What to Expect When Getting Braces
What should kids expect when getting braces? To some kids, getting braces might be a normal part of growing up. Maybe a sibling, cousin, or even a friend has had braces before. Maybe they’re even excited about customizing their own with different colored rubber bands. Other kids, who fear the dentist, may also fear getting braces. Thankfully, just knowing what to expect with braces can make the process a much easier experience for all ages. After all, there isn’t an age limit for braces!
Before Getting Braces
Not all people need braces, but the thing is teeth just don’t always grow straight or evenly. Unevenly spaced teeth are one of the main reasons why kids (and adults) need braces. Sometimes children have different sized upper and lower jaws, causing malocclusion (overbite or underbite) that needs fixing.
Today, braces have become a perfectly refined process. While metal braces are still used, patients may also have the option to get clear braces. Fun colored rubber bands on traditional braces are still a kid favorite, though.
There is some necessary prep work before the braces are actually applied. First, x-rays will need to be taken along with teeth impressions or molds. This prep helps your family orthodontist to create the best possible treatment plan.
While Getting Braces
When your child, or you, come in to get their braces placed, their teeth should be brushed and flossed clean before the appointment. The orthodontist needs a clean surface to cement the braces properly. You may even want to schedule a professional pediatric dental cleaning for your child before their orthodontal appointment.
How Do Pediatric Orthodontists Place Braces?
After checking in and a friendly hello, the orthodontist’s assistant will make sure your child’s teeth are cleaned and dried. Once cleaned, special glue is placed to cement the brackets to the teeth. Once the brackets are in place, the wires are placed and rubber bands are used to secure them.
Overall, it generally takes about an hour or two for braces to be applied. And because there are no drills or needles, your child should feel no pain during the procedure.
Will Braces Hurt In the Next Few Days?
Some mild discomfort is to be expected once the braces are placed. A few days of sensitivity is common. Parents, you may decide to give your child over-the-counter pain medications to dull any soreness. Keep in mind – the soreness may last up to a week, but it should never be unbearable.
What Foods to Eat the Week After Getting Braces
Soft foods are the best option for kids for their first week after getting braces. Here are a few favorites to have ready for your child after their orthodontist appointment.
- Mashed Potatoes
- Ice Cream
What Foods to Avoid After Getting Braces
The main foods your child should avoid are hard, chewy, and sticky foods. If eaten, these types of foods can damage the braces, cause tooth decay, break the brackets off the teeth, tear off the rubber bands, shift the wire alignment, or otherwise cause malfunctions.
- Popcorn Kernels
- Hard Candy
- Corn on the Cob
Some of these foods, like popcorn kernels and ice, should never be chewed. If you chew on these foods, they can damage your teeth and even make them crack.
After Getting Braces
How Long Will My Child Need to Have Braces?
How long braces are worn is dependent on the patient’s mouth, needs, and progress during treatment. But generally, our patients can expect to wear braces from between 18 months to 3 years.
Taking Care of Your Braces Will Reduce How Long You Have to Wear Them
Keep a strict dental care routine while you have braces. It’s essential to keep them clean while making sure your child follows all of their orthodontist’s instructions. If your child does not follow up on their “homework” or homecare instructions, it can mean they’ll be wearing braces for longer than expected.
The Benefits You Can Expect With Braces
The main benefit of getting braces is a picture-perfect smile your child can enjoy for the rest of their life. But the benefits don’t stop there! Perfectly aligned teeth experience less damage, less wear and tear, and stay healthy for longer than unaligned teeth. This also reduces the chances of having to have root canals, veneers, bridges, and other restorative dental procedures later in life.
Get Braces at Snodgrass-King in Middle Tennessee
It is extremely important to schedule and attend regular check-ups with your orthodontist and dentist, as well as practice proper hygiene. So if your child needs braces, we encourage you to seek the best possible orthodontic care for yourself and your loved ones. When you choose a Snodgrass-King Orthodontics you choose “a smile to build a future on.” Use our online contact form to easily request an appointment. We’d love to answer all your dental-related questions and concerns.