Getting Braces is exciting! It’s a fabulous way to invest in yourself and in your health and appearance. When people come to my office and talk to me about getting braces, they usually want to know 3 things:
I’m going to answer each of these important questions for you.
Modern technology allows your orthodontist to use a special process and materials to glue the braces right to the surface of the teeth. We don’t have to remove any part of the tooth or drill holes in the tooth to do this – they stick right to the outside of the tooth!
In order for this glue to work we have to follow a specific process. First, we have to prepare the surface of the teeth for the glue. Our teeth are covered in enamel. Enamel is typically very smooth, but when you put a type of tooth conditioner on the enamel, it becomes rough and you can stick stuff to it.
Using this tooth conditioner, we prepare each tooth that’s going to have a brace on it for the glue. Second, we have to get the teeth very dry. Braces won’t stick to wet teeth, so after we condition the teeth, we have to get them dry and they have to stay dry for the rest of the process. Obviously, this means the rest of your mouth gets dry, too, which is kind of annoying, but doesn’t last too long.
Third we put on the glue, which comes in two parts – one part goes on the tooth and one part goes on the braces. Finally, we put the braces on each tooth in a very specific and precise position so that the teeth will move where we want them to. We shine a special light on each tooth that makes the glue hard, and that’s it.
You now have braces! Now the teeth can get wet again and the braces will stay on. The wet enamel goes back to being smooth.
Getting braces on usually takes about 15-45 minutes depending on how many teeth we’re putting braces on. So, not too long.
Getting braces on does not hurt. The process, described above, is pretty easy and the worst part is that your mouth gets really dry for a few minutes. Once your teeth start moving into their proper position, especially the first few days after getting braces, they are going to be a little tender. You can minimize the soreness by eating soft foods and taking it easy on your teeth. Cold foods can also help soothe tender teeth. The initial soreness usually only lasts a few days and our patients tell us that it’s really not bad when they know what to expect.
Getting braces is not difficult, and when done right is a very smooth process. It’s nothing to stress about – you can look forward to getting your braces worry free.