Getting braces put on your teeth can be intimidating to think about. But the actual application process is short and nearly painless. Between getting your teeth cleaned and picking out colored bands, initial bandings typically take less than 2 hours. Any kind of orthodontic treatment (or medical treatment for that matter) can create anxiety and unease. We’re here to put any discomfort to rest. Below, we’ve laid out the process of getting braces step-by-step.
A proper clean.
Clean and dry teeth allow brackets to adhere to your smile and remain in place. That’s why we’ll spend the first part of your appointment cleaning away any hidden food or lunch crumbs. If you haven’t had a deep cleaning from your dentist in a while, we suggest stopping in for a visit before heading our way. While you’re there, be sure to address any necessary dental work, like filling a cavity, as well. This will set you up for success when you’re ready to get braces. In order to make sure your teeth are properly cleaned; your orthodontist will use a cheek retractor to lift your gums and cheeks away from the surface of your teeth. This allows your smile to stay clean and dry throughout the application process. Don’t worry, we won’t make you say applesauce while wearing a cheek retractor. That would be ridiculous.
Once they’re clean, we’ll apply a special conditioner, along with an adhesive primer to your teeth, which will enhance the bonding process. This doesn’t take very long, and ensures the brackets easily attach to your teeth. While the conditioner sets, we’ll ready the bonding cement.
The length of this appointment can range from 1-2 hours, but placing brackets typically takes up the majority of that time. While continuing to use the cheek retractor, your orthodontist will place brackets (metal or ceramic squares) precisely into their rightful position one-at-a-time, using safe dental cement. Since each patient has a different set of teeth, each bracket will have its own unique position that works best for your smile. Once all of the brackets are in place, any extra cement is then cleaned away. This is where it gets fun. Your orthodontist will bring out a high-intensity light which hardens the bonding cement. Once this step is complete, the brackets are ready for their final addition – an arch wire.
The last step in the application process is attaching the arch wire. The thin semi-circle piece of metal wire is used to tighten your teeth into position. The wire connects to the positioned brackets and is held in place by elastic ties. Patients can choose colored or clear elastic ties throughout the course of their treatment and even change them out when they come in for an adjustment appointment. Once the wire is put in and the ties are set, your teeth are ready to begin moving into a straight smile.
Where Do We Go From Here…
Do you have more questions about the application process of braces? We’re here for you! During your first free visit with us, our doctors will spend time talking through each step of the banding process and address any concerns you or your child may have about treatment. More information on what happens during that appointment can be found here. Choose from one of our four convenient locations in Trussville, Alabaster, Hoover or Greystone and schedule your free consultation with us today! Getting braces shouldn’t be intimidating. We’re here to simplify the process and make sure you feel comfortable throughout treatment.
Schedule your free consultation today and Smile More with Birmingham Orthodontics.
At Birmingham Orthodontics, our mission is simple: we create smiles. Not only do we straighten the crooked grin, fix the bite, and adjust the jaw, we brighten yearbooks, and instill confidence. We also believe in our staff. Our culture of continuous learning drives us to host monthly training sessions for each team and bring in leading industry consultants to help keep us ahead of the curve. Contact us for a free consultation, or with any questions you might have.