Do Braces Cause Discomfort?
Most patients coming in to get braces tend to have a preconceived idea of what the process will be like. Quite often, these ideas can cause anxiety or unnecessary worry.
After experiencing the process of getting braces, our patients are happy to report that it is much different than what they may have expected.
They find out that getting braces is not scary at all. As the doctors and assistants talk with the patient before and during the procedure, it is common for them to relax and feel confident they are in good, capable hands.
At Burke & Redford Orthodontists, our doctors are dedicated to making our patients feel as safe and comfortable as possible during treatment, which is one of our highest priorities.
What is the Process of Getting Braces Placed?
The getting braces placed appointment in total takes around the length of a movie (1 to 1.5 hours). Depending upon the treatment plan, everything may be done during one appointment or it may be completed in two separate appointments. For most treatment plans, it is done all at one time.
All in all, the process is simple, straightforward, and it is done before you know it.
Cleaning the Teeth and Placing the Braces
After a clinical orthodontic assistant has made certain your teeth are clean and free of debris, they will place a protective “sealant” type material on the surface of the teeth where the braces will be placed. Next, the orthodontist will place braces to the ideal position on each of the teeth. Finally, a blue curing light will be used to adhere the glue that connects the teeth to the braces, so they are secure.
Special Braces for the Molars
In most cases, brackets like those used on front teeth will also be used on the back molars. There are a small percentage of cases where metal ring type brackets, called bands, are used for greater stability on the molar teeth. In cases where bands are used, the doctor will ensure they fit properly and comfortably around each molar.
Placing the Archwires
Once the brackets and bands have been affixed to the teeth, a flexible archwire will be attached to the braces. In our practice this is done by closing the built-in doors associated with each individual bracket.
For patients who would like to decorate their braces, colored ties can be placed as well. This can be an exciting option for children and young teens.
How Are Clear Aligners (Invisalign) Placed?
Taking a Digital Scan
The first step in fabricating clear aligners is to make impressions of the patient’s teeth. Burke & Redford Orthodontists use a digital scanner to capture digital impressions instead of taking physical (“gooey mold”) impressions. An intraoral scan is like having a series of photos or a video of the teeth taken and is completely painless.
The orthodontist uses the digital models of the teeth to plan the type and sequence of tooth movements needed to achieve a successful result. The results achieved during treatment are a direct result of the orthodontist planning the case. The plastic trays used are merely a tool in their hands. Choosing your orthodontic provider wisely is critically important!
Clear aligner treatment, also called invisible braces (Invisalign), does not use brackets, bands, or archwires. Instead, tooth-colored attachments are affixed to the teeth. These attachments help the plastic trays to grip the teeth appropriately for predictable tooth movement. These attachments are carefully engineered by the orthodontist during the treatment planning step described above.
Attachments are placed at the beginning of treatment, then polished away once treatment is complete.
Patients will be instructed by the orthodontist on how often to change aligners to a new set. For most people this ends up being every 7 to 14 days. Everyone’s teeth move at a different rate and each person responds differently to treatment. We will help guide you so that treatment can move efficiently but also effectively! Patients return to the office at approximately two-to-three-month intervals to be evaluated and for adjustments to be made as needed.
Does Getting Braces Hurt?
It is important to us that our patients maintain their peace of mind as the first day of treatment arrives. To alleviate any concerns, it is important to dispel the misconceptions regarding discomfort felt during the placement appointment.
While the process of getting braces may cause slight pressure in the mouth, no immediate discomfort is normally felt.
Does Discomfort Start After Placement of the Braces?
Soreness typically begins the night of getting braces put on or the following day. It is not a throbbing feeling, but more of a tenderness when chewing. The extent of discomfort tends to peak 24 hours after the appointment. This typically lasts between 2 and 4 days.
It is comforting to remember that the initial soreness will wear off and usually within this time frame!
How Can I Manage the Discomfort from Braces?
The recommended means of managing slight discomfort resulting from braces is by taking Tylenol or Ibuprofen, as needed (and as directed). These over-the-counter medications should not be taken if the patient is allergic or has any other contraindications.
Talk with the doctors about these options. Many patients do not need to take anything at all.
Proper Eating Habits
We recommend patients choose food that is soft in consistency for the first few days after having braces placed. This helps reduce the pressure applied to the teeth when they are sore.
Listed below are good examples of the types of food we recommend eating:
- Soft fruits
- Protein shakes
- Soft pasta
After the first few days of having braces, more solid foods can be gradually added to the diet as the soreness subsides.
Ready to Get Started?
If you have any questions regarding the process of getting kid braces, child braces or adult braces, our office staff at Burke & Redford Orthodontists is happy to provide answers.
We encourage potential patients to take advantage of our complementary orthodontic consultation. This is an appointment where you or your child will have the opportunity to meet our doctors and staff. Dr. Redford and Dr. Burke will offer their professional expertise for the best course of treatment after their initial examination.
This consultation is the first steppingstone toward a beautiful, straight, healthier smile.
If you are ready for a smile transformation, this appointment may be scheduled through our website or by giving us a call at (951) 699-8011. Our beautiful orthodontist offices are located in Temecula and Lake Elsinore.