Who doesn’t want to have beautiful teeth? Most people do want a beautiful smile with nice straight teeth. Unfortunately, we are all not so lucky to have been born with the beautiful smile we want. This is where your orthodontist comes in handy.
One of the most common questions that our patients at Wise Braces ask us is, “is getting braces going to hurt”? Thanks to advances in technology, the process of getting braces put on and having them adjusted is much easier than is was 20-30 years ago. For example, we no longer routinely use ‘bands’ on all the teeth. Placing bands on all the teeth was an uncomfortable procedure back in the day. Thank goodness those days are over!
Now, we use low profile braces (brackets) that are glued directly to the outer surface of the tooth which eliminates the pain of having a tightly fitting band placed around each tooth. Placing braces on the teeth is a much more comfortable experience than having to deal with the pressure and pushing that use to be used when bands were placed on the teeth.
Getting Braces Put On
If you are worried that having your braces put on is going to hurt, don’t worry. The process of getting your braces put on is painless. In fact, many of our patients fall asleep while they are getting their braces put on. The most important thing is that your teeth remain completely dry when the braces are being glued to your teeth. The orthodontist uses something called ‘cheek retractors’ to keep your lips and cheeks off of your teeth so that the teeth can remain dry for the braces application process. The cheek retractors will need to be in your mouth for about 20 minutes, which is about how long it takes to put the braces on.
Once the braces are on, the cheek retractors will be removed from your mouth. Now comes the fun part. It’s time to put the wire on the braces and pick your COLOR. The wire is what makes the magic of tooth movement happen. Without a wire attached to the braces, the teeth will not move. The wire is held on to the braces with little 0-tie elastics that come in many colors for you to choose from. Each time you come in to have your braces adjusted (which means having your wire changed) you get to choose new colors. That’s what makes it fun.
Fun fact: The initial wires that will be used on your braces are called Nickel Titanium wires. This technology was originally invented by NASA and has been a great asset to the field of orthodontics. These wires have what is called ‘shape memory’ which means they will return to their original shape once attached to your braces. Your teeth move because the wire is essentially returning to its original shape while it is attached to your braces. How cool is that? The use of these wires has reduced the discomfort patients have when getting their braces on because these wires apply a slow and continuous force on the teeth versus the very stiff Stainless Steel wires that use to be used as the initial wires that were put on.
The First Few Days After Getting Your Braces On Can Be Uncomfortable
Now that you got your braces put on, you will need to spend the next few days or so getting use to them. Although there is no immediate pain after having your braces put on, you will experience some soreness for up to a week after having the braces put on. The soreness tends to kick in anywhere from 12-24 hours after the braces are put on. Your teeth are being forced to move which results in some soreness. Over the counter pain relief medication (taken as directed on the bottle) and a soft diet is recommended, but is not required, for the first 2-3 days after you have your braces put on.
You may also develop a sore spot on the inside of your cheek or lips while your mouth is getting adjusted to the braces. If this happens, you can use the wax we provide you in your new patient kit to place on the bracket or brackets that may be causing the irritation.
The good news is that the soreness quickly subsides and goes away.
Getting Your Braces Adjusted At Subsequent Visits
Now that you have braces, your orthodontist will need to see you every 6-8 weeks to adjust your braces. This is what use to be called getting your braces ‘tightened’. But don’t worry, we are not cranking up your braces and tightening them. We are simply changing the size of the wire that goes on your braces. As your teeth continue to get straighter and straighter, we put in thicker and stiffer wires. When a thicker or stiffer is placed on the braces it may feel ‘tight’. That tight feeling is where the term ‘getting the braces tightened’ came from. When a new wire is placed, you may feel slight discomfort for 1-2 days but it is nowhere near as sore as when the braces were first put on.
Technology has advanced the field of orthodontics tremendously. Here, at Wise Braces Orthodontics, we utilize state of the art technology to make your experience as painless and comfortable as possible.