Getting braces for the first time

You may wonder what is in store for you when you are first told that you need braces to correct some dental issues. The most important thing to remember is that in the end, you will have a beautiful smile and better oral health.

Our orthodontists in Oak Lawn are able to correct a variety of problems with the alignment of teeth. Teenagers and young adults are the ideal candidates for conventional braces. Children might need to wait until some of their primary teeth fall out and make way for permanent teeth. Some of the most common issues that are resolved by orthodontic treatment include overbite, underbite, crossbite and crowding. Excessive spacing between consecutive teeth is another irregularity that could be corrected with classic braces. Even if there aren’t any crooked teeth involved, a misalignment of the dental arches requires some type of orthodontic interference.

Components of braces

Made of durable metal, small brackets are perhaps the most prominent parts of traditional orthodontic braces. A special type of cement material is carefully applied over every tooth that’s supposed to be manipulated and moved. Once all of the brackets are in place, they are connected to each other by a thin arch wire that also has a metal composition. Additionally, a metallic tie secures the wire around the corners and edges of the brackets. All metal hardware that’s installed in the mouth has a rust-resistant design. Rubber usually makes up the elastic bands that connect upper and lower teeth. Various types of hooks, ligatures and coil springs might also have to be installed to facilitate the mechanics of orthodontic treatment.

Brackets are also available at our office in Oak Lawn in ceramic, which is an attractive material for patients who are very concerned about the cosmetic aspects of treatment. Ceramic can be manufactured in a finish that mimics the natural color of enamel. Generally speaking, moderate cases of malocclusion might be properly corrected with ceramic braces.

What to expect

For self-ligating metal braces and ceramic braces, it may take one to two hours to put them on, depending on the type of braces you are getting. The first step is typically to clean and dry your teeth. Next, the bonding glue will be applied to each tooth and the brackets will be attached. The archwire will be placed in the brackets and secured with elastic bands. Metal braces may be secured with colored elastic bands to add to your personal style.

You may feel a little bit of soreness in your mouth and teeth afterward. This soreness may last a week or so, depending on the situation. There are some things you can do to minimize the discomfort. These include:

  • Eat soft foods or liquids for the first two days. Things like soup, yogurt, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, applesauce and milkshakes.
  • If the discomfort becomes intense, you may take over-the-counter medications. There are products that you can buy that will numb the uncomfortable areas. You can also rinse your mouth with a weak, warm salt-water solution several times each day.
  • Get some orthodontic wax to cover any brackets that are causing discomfort.
  • Try not to touch the sore spots with your tongue or finger.

Once your braces are on your teeth and before you leave our office, be sure to ask about any hygiene programs or dietary instructions needed, and if there are any special supplies you need for cleaning. We also recommend that you make your next appointment at that time. If you postpone appointments, you may extend the amount of time you need to wear the braces.

Routine visits to the orthodontist

Once braces are properly set up, a patient will need to return for regular follow-up appointments. During the visit, most of the hardware will be calibrated in order to induce the shifting of teeth and other attached anatomical structures, including the gum and jaw tissues.

Schedule a free consultation!

When you have your first consultation with our specialists at Petty & Bielik Orthodontics, your teeth may be checked and you can learn about all of your orthodontic options. Metal braces and ceramic braces are just a couple of the available treatments at our office. We will ensure you have all of the necessary instructions so that you will end up with a beautiful smile and healthy teeth for years to come.

Make an appointment at Petty & Bielik Orthodontics, to get all the facts about braces. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and get started on your journey to a beautiful, healthy smile!