A smile is your best accessory. But when your teeth are all crooked and misaligned, your winning smile may need a few more adjustments and work, like getting dental braces.
But the experience of having braces fitted is different for every person. And you may get conflicting feedback about it. You may also hear plenty of misconceptions about dental braces, and this may cause you to needlessly worry about getting it done.
Take a moment to learn all about dental braces before you decide. Below are some basics you need to know:
1. What type of braces must I wear?
Technology has greatly improved in recent years and it has provided patients different options on which braces to use. There’s one such technology that makes wearing braces “invisible” since the wires are fitted and hidden from the back of the teeth. But since every teeth set is unique, yours may require a specific treatment that don’t necessarily have to be the most advanced or most expensive.
Patients commonly go for the traditional look, which is made of metal wires. But other options include colored brackets that look more presentable and less “geeky”. Young people actually prefer this because they can pick out their favorite colors for it.
The best way to know which type of braces would be best for you is through your orthodontist.
2. Who should be my orthodontist?
The success of your dental treatment relies significantly on the orthodontist who will be doing the work on your teeth. Even with the most advanced tools and appliances, and even if you pick the most expensive dental braces to get fitted with, the treatment will only work if your orthodontist knows what she’s doing. This is why it’s important to get recommendations and get more than one opinion before you pick.
Affixing dental braces and getting treatment for this takes two to three years, with lots of regular visits for adjustments and other oral concerns. Hence, trusting the dentist is important. You must pick someone whom you can feel comfortable with, as she works on your teeth for that long. Take note that a family dentist is different from an orthodontist. The latter has undergone special training for special procedures, such as affixing braces, which your family dentist may not be qualified to do.
If you must, consult with at least three orthodontists to make a viable comparison before you decide on who should do your braces. Consultations, in most cases, are free of charge, so there’s no reason why you can’t shop around first.
3. How much is this going to cost?
Prepare for spending hugely as this is not exactly a cheap procedure. The cost actually varies, as the specialist (orthodontist) is usually the one who sets the price, depending on the kind of work that will be done. But an average treatment usually falls under the $3,000 to $6,000 range.
Fortunately, you can make arrangements on payment and have this done in installments. You can also avail of special discounts with the dental office, so it will not hurt to ask all these particulars when you go for consultation.
If you have a dental plan, you can also use this to offset the cost of getting braces. That is, if the plan actually covers braces treatment.
4. Does Getting Braces Hurt?
Because there are brackets, bands and wires inserted in between each tooth, you will feel great discomfort and soreness at first. It’s mostly because your teeth is experiencing unusual pressure and it may take awhile to get used to this. Your teeth will be sore, and perhaps even your lips and gums.
The discomfort, however, is only going to last for about two weeks or less. And you will need to do a couple of things to soothe this, like gargling in warm water and salt, or taking pain relievers. You may also be on a soft food diet until the pain goes away.
You may also have to make great adjustments with your oral hygiene. If you have been used to just brushing your teeth and have not tried flossing before, you will be doing this more often once you have braces. The wires can trap a lot of food particles and you will want to clean this thoroughly.
Do remember that this is all temporary and part of the process you have to undergo to get the best treatment. Something great is going to come out of this, so just bear the pain for now