Everyone wants a healthy set of teeth and a straight white smile.
That’s where braces come in.
But while we all want the end result, most people (especially children) might dread the process of getting fitted and wearing braces.
To make the process as painless and easy as possible I’d like to take a moment to address misconceptions and demystify the process by letting you in on crucial information you should know before your Wellington braces appointment.
What To Know Before Your Wellington Braces Appointment
How Long Do I Need Braces For?
Invariably one of the first questions patients ask us is how long they need to wear their braces.
There is no magic number when it comes to braces.
On average patients that use fixed braces wear them for between 1-3 years. The amount of time depends on how misaligned one’s teeth are. However, this process may take longer if you’re using braces to treat severe problems with your bite.
If your teeth need only minor readjustment you may qualify to wear aligners. If so you’re in luck! Not only are aligners invisible, able to be taken out, and more comfortable, but they’re typically only worn for between 6-12 months.
While these are estimates, only your Wellington orthodontist will be able to give you a more accurate picture of how long you or your child will have to wear braces.
Do Braces Hurt?
Pain and hurt aren’t words we here at Thorndon Orthodontics associate with brace wearing. Slight discomfort and soreness are expected during the fitting process, just after getting fitted, and during tightening.
The idea that braces hurt comes from people’s anxiousness regarding medical and dental procedures. You might be surprised to learn that putting braces on is a gentle, delicate and precise procedure, you don’t even need numbing! We’ll take the time to assuage any fears you or your child might have and keep you informed every step of the way.
As a reminder, braces work by putting pressure on teeth as they slowly push and straighten them. While this may be uncomfortable for short periods of time, remind your child of the beautiful teeth they’ll have once the process is over.
To help manage discomfort, consider eating the following foods:
- Frozen yoghurt
- Ice cream
- Soft fruit, like bananas and berries
- Macaroni and cheese
- Soft breads
- Cold drinks
How Do I Make The Brace Fitting Process As Easy As Possible?
To ensure that your teeth are in the perfect condition for brace fitting you’ll need to help us out a little.
We highly recommend seeing your dentist for a check-up and a teeth cleaning before coming in for your braces appointment. We need teeth and gums healthy and looking their best for their big day.
Also, be sure to brush well in the days leading up to your appointment.
How Long Does It Take To Get Fitted For Wellington Braces?
That all depends on the severity of misalignment as well as the type of treatment you’re having. Usually, it takes between 30 and 60 minutes.
What’s Actually Happening In My Mouth?
It’s a good thing you’re asking this question now as opposed to when you’re being fitted for braces!
The most traditional and popular forms of braces are ceramic or metal. The process for fitting them involves cleaning and drying the teeth followed by securing the brackets to each tooth with the help of special bonding glue. A special light is used to set the glue and lastly, wires are put in and held in place by small colourful rubber bands (o-rings). O-rings are one of the most fun parts of orthodontic treatment and you can change your colours at every visit.
This process may be difficult to imagine, so here’s a brief video that details the process.
How Often Do Braces Need Adjustment?
For some reason, patients have this idea that braces require a lot of tinkering and that they’ll be spending every week at the orthodontist. While we love seeing the pearly white smiles of our patients, expect to make an appointment every 5-8 weeks. During these appointments, we’ll check in on the position of the teeth, make adjustments to braces or wires, and instruct on wearing rubber bands as we deem fit. These appointments usually take 5-15 minutes.
What Foods Should I Avoid Eating?
Braces are not indestructible. If mistreated, the integrity of your braces, as well as your teeth, can be put in jeopardy.
Luckily we’ve created a shortlist of foods to avoid while using braces. This shortlist also serves as a list of foods to be sure to indulge in before your fitting.
Let the feast begin!
- Hard candy
- Hard bread
- Sugary drinks
If it’s high in sugar or takes a considerable amount of pressure to chew, it should probably be avoided. While this may seem bothersome, learning to live without these foods will help you build healthy dietary habits that will benefit your teeth and gum health long after the braces come off.
Should I Wear A Mouthguard?
Since we’re on the topic of braces protection, we’d be remiss not to talk about the usefulness of mouthguards.
Many of our younger patients are athletes. We don’t want them to feel like their braces are preventing them from giving it their all in their field of choice.
That’s why we strongly encourage the use of mouthguards.
Is It Odd For Adults To Get Braces in Wellington?
Of course not!
You’re never too late to improve the quality of your teeth, fix an abnormal bite, or perfect that smile.
The process may take a little longer but despite having fully grown teeth, adults can still receive braces. Years ago, braces for adults may have been unusual but now, it’s increasingly common with more adults getting orthodontic treatment than ever!
Though treatment can take a little longer for adults, age is just a number so don’t let it get in the way of making your smile a 10!
With advances in aligners as well, there are more options and possibilities than ever before.
Getting your braces can be a scary process. We’ve found that addressing concerns before your visit will help mitigate any fear you or your child may have.
If you have any questions or would like to book an appointment, just give us a call.