The Truth About Braces

If you’ve just been told you need braces or are thinking of asking about them, then there are probably lots of fears and questions going through your mind. You may know someone who has had braces and told horror stories about the whole experience. Don’t let them put you off; there are advantages and disadvantages to having braces, but some of the things you may have heard about them are just not true.

No Pain No Gain

If your braces aren’t hurting, then they aren’t working, right? Wrong. If you have to choose the old-fashioned metal braces then you will get some discomfort after fitting and tightening but it shouldn’t be painful all the time. With many modern braces, the fitting process is fairly painless as is the adjustment period. Some plastic style braces even promise no pain at all during fitting and adjustment, though the experience is probably best described as “uncomfortable” and not one you’d look forward to repeating.

Only Fixed Will Do

If you have a serious problem with your teeth, you may have been told that you require fixed braces. For whatever reason, cosmetic, sporting, fear, this may not be the right way for you. In the past, that would have meant living with crooked teeth, but now there are alternatives to fixed metal braces. Invisalign is one method which provides clear plastic retainers that are changed every two or three weeks once the old one becomes loose and stops doing its job.

Unrealistic Aims

If you’re going to get braces, be prepared for the long haul. Even the most minor corrections will take weeks rather than days before they are complete. Looking in the mirror hours after having braces fitted to see how much your teeth have moved is an unrealistic expectation and one that will only leave you disappointed. Your teeth will not move immediately and gaps will take some time to close. No matter what anyone tells you, results are, unfortunately, not instant with this treatment. Similarly, if your orthodontist gives you a date when your braces are to be removed, be warned that this could change. Treatment sometimes just takes longer than expected or it may be that you missed an appointment or didn’t follow the instructions properly. Either way, don’t plan any big celebration for that date as you may end up disappointed.

Forever Straight?

Just because your fixed braces have been removed does not mean the hard work is over. It is possible that your teeth will relapse into their old crooked ways or at least move away from their new, straight positions. This is why retainers are so important. You might think that you can wear a retainer as and when you feel like it, take it out when you’re at work or school, perhaps only wear it at night when no-one can see it. Your orthodontist has provided you with a retainer and specific instructions for a reason. This is just as important a part of the process as the fixed braces and you should treat it that way.