4 Things You Must Know Before Getting Braces

Braces are a rite of passage for many teenagers, but braces have become increasingly popular among adults as well. When a person is considering braces, it is important to understand how the process works. While having braces requires dedication, the cosmetic and functional benefits of having straight teeth makes the process one that is very worthwhile

Understanding the Options

There are multiple types of braces available. Those who are interested in getting braces should consult with their orthodontist to chose the braces that are right for their specific situation. For example, the three primary types of braces are metal bands that wrap around the teeth, brackets that are cemented to the front of the teeth and brackets that are cemented to the back of the teeth. While brackets on the back of the teeth may be less noticeable, they can be difficult to keep clean. Brackets on the front are easier to keep clean, but cause more irritation inside the mouth. The traditional metal band type of braces are the least expensive and they are generally the best choice for those whose teeth need a lot of straightening.

Expect Some Pain

While modern braces are more comfortable than those from years past, all braces will provide some level of discomfort. From the pressure used to make the teeth move into alignment to sores from soft tissue rubbing against metal braces components, there is simply no way to make braces pain free. However, there are many ways to deal with the pain from braces. Pain relieving medicine, oral analgesics and cold drinks and foods are just some of the ways to relieve the pain that braces can cause. While pain from braces should be expected, severe pain is not normal. Those who experience significant pain from braces should see their orthodontist to have the problem addressed.

Dental Care

Having braces means that a person will need to take more time brushing, cleaning and caring for his or her mouth. Braces are difficult to brush around, so more careful brushing will be needed to get teeth clean. Floss or dental picks can help to clean the hard to reach areas around braces. While wearing braces, it is vitally important to keep a clean mouth that is free from bacteria. Getting a dental infection while having braces can be extremely painful and may prolong the time that a person will need to wear braces.

Dietary Considerations

For many people, the diet restrictions of having braces is one of the worst parts of the experience. Certain foods are simply out of the question when wearing braces. The foods that present the most problems are hard foods that may damage the braces. Nuts, ice, pretzels and hard candy are just a few of the hard foods that a person with braces should not eat. Sticky foods are another food to avoid. Foods such as caramel and peanut butter can stick to the braces and be difficult to clean and remove. Sugary foods in general should also be avoided as they increase the likelihood of cavities and other dental problems.

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