Hi – Dr. Paul Halgren here at Halgren Orthodontics in Mount Vernon and Orcas Island, WA. Have you decided you’re ready to achieve your best smile? Are braces the right fit for your lifestyle and your orthodontic needs? If so, you are about to join approximately 4 million Americans who have also said yes and are currently sporting braces.
Braces are super common and you probably know someone who has braces right now, but if you still have questions about braces or the process of straightening your teeth, here are 12 of the Things You Should Know Before Getting Braces.
Braces are an adjustment
Right after you get your braces applied, your teeth and gums might feel a little sore. This is completely normal and doesn’t last long. The application process takes approximately two hours to complete and can be a little painful. It will take some time to get used to the brackets and wires, but once you do, they will feel normal and you will hardly even notice them.
Always travel with lip balm
Lip balm will be your new best friend. Even on the day you get your braces applied, you will want to have your lip balm with you. Keeping your mouth open for a couple of hours really dries your lips out, so having the lip balm on hand will keep your lips moisturized during the process. Your lips will move and stretch alongside your changing smile, and that movement can really make your lips feel dry. Keep a lip balm on your bedside table and in your backpack.
Food will get stuck in your braces
When you decide to get braces, create a braces care kit and keep it with you all the time. Food will certainly get stuck in your teeth, so keeping a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and floss threaders will help you in a pinch.
Tightening can hurt but is essential
After the initial application and the first few weeks of adjusting to braces, you won’t feel much discomfort at all. Periodically, we will need to tighten your braces to progress your treatment. This isn’t a fun or comfortable part of the journey, but it is necessary to help you achieve your best smile!
Braces will make your lips look different
Your new ortho gear will make your lips look a little different during your treatment journey. The brackets and wires we place on your teeth will cause your lips to slightly stick out, making them look more pronounced. Your lips will return to normal, though, once you get your braces removed!
Wax is a lifesaver
Not only will braces make your lips feel a little strange, but they can also irritate them. You’ll want to keep wax around for the moments when the brackets start to rub your teeth. You can apply orthodontic wax to your brackets to prevent them from causing abrasions on your lips. We will show you how to properly apply your wax. Just remember to remove the wax before you eat.
Your bite is just as important as straight teeth
A straight and sparkling smile awaits you at the end of your orthodontic journey, but you’ll get more than straight teeth here at Halgren Orthodontics. While straight teeth are pleasing to the eye, another important part of your treatment is gaining the proper alignment. Correcting an overbite, underbite or crossbite can lead to better oral health and proper tooth development.
No age restrictions
You are never too old to start your braces journey. Braces can help almost anyone at almost any age! Braces are the most popular way to straighten teeth and correct misaligned bites, for all ages. People of all ages have braces and when you get braces, you’ll start to see just how many others have braces, too!
Treatment times are unique
Every person’s orthodontic needs are unique, and that means every treatment plan is unique. This means that your friends may get their braces off sooner than you, but in the end, you will both have a beautiful, straight smile!
Loose brackets can happen
You might eat something that knocks a bracket loose, and that is totally normal! If you knock a bracket loose, don’t panic, call us immediately and get an appointment set up. We can easily fix a broken bracket and have you on your way in no time.
The time will fly by
Typical braces treatment lasts from 16 to 18 months, which may sound like a long time, but for most patients, the time flies by! When you see your treatment outcome, the entire process will be worth it. By the time you’re done with treatment, the whole journey will seem like it flashed before your eyes!
They are expensive but worth it
Orthodontic treatment may seem outrageously expensive, but if you think about it, you will have a straight smile and proper bite for the rest of your life. The money really seems worth it when you think about how long your new smile will last. Several insurance companies provide orthodontia coverage, and at Halgren Orthodontics, we will work with your budget and find the best treatment option for you.
If you live in Mount Vernon, Orcas Island, or the surrounding areas and are interested in getting braces – or if you believe your child is ready for braces – please call us today or click to request your free consultation appointment. We are here to answer all of your questions and to develop a unique plan for you and your family members. We can’t wait to help you through your orthodontic journey!