Scheduling an initial braces exam can be scary for anyone at any age. Getting braces isn't a decision to take lightly, even when it's clear there are few other options. The best way to approach the initial exam is to think about it as a way to answer your questions. A dentist can tell you everything you'd want to know about how your teeth are positioned during this simple exam, and why you may want to consider treatment.
The best thing to do before you get to your dentist is to come armed with a list of questions and concerns. This is the time to go into detail about sensitivity, pain, or general discomfort. The dentist can tell you how your jaw, bite, teeth, and gums all work together, and how problems in one area can affect the development of others. The more you tell the dentist, the more likely it is they can recommend the right course of treatment for braces.
Placing The Braces
Braces are attached to your teeth in a very specific way. It is designed to use force to help pull and shift your teeth into the correct position. In order to ensure proper alignment and movement, the placement of corrective material on your teeth is essential. Thankfully, you’re working with an orthodontist with years of experience. Here are some of the steps that will occur when the material is placed onto your teeth.
Prepping Your Teeth
Before anything can be attached, your teeth must be prepped. This begins with a good cleaning. The teeth are cleaned and polished using a non-flavored cleaning paste. This will feel no different than a traditional dental cleaning at your dentist office. Following the cleaning, an object called a cheek retractor is placed into your mouth. This helps prevent saliva from building up around the teeth while the braces are attached. It also provides a better field of view for the staff.
Now that your teeth are prepped and ready for braces placement, the material is prepped. A bonding cement is placed onto the rear of each brace. This bonding cement will hold throughout the duration of the time you’re wearing them, but can removed easily once the time comes.
With the cement on the braces, the brackets are positioned in specific locations on your teeth. Each is placed onto your teeth one at a time, with the excess cement removed. This keeps the material and your teeth clean. The cement will stick, but then a special blue light is used to cure the cement to your teeth. There are some cements that do not require any kind of light curing due to the use of chemicals, but typically a light based cement will be used.
Once all of the brace brackets are applied to your teeth, the bands and wiring can be installed. The tightness applied to the bands and wiring will depend on the exact need of your teeth. Upon finishing with the tightening, you’ll be rinsed and cleaned off. When it is all said and done, you’re ready to leave with your new braces.
Removing The Braces
Removing your braces is a cause for celebration. You’ll have the straight and brilliant smile you’ve always wanted. You’ll also be happy to learn that getting your braces removed is not a difficult process. The material used to bond the brackets to your teeth is strong enough to allow your orthodontist to control their movement while still being easy to remove when the treatment is finished.
First, it’s important to note that having your braces removed isn’t painful. You might, however, experience some discomfort and sensitivity during the process. During the actual removing of the brackets, certain areas, such as your lower front teeth, could experience sensitivity to the pressure needed to do so.
How Braces are Removed
During your appointment to have your braces removed, the dental team squeezes the bracket’s base so the bond is broken and the bracket comes off easily. In most cases, the separation between the brackets and the tooth occurs where they are glued together, leaving the adhesive still on your tooth. When removing your braces, this is the method preferred by orthodontists because it reduces the chance of damage to the tooth’s structure and enamel.
Removing the Adhesive
The process of removing the adhesive left behind on your teeth is typically painless. The dental team usually uses the same kind of hand-held dental instrument that is used by a general dentist to repair a cavity. While removing your braces, however, this instrument causes very minor discomfort. In fact, many people note that it feels more like a tickle rather than pain. Only the adhesive is being removed during this process with the tooth’s enamel remaining untouched.
After Removing Your Braces
It’s natural that your teeth and mouth will feel different after your braces are removed. Some patients note that their teeth feel slimy because they are used to the roughness of the braces. You might also notice that your gums are slightly inflamed and puffy. This usually goes away after a few days of flossing and brushing normally.