Whether you’re a tween, an adult, or some age in between, getting braces is an important event in your life. If you have recently gotten braces, you may realize that you have a few questions about what to expect over the course of treatment. Here are some facts about braces that provide some answers.
1. A Little Discomfort Is Normal
When you first get your braces on, you may notice that your jaw feels sore, your lips feel sensitive, and your teeth ache. This feeling is an expected reaction when you first get your braces on and when adjustments are made. Your mouth has to get used to the feeling of pressure applied by the wires, and the discomfort diminishes over time. Your lips also become accustomed to the feeling of the brackets, and they soon feel like a normal part of your mouth. In the meantime, use wax to cover the pokey brackets and take an over-the-counter pain killer to relieve soreness.
2. You Can Still Play Sports With Braces
It may be a standard requirement of your sport to wear a mouthguard during athletic events. If it’s not, your orthodontist Florence AZ may recommend wearing one designed for braces. These do an excellent job protecting your teeth, braces and lips from injury. Most are designed from comfortable and moldable materials that are easy to wash and care for.
3. It Takes Much Longer To Clean Your Teeth
Having brackets and wires around your teeth make it more of a project to keep them clean. Not only do you need to make sure you spend time brushing all the surfaces of your teeth, but you also need to make sure you are brushing around each bracket too. Food gets stuck on all five surfaces of each bracket, gets crammed behind the wires, and adheres to surfaces between your teeth. This is also why flossing is important. Regular floss can be threaded through each wire and then used in between your teeth, or you can purchase orthodontic floss picks. An alternative is to use a pressurized water flossing system to really get into all the crevices. Follow all this up with a good swish of mouthwash, and your teeth and braces stay in excellent condition.
4. Your Permanent Teeth Feel Loose
Braces move your teeth by applying pressure on the tooth in the direction it needs to move. As a result of this pressure, the socket around the tooth becomes loose to allow movement. It may seem alarming when you notice a permanent tooth wiggling in your mouth, but rest assured, this is all part of the expected process. This looseness is also the reason that retainers are necessary after getting braces off. It takes a year or two for your teeth to become secure in their new location and no longer feel loose.
5. Wires and Brackets Can Break
All this tiny equipment in your mouth is exposed to a lot of situations where damage can occur. If you crunch down on ice cubes, take a giant bite out of an apple, or get hit in the face with a ball, these things may harm your braces. If you notice a loose or dangling bracket or a broken wire, don’t panic. Put wax on any pointy parts to protect against further damage to your mouth, and give your orthodontist a call. It’s always a good idea to get any problems taken care of right away as broken wires or loose brackets no longer apply the appropriate pressure to move your teeth to the correct location. It’s even possible for your teeth to move the wrong way, which extends out the amount of time you need to wear braces.