and brackets. Chewy, sticky food may get stuck between the braces and dislodge the brackets or elastomeric bands. You will also have to avoid drinking sugary, high-acid beverages, which can dissolve the enamel and cause decay. Lastly, you should cut up crunchy food and vegetables like apples and corn on the cob. After the initial adaptation period, you can start eating normally again, with a few adjustments.
While having braces, your teeth are more susceptible to common dental problems such as plaque and demineralisation. Food particles, sugar or acidic foods can cause plaque buildup and tooth decay if they are not promptly removed. The trapped particles between the braces and teeth can damage the teeth, delaying treatment. You will have to be more diligent with brushing and flossing. While it can be more challenging with braces, flossing and using the interdental brush great ways to remove food remnants that the toothbrush cannot reach.
Many people, from teenagers to adults, may be worried about the common struggles of wearing braces. While it comes with its discomfort and challenges, it is an effective and proven way to fix various dental issues. You can start getting braces once you have all your permanent teeth, and it is not too late to get braces as an adult either. Getting used to eating and talking with braces might take a while but the end result is rewarding!
At The Braces Practice, we offer a wide variety of dental services and affordable braces for students in Singapore. Our experienced dentists will advise on the best treatment for you, whether they are traditional metal bracket braces or clear dental braces. Reach out to us to find out how you can perfect your smile today!