10 Important Things to Know Before You Get Dental Braces


Getting braces can be a daunting experience. But it doesn’t have to be scary. With the right information and advice, getting dental braces can be a walk in the park.

Why Get Braces?

Crooked teeth aren’t just an aesthetic problem. They’re also bad for your dental health. With slightly crooked teeth, the risk of cavities is higher because there are more places for the bacteria to take hold. 

However, severely uneven teeth can affect your jaw, your speech, and even cause TMDs (temporomandibular disorders).

To correct crooked teeth and create a healthy and visually pleasing alignment, braces are your best option.

What Kind of Braces Are There?

When you say “braces”, you probably think of metal wires attached to your teeth. And yes, those are still commonly used to align your teeth. But it’s not the only way to get straight teeth.

Invisalign or invisible braces are also popular nowadays. Since they’re less visible than traditional braces, a lot of people prefer them.

Finally, removable and permanent retainers are also an option. Though those are more suitable for small dental adjustments, they’re also a helpful option for patients looking to improve their smile. 

10 Things You Need to Know About Braces Before Getting Them

If you’re well-prepared, getting braces isn’t a daunting experience. But, knowing crucial facts about the process can help calm your nerves. Plus, it can also save you money. (More on that in a minute.)

Find out what 10 things dentists don’t tell you about braces.

1. You Can Have Braces At Any Age

Usually, only teenagers wear braces, right? 

Well, it’s more common for teenagers because that’s when people first notice their crooked teeth. (Having teen angst about looks also doesn’t help.)

But, there’s no age limit on braces.

In fact, an increasing number of adults get braces. For some, it’s because they can afford dental treatments their family couldn’t. 

Meanwhile, others just defeated their teenage fears of braces. People turn to braces in adulthood to try and fix the crooked teeth that are holding back their confidence.

2. Braces Aren’t Just for Aesthetics

Yes, straight teeth are attractive and visually pleasing. And most people who get braces do so because they want a boost in self confidence (and the impact that has on their mental health.)

But, braces correct more than just looks. 

The orthodontist who assigns and follows your treatment examines your entire mouth during consultations. Plus, they examine your jawbone and jaw alignment since your teeth influence your bite.

Correcting a misaligned bite is crucial to avoid problems in your temporomandibular joint (TMJ). It can even influence your posture. Not to mention your speech. 

However, the impact of straight teeth doesn’t stop there. Severely misaligned teeth can affect how you pronounce certain letters. A speech impediment may just be fixed with braces.

3. Your Bite May Also Need to Be Fixed

Speaking of your bite, it’s more important to have a healthy one than you think. The ‘bite’ is what happens when you close your two rows of teeth and then open them up again. 

When you do this, the rows should meet, not grind or exhibit too much abrasion. Similarly, there should be no big gaps anywhere along the line where the two rows of teeth meet.  

Issues with your bite can lead to TMJ-related headaches and problems with chewing and speaking if left untreated. 

So, remember that orthodontist appointments are about more than just deciding whether or not you need braces. They can mean the difference between a quick fix for a minor dysfunction and an unnoticed problem that turns into a major challenge.

4. Your Orthodontist Is an Expert on Braces

The relationship between orthodontists and regular dentists can be unnecessarily confusing sometimes. 

In simple terms, an orthodontist is specially trained in dental movement and the function of the jawbone. That means they know all of the things that a regular dentist does, but their specialist subject is how the teeth move in the mouth. This makes them the perfect choice for prescribing, fitting, and monitoring dental braces.

In some cases, dentists offer to fit braces themselves. While this isn’t always a bad thing, the reality is that dentists don’t have the same training as orthodontists.

There’s always a chance that your dentist could fit the braces wrong and you’d have to pay more to get them fixed. So, it’s best to do it properly the first time around.

5. Most Consultations Are Free

The great thing about visiting the orthodontist for the first time is that most do not charge for a consultation. This means that you can see the specialist recommended by your dentist. 

However, you can also visit a second or a third orthodontist if you want to get more opinions.

In fact, you can have as many consultations as you need to find an orthodontist that you’re comfortable with.

