Sometimes nerves get the best of us, even when we know something is for the best. If you’re considering braces but you’re feeling intimidated about the process, we’re here to tell you everything you need to know about what getting braces is really like. Though the placement is the longest appointment you’ll have, it’s an easy, pain-free process. Your entire appointment will take one to two hours, but this includes everything from prepping your teeth to attaching the brackets, placing the wire, and getting all the information you need from your orthodontist about the care and keeping of your new braces. Let’s break it down:
Your teeth will need a little preparation to accept the bracket bonding, and it’s very important that they be as clean and dry as possible so your brackets stay securely in place. Your orthodontist will clean away any leftover lunch crumbs you might have on your teeth and make sure they’re dry, but if you haven’t had a full cleaning from your dentist recently, think about going to see them one more time before you get braces. While you’re there, it’s important to make sure any other pending dental work, like filling a cavity, is taken care of, too. This is a great way to put your best foot forward for your big day! When you first arrive to have braces put on, your orthodontist will apply a special conditioner and an adhesive primer, which enhances the bonding process. This doesn’t take long, and ensures that the brackets attach perfectly. Once your teeth are primed and ready, it’s time for the main event!
Attaching the Brackets
This part takes the longest, but your orthodontist will do everything they can to make sure you’re comfortable while you wait. While you wear a cheek retractor to make sure your teeth stay clean and dry, the brackets are carefully applied, one tooth at a time with safe dental cement. Everyone’s mouth is different, so each bracket has a specifically-chosen position where it will do the best work for you. When all your brackets are placed perfectly and any extra cement has been cleaned away, a high-intensity light is focused on them to harden them into place. It’s really a pretty cool process!
Placing the Wire
When your brackets are fully bonded, you’re ready for the last step: adding the arch wires to connect your brackets. This wire is what tightens your teeth into position and what your orthodontist will adjust when you return for your seven-week appointment. You’ll get to choose the color of the elastic ties that hold the wire in place—you can pick out a single color or a combination. They even come in clear! The length of time it takes to bond the brackets and add the wire can take from 10 to 20 minutes, so you have some time to think about your perfect color combo.
That’s it! That wasn’t so terrible, was it? Before you go, your orthodontist will take some time to talk to you about the care and keeping of your new gear. You’ll also get some recommendations for any soreness or discomfort you feel over the next few days as your teeth adjust, and you’ll have the chance to ask any questions you’ve thought of along the way. Now you can go out on your way to a brand new smile!
Now that you know all about what getting braces is like, you should feel confident about your first appointment. If you haven’t taken that first step yet, or you still have questions, call Birmingham Orthodontics today for a free consultation.
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 also brighten yearbooks, help young people come to like their looks, and give adults the confidence they have wanted for a long, long time. We also believe in our staff. Our culture of continuous learning has allowed 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 any questions you might have.