10 Things You Need to Know Before Getting Braces
We are a professional dental clinic in Johor Bahru that provide braces and clear aligner treatment.
Getting braces maybe an important and life changing decision for you. Straight teeth improves your appearance and boosts confidence. But before that, you might have a lot of burning questions in your mind. Let’s find out what are the common things you need to know before getting braces.
1. Start with FREE Consultation
If you are not sure if you need braces, wait no more. Drop us a message to grab the opportunity for free consultation. Our dentists will give professional advice after basic oral examination and assessment. No obligation to purchase package or hidden cost.
Each malocclusion is different. The most accurate way to assess is by visiting dentist. At The Smile Dental Lounge, we provide this for FREE.
2. Age is not a problem
In the past, we may have the impression that braces is for teens. Nowadays, we see more adult patients asking for braces to improve their smile. Working adults have option to use clear aligner such as Invisalign to correct malocclusion without affecting their work routine. Contrary to popular belief, teeth can still move with the application of orthodontic forces, regardless of age. That’s said, adult case maybe need slightly longer time than kids. Speak to us to get an estimate.
For young patient, we recommend parents to bring their children for assessment as early as 8 years old. Some malocclusions develop since mixed dentition at this age. Early intervention is easy and save time. Sometimes surgical correction can be avoided if we step in earlier while the jaws are still developing.
3. Braces VS Clear Aligner
Other than traditional metal braces, we also provide clear aligner treatment like Invisalign. Each of these options has their pros and cons. Discuss with our dentists to see which one suit your teeth condition and lifestyle. You can read more about types of braces here.
4. No Pain No Gain ?
While teeth start moving, it is inevitable to have slight discomfort or soreness for first few days. This is just temporary and usually resolve spontaneously. Some patients may find painkiller helpful to alleviate the pain.
Self-ligating braces and advance heat activated nickel titanium wire may reduce the discomfort compared to traditional braces. The most comfortable orthodontic appliance is Invisalign clear aligner, thanks to its smooth edge and gentle forces.
5. Food to avoid
There is no strict list of food that you must avoid when wearing braces. Well-balanced diet is important for general health. However, we recommend soft diet especially in the first few days to lessen the discomfort. If you are not careful when chewing hard food, sometimes the bracket might came off or the arch wire distorted. These might cause extra trip to dentist and lengthen the braces journey. We advise you to cut food into smaller pieces to facilitate chewing and swallowing.
Certain food can stain elastic or clear aligner, such as curry, beetroot and turmeric. Thus, make sure the elastic or aligner is removed when consuming these food and rinse your mouth before putting them back.
6. Cleaning is important
Good oral hygiene is crucial during orthodontic treatment. Plaque accumulation can lead to gingival inflammation, bleeding when brushing and swollen gums. In extreme cases, poor oral hygiene can cause demineralization and lead to white spot on enamel after bracket removal or even tooth decays!
In general, it is more difficult to brush and floss with metal braces and arch wire in place. Spend longer time and try to reach those hidden spot under the brackets. Interdental cleaning can be improved by using single tufted brush, interdental brush, floss threader or water flosser. Things are easier for Invisalign patient, they can brush like usual after aligners are removed.
7. Changes are obvious in first few months
Teeth will be pretty much levelled and aligned in the first few months of treatment. However, it take some time to close the residual spaces and perfecting the bite before braces are ready to be removed.
The lips and side facial profile will usually have noticeable improvement, especially in extraction cases for protrusion. Braces isn’t just about teeth, the ideal relationship between teeth and surrounding facial structures gives you dazzling smile.
8. Can you skip the dentist?
Depending on the types of braces, you need to get your braces adjusted at dental clinic every 4-8 weeks. Elastics tend to lose elasticity and strength after 4 weeks. Regular check-up also help to maintain the cleanliness especially those hard-to-reach area.
At our clinic in Johor Bahru, sometimes we use technology to monitor our patient progress. Dental Monitoring (DM) is a powerful App that utilizes Artificial Intelligence (AI) to remotely follow up the case and pick up issues from the scan. Using this, our dentists and patients can maintain virtual connection despite geographically far apart.
*Beware of DIY braces or clear aligner product sold online. It is almost impossible to get your teeth tracked according to treatment plan without dentist input. It might cause irreversible damage to your teeth and gum.
9. Patience is key
In general, braces take 18-24 months to finish. However, most patients will accustomed to their braces that they are surprised when it is already time to remove the braces. The treatment might be lengthy and expensive, but it’s worth it. The pain and discomfort you endure will disappear from your mind the moment you get your perfect smile after braces.
The truth is teeth move regardless you had braces before or not. But minor misalignment after braces is obvious. In order to prevent relapse, a retainer is needed to keep teeth in perfect alignment for the rest of life. Night time wear is often sufficient after 1 year. Learn more about types of retainer here.