This is important because wearing braces is a long-term commitment. 

It involves lots of follow-up appointments, adjustments, and communication with your specialist. So, it’s best to find an orthodontist who makes you feel comfortable and easy to talk to.

6. Switching During Treatment is Costly

Another reason to take time in choosing your orthodontist is that switching to a different orthodontist can be expensive. Usually, orthodontists make you sign a contract when they put your braces on. And if you want to switch providers, this may cost you money.

Of course, sometimes a switch is unavoidable.

During the years that you have your braces on you may move. As a result, it’s not reasonable to travel to your orthodontist. If not, then you’ll need to look for a new orthodontist in your area. 

Keep in mind that may not be easy to do considering that some orthodontists don’t take patients who already began their treatment.

7. Invisalign Is Trendy, But It May Not Be Right For You

A lot of people who get braces don’t want others to see it. There’s no point in sugarcoating it: traditional braces aren’t pretty.

Luckily, you have options. A lot of people prefer invisible aligners for their looks. Braces that blend in with your teeth are inconspicuous and hard to spot.

Sadly, invisible braces are only compatible with a small percentage of patients. They can’t correct severe misalignment or jaw issues. Plus, they can only treat minor gaps and crooked teeth.

If you want your final results to be effective and long-lasting, traditional braces are probably better for you. You should consult your orthodontist to see what they recommend for you first. And you’re better off following their advice...

If you insist on an option that is unsuitable, you could just end up having to switch to metal brackets later on anyway. What’s worse, you will have to wear braces for twice as long as originally prescribed.

8. Cost and Treatment Times Differ

If you’re looking for how much braces cost and how long you need to have them on for, there’s no clear answer. Every dental practice has different prices, and how long the braces need to stay on for depends on the current condition of your teeth.

Sadly, what we can tell you is that dental braces aren’t cheap.

Generally, braces cost somewhere between $3,000 and $10,000. However, the actual price will change according to where you live and how comprehensive the fitting needs to be.

Invisible braces are more expensive than standard metal ones because they’re more difficult to manufacture. 

But just because they’re more expensive doesn’t mean that they’re a better option for your teeth. Your dentist will be able to give you advice on what kind of brackets and aligners are compatible with your mouth.

Don’t be afraid of the cost of braces. Since they’re necessary, you can’t skip getting them. But, you can make the treatment cheaper with Carefree Dental.

9. The Average Time for Braces Is Two Years

The typical treatment duration for braces is around two years. But, it will depend on how much work needs to be done.

It’s not worth taking off your braces too soon, no matter how uncomfortable they are. They need to stay on until the alignment they created is sure to stay permanent.

Jus be sure to follow the advice and recommendation of your orthodontist.

10. There Will Be Some Pain

Unfortunately, wearing and getting used to braces is not a pain-free process. While the actual fitting rarely hurts, the new sensations and pressure against your teeth will cause soreness and aching.

You may also experience sores on the inside of your gums and lips. This happens because the mouth is simply not used to having so much metal or plastic close to the tissues. However, most of these painful side effects should subside after a couple of weeks.

It can be very hard to get used to wearing braces and there are plenty of horror stories from former wearers about canker sores, persistent aches, and problems eating. Still, you have to remember that the end goal is a healthier mouth and a much more beautiful smile.

After a few months, you will barely notice your braces at all. In fact, you will wonder what all the fuss was about. But, you do need to stay patient and work through those troublesome first weeks.

Your dentist will likely prescribe or recommend an over-the-counter painkiller to help with the soreness. And, you can rinse your mouth out with a saltwater solution to alleviate the pressure and pain.

If you do this several times a day, it will keep your mouth and the braces clean and free from bacteria. Chewing and speaking will be tricky at first.

You just have to keep an eye on that end goal – a perfect smile.

The Carefree Dental blog is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The text and pictures within the content are intended for information purposes only. Readers should consult with a licensed dentist or healthcare professional before seeking treatment.

The Carefree Dental Card is not insurance and Carefree Dental is not an insurance provider.

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