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July 4, 2018

Whether you are a parent or a teen considering braces, they are a great step for your periodontal future and overall health, too. When a person has straight teeth, the benefits far surpass just cosmetics. The risks of improper alignment or the inability to properly care for teeth can lead to lifelong negative effects. All of this can be avoided by wearing braces. Being a year or longer commitment, there are several questions you may have about this major life decision. Learn the answers to some of your top questions when it comes to getting braces for the first time.

 
The Right Time to Get Braces
 

Orthodontists may recommend a child get braces as early as seven- or eight-years-old. This proactive approach can help tackle issues before they become a problem. However, in many cases, if treatment that early is not an option, getting braces as a teen or pre-teen is an ideal time. This age time-frame is when the jaw and alignment are still forming into place, making the alignment process easier. The process can be especially helpful when the jaw and other areas need to be moved as well to ensure proper alignment.

 
Benefits of Earlier Treatment

 
During a child’s early dental and orthodontic appointments, they may see tell-tale signs of issues. This can be as early as six-years-old. Some of these problems can include:
 
● Misaligned bite
● Protruding front teeth
● Disproportionate jaw
 
In these situations, taking a proactive approach can be crucial to overall long-term health. Braces will move the teeth and correct alignment issues while the jaw is still growing, making for an easier adjustment. Tackling orthodontic problems early in life can also be better for one’s budget as there will be less treatment needed down the road. Explore the benefits of early orthodontic treatment to see if this is an ideal solution.

 
How Long To Wear Braces

 
When it comes to braces, each individual situation is different. For the typical teen, braces will stay on for one-and-a-half to two-and-a-half years. More in-depth jaw, alignment, and spacing issues can require them to be on for longer in order to successfully get through the treatment. Age also plays a role in how long a person will need to wear braces. Goals can be achieved more quickly in younger children with jaws that are still forming.
 

Types of Braces to Choose From
 

Braces today are more advanced than they were 20 to 40 years ago. Three common types of braces are In-Ovation R, In-Ovation C, and Invisalign® Teen. Each is different with different purposes. The In-Ovation options work on a better and best model. Both are fantastic options, leaving it your choice which you prefer. Both have special self-tightening features that reduce the number of visits to the orthodontist’s office. Also, both are smaller in size, leading to a more comfortable experience. The R braces use silver brackets with wiring and the C model uses a translucent ceramic. The R will allow a teen to choose different bands while the C has a natural appearance. 
 
For teens without jaw or alignment issues, Invisalign is an option. Invisalign does not require the installation of brackets. Instead, upon creating a diagnosis and plan, an orthodontist will give a patient a series of clear retainers that over time, will straighten out one’s teeth. These clear retainers are referred to as “aligners,” and must be worn at least 22 hours per day. They can be removed to eat or for dental care, but should otherwise be left in. There will be a few visits to the orthodontist to check on progress, but not nearly as much as traditional braces.
 
Your orthodontist will discuss with you or your child the differences between these braces. A budget will factor into the conversation, but so will the types of changes that are needed. You can discuss with your orthodontist what your budget looks like and they can work with you on a plan for success.

 
What to Expect After Getting Braces On

 
Do braces hurt? Advancements in braces have led to less pain. However, there is some soreness to be expected as the teeth are moving into a new place. A majority of this soreness occurs in the hours and days after an orthodontic appointment. Taking an over the counter medication just before the appointment, such as acetaminophen or naproxen can help with the pain. In addition, an ice pack can be used to help combat any swelling in the area.
 
For some teens, the cheeks or gums can become irritated by the newly installed brackets. You can purchase wax to be placed on the end that creates a barrier between the wire and the mouth. Topical creams such can also be used to numb the area.

 
Important Care Tips

 
When a person has braces, it is imperative to continue regular brushing and flossing on a daily basis. Be sure to purchase interdental brushes to get in between each bracket. These can be purchased online or at your local drug store. For flossing, you can purchase a floss threader to make the experience easier.
 
During meals, be sure to avoid overly chewy or sticky foods. Certain crunchy foods can also become problematic. Avoid foods that are very hard that can break any of your braces. Stick to softer foods that you do not have to take bites into.

 
Post-Braces Maintenance

 
The process of bracket removal is normally not painful at all. There will be some noises of the brackets coming off and some pressure to get this done. An orthodontist may also have to scrape off residue. Other than that, the process is simple!
 
In the first couple days of getting your braces off, expect there to be some soreness. This will pass. Depending on how well you cared for your mouth when you had braces, you may notice some discoloration. If it is an issue, you can discuss with your orthodontist and dentist on ways to whiten the area.
 
In order to keep your teeth in their newly aligned condition, a retainer is necessary. An orthodontist will tell you how long to wear the retainer. In some cases, it is two years, while for more serious issues, a permanent retainer is needed. Be sure to follow your orthodontist’s instructions to ensure your teeth stay straight and in place for the long-term.
 
For a local expert to help you or your child with all orthodontic treatment, contact the experts at Prentice Orthodontics. Get your free consultation today at 303-468-7722.