“Will getting dental braces hurt?”
This is one of many questions you may have before entering the orthodontist’s clinic to have the device installed into your teeth. To answer the question: No, applying braces is not painful at all.
Of course, that is probably just the first of dozens of queries you may have in your mind. Since people decide to wear braces for different reasons, it may take a lot of time to think through these concerns.
To help ease your mind, here are six things you should expect during and after braces have been installed:
During the Installation
On the day of your appointment with the orthodontist, you should expect that:
The process will take about the length of a movie
If you plan on getting conventional dental braces made from metal or ceramic, chances are that you would have to endure a procedure that will last approximately one to two hours or the entire length of a movie.
It may take a longer or shorter time, depending on your teeth and the type of orthodontic device to be used. In some cases, you may need to return for a second appointment to have it installed properly.
2. You’ll feel slight pressure, but no pain
As mentioned earlier, you should expect no pain when having braces installed. However, you might feel a slight sense of pressure on your teeth during the installation process
3. Mode of installation will depend on the type of braces you have
For conventional braces made from metal or ceramic, the process is simple: After the brackets are installed in thoroughly cleaned teeth, the orthodontist will slide on metal bands around the back molars to anchor it in. Then, the archwires are attached to the brackets using a small rubber band piece called ligature to hold them in place.
Lingual braces have quite a similar process, except that they are applied to the back of the teeth rather than the front.
As for invisible aligners such as Invisalign, the dentist won’t need bands or wires to secure them to the teeth. Instead, these orthodontic devices are molded based on an impression of your teeth to make sure that the trays have a snug fit.
Braces may take some getting used to, especially when eating. Here are several things you should expect days after the orthodontic device has been installed:
4. Difficulty eating
One of the things you should expect to have a bit of trouble with immediately after a dental brace installation involves food consumption. Although it may not be painful, you may take longer eating since your mouth is still adjusting to the new braces. There are even some cases that your teeth may be more sensitive than usual.
With that in mind, make sure to set aside foods that are difficult to chew until you get used to your braces. Starting with a soft diet should do the trick. Among the things you can eat are porridge, macaroni, cheese, mashed potatoes, soups, yogurt, smoothies, and milkshakes.
5. Minor discomfort
Two to three days after the process, you might experience pressure that can sometimes be uncomfortable. This is because your teeth are only beginning to realign with the help of braces and are still getting used to the pressure applied by the orthodontic elastic bands and archwire.
You can ask your orthodontist for a medication in the form of topical wax to be applied on your braces to reduce irritation on your lips and inner cheek.
In the Long Run
Aside from all these, there are also some things that may temporarily change while you are wearing your braces. Some of them are:
6. Temporary diet change
Adjusting to the presence and pressure applied by braces on your mouth takes more or less one month. After that, you should be able to feel close to your normal self, except you may need to change up your diet a little bit.
Although you may be able to eat most foods after the adjustment period, it is strongly advised that you avoid biting or chewing on hard, sticky, and chewy food items, such as popcorn, nuts, hard taco shells, corn chips, ice, hard or sticky candy, gum, and pretzels, among others.
Don’t Forget Proper Oral Care
Regular and correct dental hygiene is vital for oral care in general, but it is particularly crucial after orthodontic treatment. When you get braces, you may need to buy a different set of toothbrushing tools and flossers to ensure that your braces and teeth are free of debris and food particles that may cause plaque and tooth decay.
Dr. Zul Paliwalla is the General and Cosmetic British Dentist at NOA Dental Clinic, specializing in smile-related concerns. With over 33 years of experience in the UK, Dr. Zul has successfully worked on and improved many internationally recognized smiles. He is a certified Invisalign® GOLD provider as well and has brought his elite expertise to Dubai not only to enjoy the sun, sea and sand, but also to offer his brand of personalized smile makeovers.