When you are looking for a “braces dentist near me”, here are answers to some of the questions you may have. Braces were once thought of as a rite of passage for many teens. But people of any age can benefit from braces. According to the Canadian Association of Orthodontists, of the thousands of Canadians with braces, more than one in four are over the age of 21. And advances in orthodontics – like clear braces and clear aligners (or Invisalign) – have made getting braces a more positive choice for many patients.

Why Do I Need Braces?

There are a few reasons why you might need – or want! – braces.

The most common reason is to adjust your bite. Your bite is how your top and bottom teeth fit together. Your bite can be affected by missing, crooked or crowded teeth. A bad bite (or “malocclusion”) can make it harder to chew some foods, and contribute to teeth wearing down sooner. If you have crowded, crooked, or misaligned teeth, you may be more likely to get cavities or even gum disease, as they are harder to clean than straight teeth.

Or you may simply want a straighter smile. Many people have misaligned teeth, but no problem cleaning their teeth or chewing. However, they may feel self-conscious about their smile, so want to get braces to straighten and align their teeth.

Will I Have “Tinsel Teeth?”

Tinsel teeth are a thing of the past. Today there are many choices for braces.

First off, traditional metal braces are a lot smaller and more comfortable than in the past. And if you’re really wanting to avoid the look of metal braces, you can ask your orthodontist if lingual (or inside) braces are right for your condition.

Beyond metal braces, you have options like clear braces (where clear or white ceramic is used in place of metal), or invisible aligners (Invisalign). Want to know more? Read our blog about the differences between metal braces, clear braces and Invisalign.

Do Braces Hurt?

Every patient experience is different. But for the most part, all you will feel is a little pressure when braces are set. And if you choose Invisalign, you won’t even experience the discomfort of having brackets applied to your teeth.

Regardless of the types of braces you choose, you may feel discomfort and pressure as your teeth move and shift in your mouth. It’s normal – and temporary. Patients typically feel the discomfort most strongly after the first visit, and each time braces are adjusted or Invisalign trays are changed.

The pain can be managed by over-the-counter pain medication, oral anesthetics like Orajel or Anbesol, eating cold foods, or applying ice packs to the outside of your mouth. If the pain feels stronger, talk to your dentist.

What Foods Should I Eat or Avoid When I Have Braces?

After adjustments it’s best to avoid hard or crunchy food for a few days. Stick to softer foods like yogurt, oatmeal, mashed potatoes or cauliflower and eggs.

If you have traditional wire braces, avoid sticky foods as much as possible…and no gum chewing! The worst is sticky and sweet foods like toffee. Those can stick around in your braces for a long time, with the sugars breaking down and causing cavities.

While there are fewer food issues with Invisalign treatments, you may still want to stick to softer foods after each tray is changed.

What Happens During Adjustments?

If you have traditional wire braces (metal or clear), you will need to visit your orthodontist periodically (about every four weeks) for adjustments. At each adjustment, the orthodontist will remove the bands (and maybe the wires) and examine your teeth. Depending on the progress of the treatment, they may then adjust the wire to ensure the teeth are shifting in the correct way.

With Invisalign, adjustments involve getting new trays, with visits spaced out a little more to about six or eight weeks.

How Long Will I Need Braces?

Generally, it takes longer to treat adults than teens, which is why braces are more commonly recommended for teenagers.

Overall treatment time depends on the severity of the problem. Simple problems involving a few teeth or closing up some space may take only a couple of months. Larger issues could take several years. How closely you follow your orthodontist’s treatment regimen can also affect the length of treatment. For example, removing your Invisalign trays frequently can increase the length of time needed to straighten your teeth.

Will I Need a Retainer?

Once your teeth are straightened, a retainer is used to keep the teeth in their new position. Retainers help ensure all the hard work to straighten your teeth remains in place. Whether you have wire braces or Invisalign, your orthodontist will likely recommend a retainer and a length of time you should use it to ensure a successful treatment.

Need a Braces Dentist Near Me? Visit Cranberry Hill Dentistry

Dr. Aaron Langdon is a specialist in family dentistry, cosmetic dentistry and orthodontics.  If you are searching for a “braces dentist near me”, choose Cranberry Hill Dentistry. We don’t just take care of your braces, we take care of your whole mouth, helping you keep your teeth and gums healthy for a lifetime. Contact us for an appointment today.

Sources:
Canadian Dental Association: Orthodontics at Any Age – https://www.cda-adc.ca/en/oral_health/procedures/orthodontics/

Canadian Association of Orthodontists: Orthodontic Treatment – https://www.cao-aco.org/en/orthodontic-treatment