1) Do braces hurt?
The discomfort or pain one gets from braces is manageable and not as painful as it is made out to be. At the max, a person might feel some amount of discomfort in the first few days of getting braces, but that is only because your teeth are getting aligned to pressure of the wires and elastic ligatures put on them. To alleviate the pain, you can restore to taking over the counter pain killers or apply wax on the braces to keep them off from rubbing against the insides of your teeth.
2) How long will I have to wear braces?
If you have misaligned teeth, braces or retainers are the best option. How long do you have to wear them is something that totally depends on the condition of your teeth and few other factors. Every mouth is unique and so are its problems and requirements. The need to keep the braces on depends from person to person but in a typical scenario, it takes an average of 23 months for the orthodontic treatment to show results. In children the healing process is faster as their jaw is at a growing stage and might not require any aggressive treatment compared to adults.
3) How often will I have to come for an appointment?
Once you have got the braces on, a regular visit to your dentist becomes mandatory. It will help you solve any adjustment issues, keep a tab on your teeth’s progress, update you on the time period for which you will have to keep the braces on, adjust the wires to make sure your teeth are being pulled in the right direction, replace the worn-out rubber bands and maintain the health and hygiene factor. Skipping an appointment with your dentist can hinder the progress of your teeth and pose problem in the healing process, going forward.
4) Can I wear a retainer instead of getting braces?
Unless the problem is minor and does not require much intervention, braces are required to correct any misalignment in teeth. Retainers are used to close gaps between teeth or hold the teeth in their new position once the braces have come off. Any problem that goes beyond the purview of bridging the gap requires you to get braces. Retainers cannot apply the kind of pressure that braces do, which is required to pull the teeth in the right direction and align them with the rest of the teeth in the jaw. If you have misaligned or crooked teeth, braces is the only option.
5) How long do I have to wear my retainer?
Once the braces have come off, it will take time for your bone and tissues around your teeth to recognise their new position and stabilise the biting. Retainers help in preventing the risk of your teeth to relapse and go back to their original position once the braces have been taken off. Usually, retainers are worn for as long as you had the braces for but because they come in a removable format and can be taken off during the day time. But that totally depends on how much restoration your teeth require and the suggestion of your dentist. Maintain good oral hygiene to keep all dental problems away.
6) Are there other foods I should avoid?
Life can be hard with braces, but avoiding the foods given below will help you retain the health of your teeth while you are at it.
- Chewy foods like gums, bagels, hard rolls etc.
- Hard foods like nuts and candies
- Sweet products like chocolates, cakes with icing, ice cream
- Foods that require you to bite hard into them like apples, carrots, corn
- Sticky and crunchy foods like caramel, ice, chips, popcorn
- Acidic food items like colas, sweetened fruit juices