Everyone who wears braces has a slightly different experience, since every person — and every mouth — is different. However, braces shouldn’t be painful — not when they’re being put on, not when bands are being tightened or swapped, and not when they’re being removed. There might be some minor discomfort during these periods, but it’s nothing an over-the-counter painkiller can’t address.
Getting any type of orthodontics is a big deal for teens and adults alike. You’ll be wearing braces for two years, on average, so you want to make sure that period is as normal as possible.
Many patients’ first question is, “How long do I have to wear braces?” and the maddening answer is always, “It depends!” The average time is around two years, but it’s contingent upon how much your teeth need to be straightened or realigned. Very small adjustments might require you to wear braces for six months. Other people have braces for over two years. Your orthodontist will give you a personalized time frame, and you’ll get progress updates each month at your appointment.
When Misconceptions Spread
What can you do when you’re wearing braces? The same things you can do without them, although you might feel more comfortable if you make a few small changes. For example, spinach can get caught in your teeth, but it’s a little easier for it to get caught in orthodontics (especially if braces are new for you). You might want to avoid ordering that side dish on a first date, or you can simply check your braces after a meal to make sure you’re all clear.
Some patients say they can’t floss with braces or it’s too difficult. It can be challenging, which is why many orthodontists suggest using a water pick instead. These are just as effective as floss, but you don’t have to thread anything through each tooth gap. A lot of people, even without braces, prefer water picks for convenience.
The Other Type of Brace Face
Having bands changed out or tightened can be literally headache inducing, or you might not notice any discomfort at all. It depends on a number of factors, including your own discomfort tolerance. Any discomfort you might feel won’t be any more severe than what you experience when the braces are first put on.
If you’re anxious, it’s a good idea to take a painkiller 30 minutes before your appointment. Soothing, soft and cold foods can sometimes help too, which is a perfect excuse for an ice cream treat.
Most importantly, you should feel comfortable with your orthodontic team. A normal experience isn’t dreading the dentist, feeling like one of your questions isn’t valid or being walked through the process using terms you don’t understand. For a seamless experience and a free braces consultation, call Johnson Elite Orthodontics, and get on the fast track to the smile you deserve.