The physical benefits of a great set of teeth are easy to see—great smile, ease in chewing, and proper speech, among the few. When your teeth are crooked, though, it affects not just your physical appearance, but your mental well-being as well.
This is why millions of Americans are wearing braces every year. According to Montano & Cardall Orthodontic Specialists, a dental practice that offers braces in Bakersfield, California, patients can range from 5 years old to 85.
There are dozens of myths mixed with facts about what it’s like to wear braces that someone who’s about to get theirs may not know what to believe. So, here’s what you can really expect when you get braces for your teeth:
On the Day
Expect the process of having your braces put on your teeth to last between an hour to two. Your dentist or orthodontist will start this process by putting a band around your back molars. They then glue the brackets on your teeth. Beware: you’ll taste something terrible. This is followed by connecting the brackets with wires and securing them with elastic bands.
You will feel pain and soreness in your gums and teeth after a few hours. This will last for about a week or until you get used to the pressure of the braces slowly straightening your teeth.
During the First Week
Apart from pain and soreness, your cheeks and inner lips may receive a few nicks from running across the braces. During this time, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends soft, no-chew foods like soup, yogurt, and ice cream.
After Six Weeks
A month after your initial appointment, you may be used to the pressure and not feel pain. This means your teeth have settled into the initial position intended by the brace.
Six weeks after your first appointment, you’ll meet with your orthodontist to have your braces adjusted so they can put pressure on your teeth once more and continue straightening them. Depending on the state of your teeth, you may wear braces for up to two years.
When you can finally remove your braces, all the pain and time should be worth it. Now, you can show off your straight, pearly whites and smile with more confidence.