5 Questions to Ask When Wearing Braces for the 1st Time

There are a number of benefits to getting braces. They can be used to treat crooked teeth, gaps, overbites, under-bites and more. In short, they are used to give you a more perfect-looking smile. If you are looking for information on treatment options, you can find out more online from the American Association of Orthodontists. Here are five questions you should ask when getting braces for the first time.

How do I properly clean my teeth and braces?

This is one of the most important things you need to know. Braces may trap pieces of food and cause a number of other dental problems, if you do not maintain good oral hygiene. You will need to brush your teeth every single time you eat something.

Use a brush with soft bristles so you do not accidentally damage your braces. You should brush slowly in a a circular motion. Be sure you still floss even if it is now more difficult. Using an interdental toothbrush and swishing anti-bacterial mouthwash are helpful as well.

Are there any eating restrictions with braces?

While wearing braces, you should avoid foods that are especially hard. There are also a number of foods that easily get stuck in braces. Here is a list of things to avoid:

  • Nuts
  • Popcorn
  • Gum and sticky items
  • Hard candy
  • Corn chips
  • Chocolate
  • Pretzels

Try to stick to soft foods. You should also cut up larger items into smaller, bite sizes. It’s always a good idea to consult your dentist or orthodontist on diet restrictions they want you to follow. For more suggestions, you can check out this list from the American Dental Association.

How long will I need to wear braces?

There are a number of factors that affect treatment times. For a specific time frame, you will need to consult your orthodontist. Generally, treatments last between 18 months to two years. You may also be required to wear headgear or retainers after the braces come off.

Are braces painful or uncomfortable to wear?

Painful is a strong word. Braces should never cause you any serious or extreme pain. You may feel a bit of tenderness or discomfort for a few days after you first get braces. This might also happen each time some adjustments are made to your braces. If discomfort persists after three days, you should contact your orthodontist.

Will I need a retainer after the braces come off?

In most cases, you will need to wear a retainer after your braces come off. This is to make sure the new tooth alignment stabilizes after treatment. Typically, you will need to use a retainer for the same length of time you wore your braces.

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