Dental Health

8 Important Things To Do Before Getting Braces

Things To Do Before Getting Braces
Written by Guest Author

If you are considering braces for yourself or your child, chances are you are curious and intrigued about the procedure.

Getting braces is a life-changing event, considering its impact on your routine life. While you get promised a healthier and more beautiful smile, the procedure undertaken might need your attention.

Getting braces is a busy procedure, so you should consider some last-minute things and activities to ensure the best results for you and your smile. 

What are braces?

Dentists use braces as a device in orthodontic treatments and dental procedures to straighten the teeth’ alignment and correct their positioning to improve a person’s bite.

Problems like crooked teeth, crowding, or misaligned teeth find their treatment in metal or ceramic braces put in the patient’s mouth.

This tool comprises bands, wires, and other fixed or removable appliances to correct teeth. It works by exerting pressure on teeth and jaws, causing them to alter their position to reach the desired point. 

Why are braces necessary?

Some of the reasons why kids and adults require braces are as follows:

  1. Correcting teeth crowding
  2. Correcting overbite, underbite, and an open bite and the underlying issues
  3. Adjusting the jaw size
  4. Relieving TMJ pain
  5. Relieving headaches and TMD
  6. Oral appliances help with mouth breathing and snoring
  7. Treating sleep apnea
  8. Crooked teeth correction
  9. Teeth grinding and clenching
  10. Tongue ties
  11. Arthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis

When teeth pain, improper placement, or alignment cause problems in swallowing, chewing, and breathing or leads to headaches, it’s crucial to address them with proper devices like braces. 

Preparation before getting braces: A to-do list

On your way to healthier teeth, jaw, and smile, here are a few things you must consider before you embark on your life journey with braces:

1. Mental preparation for the procedure and outcome

Braces appointment can be nerve-racking due to various factors. However, the more educated you are on the procedure, the better you can adjust to the actual process.

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Getting and living with braces can be painful and uncomfortable. However, a long-run picture and its consequences show its worth. 

Look into the research procedure on your own or by consulting your dentist. Know what will happen during the process, how have other patients felt, and take learnings from their experiences. Put your lingering fears to rest by educating yourself about the topic and treatment better. 

2. Be ready for soreness, discomfort, and adjustments

During and immediately after the procedure, you might experience soreness, discomfort, and issues with adjustment. The teeth and gums might take time to adjust to the new addition.

Braces exert a constant pressure, which your mouth might not be familiar with yet. The initial adjustment might make your teeth feel sore and tender.

Taking pain medication during the first few weeks per your dentist’s consultation can help counteract the discomfort. The pain won’t last long as your mouth rapidly heals and adjusts to the pressure. However, you need to prepare yourself for it beforehand to ensure smooth sailing. 

3. Eat hard candy

After getting braces, you will not be allowed to have sticky, hard, chewy, or gooey candies, as they can harm and damage your braces. Moreover, they can be very difficult to clean, causing more problems to the teeth.

So, if you like a certain candy, such as caramels, liquorice, taffy, or more, pick and eat it now before the wire of the braces gets placed. Also, when you do get ready to indulge in these sweets, remember not to overdo it, and then clean and floss your teeth thoroughly to get ready for the dental braces.

4. Keep precautionary items in the stock

Your dentist might give you a prepared dental care kit with orthodontic wax and floss to help during the treatment. It can include gels or pain relieving medication for the gum and teeth pain due to braces.

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Further, when the brackets of the braces rub against the cheeks, it may lead to pain, which you can reduce through medicine.

Orthodontic wax prevents the sharp pieces in the braces from injuring anything in the mouth covering them. Eating hard foods after getting braces is a no-go as it can break and let a bracket pop out.

Flossing with general floss might not be possible. So, a specifically designed floss for your braces becomes imperative.

Thus, having these items in stock will ensure comfort throughout the journey. 

5. Food items preparation

Braces treatment restricts you from consuming hard, sticky, chewy, or gooey items that can become hard to clean and may even lead to breaking the braces.

When you consume sugary sweets and drinks like lollies, jelly candies, mints, gummies, coke, etc., the potential residue on teeth can promote bacteria or decay. Maintaining good oral health with braces is crucial.

Hard or chewy foods cause a different problem, requiring chewing hard or biting down. It can cause the brackets to loosen or the archwire to shift from the bracket and bend. Therefore, indulge in your favourite delicacies beforehand in moderation. Avoid the following treats during your treatment:

  • Lifesavers and jolly ranchers like hard candies
  • Caramel and gum-like sticky substances
  • Chewing ice
  • Skittles and Twizzlers-like sugary foods
  • Foods you need to bite into, like apples and corn on the cob
  • Chewy foods, such as steak

Since such food items can cause problems, you might need to fill your fridge with other soft edibles to get you through the time. Since the teeth and gums are sore for the first couple of days, eating soft and gentle foods will be best.

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So, stock up on soups, mashed potatoes, oatmeal, Jello, yoghurt, fruits for smoothies, pudding, and cottage cheese.

Since hard, crunchy, and chewy foods need to be avoided as much as possible during the treatment, you need to keep up with the stock of soft foods.

6. Ensure thorough cleaning

Before going to the dentist to get braces, ensure you clean your teeth in pristine condition. However, this doesn’t apply only to pre-braces.

You need to keep this up during and after the procedure as well. Brushing and flossing to the depths will yield better results when you go to get braces. Putting braces on plaque and lingering bacteria won’t lead to any good.

7. Wear a non-conforming mouthguard

When you first apply braces to your teeth, the adjustment process might take time. You might face problems with speech because you aren’t used to these appliances in your mouth.

So to prepare yourself and to get a feeling of something on your teeth all the time, get a mouthguard that doesn’t conform to your teeth. A simple mouthguard available at a low price can also work as this is just to practice what it will be like with braces. Wear it for a few minutes every day to know the feeling of what you will get with braces.

8. Capture a pre-braces selfie

Document your procedure before, during, and after the braces treatment. You can see what your smile or appearance is like without the braces treatment. Comparison with the after will reveal the benefits of braces in appearance. 

Bottom line

Braces treatment can be intriguing and exciting. So, do not forget to follow this checklist and prepare yourself for what’s about to come.

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