Braces are an incredible tool when it comes to creating a beautiful and healthy smile. Braces are one option for orthodontic treatment that can help correct malocclusions, or “bad bites,” especially in young people whose jaws and teeth are still developing.
Traditional braces gently move teeth into the right position by applying constant pressure. Small metal or ceramic brackets are affixed to the teeth to hold an orthodontic wire, which will be adjusted at appointments throughout the course of treatment.
Braces may be applied to all of the teeth — as in Phase II orthodontic treatment — or just to a few teeth — more common in Phase I treatment. Other appliances such as rubber bands or headgear may be recommended to help the braces move the teeth in the right way.
Schedule an initial consultation to talk to our orthodontists at Rockland Pediatric Dental & Orthodontics about the treatment plan that is right for your child!
What can I expect when I get braces?
Make sure you are up to date on any routine dental visits. About a week before you get braces, your orthodontist may schedule an appointment to place “spacers” — small, donut-shaped rubber bands that fit between the back teeth and help make space for the metal bands that will anchor your braces.
The appointment for applying braces will probably be the longest one you have during the course of treatment — plan on being at our New City office for about two hours. While you might find such a long appointment a bit uncomfortable, rest assured that getting braces is painless.
During this appointment, your orthodontist will use an adhesive to stick a bracket to each tooth. Once the adhesive is cured, or hardened, they will thread a wire through the brackets and secure it with tiny O-shaped rubber bands called ligatures. These bands come in many colors — our patients love expressing themselves by choosing favorite combinations or showing off school or team spirit!
At the end of your appointment, we will explain how to care for your braces — including brushing and flossing and avoiding certain foods and drinks — and we will answer all of your questions about living with braces. Your teeth will likely feel a bit sore for the first few days after you get braces — warm saltwater rinses, cold foods (ice cream, yum!) and over-the-counter pain relievers can all help you feel better.
How do I take care of my braces during treatment?
The length of orthodontic treatment is different for each person, but there are some things that will help all patients successfully find their best smile:
- Brush and floss regularly, being careful to clean around brackets and between teeth. Ask your orthodontist for tips on reaching difficult spots.
- Continue to see a dentist every six months for routine cleanings and check-ups.
- Avoid hard, crunchy, or sticky foods like popcorn, caramels, hard candies, carrots, apples, or nuts. And stay away from sugary drinks and sodas, too.
- Wear rubber bands as instructed by your orthodontist.
- Wear a mouthguard when you play sports.
- Contact your orthodontist right away if a bracket or wire comes loose.
In addition, be sure to keep all of your orthodontic appointments at Rockland Pediatric Dental & Orthodontics. These short visits allow your orthodontist to check your progress and adjust your braces to be sure you’re working toward the best smile possible.