While regular brushing and flossing can help prevent cavities and gum disease, even children with the most adept dental hygiene habits may need to make a trip to the orthodontist for braces or aligners. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, there are approximately 4 million Americans currently wearing braces, 75% of whom are children…
A Quick Guide to Getting Braces
If you are thinking about getting braces, then you may be wondering what the process is like. This process may make some people nervous. Knowing a bit more about what goes into it can help calm your fears. It can also help you prepare for getting braces. It is important for you to remember that each person may have a slightly different experience with braces.
Every patient will have a consultation with a dentist before getting braces. In this first meeting, the dentist will look at the patient’s teeth. This will allow the dentist to see what needs to happen to straighten the teeth. A patient will also get X-rays done to help the dentist come up with a plan. Most patients will also have impressions taken of their teeth.
The dentist will then create a treatment plan for the patient. Not everyone has an overbite or an underbite and not everyone has gaps in the teeth. Because every mouth is different, the treatment must be specific for that patient. The dentist may create a model of the braces off the mold from the teeth.
Putting the braces on
The first braces appointment will likely be the longest one. In this appointment, the dentist will condition the surface of the teeth. This allows a space for the brackets to be placed so that they will stay there. The dentist may first clean the teeth. Then the dentist will prime the teeth to take the dental cement. Finally, the brackets can be placed on the teeth.
Next, the dentist will place the wire on the brackets. A dentist will start with a half-circle of wire. Then the dentist can cut this wire to the right length. If necessary, the wire will be bent so that some teeth can move into position faster. Each bracket works to keep the wire in place and bands will be placed over the brackets.
Oral care discussion
The dentist will likely give the patient detailed instructions on how to care for teeth with braces. This can include information on the right toothpaste and brushes to use. For example, a patient may use small brushes to remove food from between the wire and teeth. This can make caring for teeth with braces easier.
After getting wire, a patient will usually come back in several weeks for an adjustment. The dentist will remove the wire during this appointment. Then the dentist can insert a fresh wire to allow the teeth to continue moving. The bands that connect the wire to the brackets will also be replaced. Patients can often choose colored ones.
Visit a dentist today
Everyone’s braces experience will differ slightly. However, getting braces put on and caring for them after is usually the same. It is important to follow your dentist’s instructions during this time. Braces will help your overall oral health improve. However, doing your part will help you get great results and a smile that will last for a lifetime.
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