A Beginners Guide to Braces

Woman having her braces checked

Getting braces can be a stressful situation. Nobody really knows what to expect, so there are a lot of variables to be considered. Before you start the process, it’s important that you know what you are getting into. At Levens Family Dentistry, we want to help you understand all the details for every procedure. In today’s blog post, we will give you and your family a beginner guide to braces.

What Are Braces and What Do They Do?

Orthodontic brackets, otherwise known as braces, are small brackets placed on each tooth to help improve or correct teeth alignment and bite. These brackets are attached to the front of the teeth with a special kind of glue and aligned with wire or rubber bands. The tightness of these brackets is adjusted month by month as the teeth begin to move and realign.

Do Braces Hurt?

For the first few weeks, there will be some soreness. The first several days are typically the most difficult, and you will be limited in what you can eat until that soreness wears off. However, after those initial days, braces shouldn’t cause too much discomfort or pain. When interarch bands are used — rubber bands that connect top brackets with bottom brackets — there is often some soreness when the bands are changed, but it only lasts for several minutes.

What Will Change with Braces?

The biggest thing that will change will be what you can and can’t eat. Once you get braces, most dentists and orthodontists will recommend completely cutting out foods like popcorn and chewy candy. These foods are bad for braces because they can damage the brackets and stunt their effectiveness. There are many other foods that your orthodontist will encourage you to avoid when you have braces, including hard foods like nuts and pretzels and sugary drinks like soda. However, many orthodontists and dentists won’t completely cut out those foods, especially with the right precautions like using a straw when drinking soda.

How Do I Keep Them Clean?

Keeping your teeth and braces clean is one of the biggest challenges you or your child will face. The most important thing to remember when it comes to brushing and keeping your teeth clean is to avoid whitening toothpaste. If you whiten your teeth, the surfaces under the brackets will likely be discolored when your braces are removed. You can also use special brushes to make sure you are keeping your teeth cleaned properly and mouthwash can help keep debris out of your brackets.

Contact Levens Family Dentistry For More Information

If you or your children need braces, Levens Family Dentistry wants to help. For more information on our services, including Fastbraces, give us a call at (719) 574-1705 or contact us online today.

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