To treat improperly positioned teeth and bite issues, braces are often used in orthodontics. There are many different stages involved in getting braces and the time it takes can vary depending on the complexity of the situation and the type of braces used. In this blog post, we’ll look at how long braces typically take to put on and what to expect from the procedure.
How Are Braces Put On?
Think about it this way, it takes about as long to put on braces as it does to watch a movie. So it takes around one to two hours. The process of getting braces on could take one or two appointments, depending on your teeth and the type of braces you’ll wear.
Process for getting braces put on
What can you expect when getting braces put on? Let’s go through the essential steps to getting your new gear.
- Your teeth are first cleaned and dried by the orthodontist.
- A specialized glue is placed on your teeth.
- After that, bonding adhesive is used to affix the brackets to your teeth.
- The wires are then inserted into the brackets by the orthodontist.
- Using elastic bands put around the brackets, the wires are finally held in place.
To prepare you for what’s to come, we’ve put together a short video that outlines the steps you’ll go through when you get your braces put on. By the end of this video, you’ll have a better idea of what to expect and be well on your way to achieving a straighter, healthier smile!
Different Components per Type of Braces
Let’s go through the various components of different types of braces and how that feeds into the time it takes to get them on.
A week before your braces are placed on, your dentist might place spacers between your rear teeth if they are really close together. The purpose of this is to make room so that bands can fit around your teeth.
Gluing the brackets
The tiny metal or ceramic objects known as brackets are what hold the wires on your teeth in place. The orthodontist inserts a small amount of glue in the middle of each tooth to secure the brackets. To solidify the glue, they then put a blue light on your teeth.
Sliding on the bands
The metal bands are then wrapped around your rear molars to secure the braces.
The orthodontist selects a band that is the proper size for your teeth, places glue on it, uses a blue light to set the glue, and then puts the band onto your tooth.
Putting the archwires in place
The orthodontist will then secure the brackets and bands before joining the archwire to them. To hold the wire in place, they achieve this by winding a tiny rubber band (ligature) around each bracket. This is where you can get creative with choosing the color braces bands you want!
Although lingual braces use the “tongue side” of the mouth rather than the front of the teeth, they do share many of the same parts as conventional braces. Because of their unique positioning, applying them may take a bit longer than applying traditional braces.
You won’t require bands or wires if you’ve chosen to realign your teeth using clear aligners. Before you get them, the orthodontist will make an impression on your teeth. Once they’re ready, it’s time to try on your Invisalign trays, make any necessary changes, and learn how to wear and take care of your aligners and teeth throughout the time you’ll be wearing them.
Due to their location, some of your teeth may need attachments before you can use your clear aligners. Your dentist may apply small, tooth-colored attachments to your teeth using adhesive to ensure that all of your teeth can move into their proper positions. The alignment trays can grip these attachments, which function as handles, to direct teeth in the appropriate direction.
Refreshed alignment trays
You will visit your dentist or orthodontist every few weeks to monitor your progress and pick up new trays. Similar to metal braces, fresh trays can cause temporary tooth sensitivity.
What to Expect After Having Braces Placed
Probably one of the most asked questions when someone hears they’re getting braces, here’s a list of what you can expect!
You’ll probably experience some discomfort an hour or two after putting on your braces. To relieve the pain from your braces, you might want to try an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever.
Meals for the first few days
Eat soft foods for the first few days after getting your braces to reduce any discomfort that may be caused while chewing. Think of things such as:
- Softly cooked vegetables
- Broiled fish
- Soft fruits
- Pasta with cheese
- Smoothies and everyone’s favorite, ice cream.
The brackets or wires may rub against the inside of your cheeks which could become painful. Speak to your dentist about covering the painful areas of your braces with specialized wax.
A topical anesthetic like Anbesol or Orajel can be applied to the uncomfortable regions, or you can try rinsing with a saltwater solution. Within a month, your mouth will have adapted to the braces and no more tenderness will be felt.
What Will Change Once you Wear Braces
The biggest change you’ll see is the gradual realignment of your teeth, which is the entire purpose of having braces in the first place. But after getting braces, you’ll also develop a new daily oral care routine. Swish with water at the very least after meals or if you’ve had something sweet to drink. Additionally, think about utilizing specialized instruments to clean in between your teeth and under the archwire, like a water flosser or an interproximal brush.
Foods to Avoid While Wearing Braces
You should also avoid things that can cause your brackets to come off while you have braces. Think of anything that is highly sticky, chewy, or firm such as:
- Corn on the cob
- Hard candies
- Chewy caramels and toffee
Orthodontics can help you achieve the smile of your dreams! The staff at Jefferson Dental & Orthodontics can assist you if you’re ready to begin orthodontic treatment. To get started, make a consultation appointment for a FREE consultation!