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Nine Things No One Tells You About Braces

When you announce that you are getting braces, anyone who has had them before will tell you their own stories. Before I got my own braces when I was a teenager, all my friends tried to scare me by telling me all the horrible things they experienced: the terrible pain, the strange metallic taste, how easily they broke their brackets! When I finally got to the orthodontist, I was scared out of my mind. I didn’t want to listen to him, or even get braces at that point. As he put the braces in my mouth I still continued to act out and not cooperate with him. A few moments after he finished, I realized that they really weren't that bad: I guess everything my friends told me wasn’t true. The orthodontist gave me a list of recommendations as to what I can eat, what I shouldn’t eat, how long it would take me to get used to having braces and how I should expect it to feel. Here is a list of things that your friends and family won’t tell you about getting braces:

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1. They aren’t supposed to hurt.

After you get your braces, you shouldn’t feel any paint. If you are experiencing some kind of pain, such as a stabbing pain from one of the wires, you should call Advanced Dental NYC immediately! You need to schedule an appointment to adjust the wires in your braces. Unlike what everyone seems to say, braces are not supposed to hurt other than some mild discomfort after an adjustment.

2. Your braces will collect food.

No matter how careful you can try to be, no matter what you eat, food is always going to get stuck in your braces! But not to worry, there are many safe ways to get it out. As you continue to wear your braces you will be a master at cleaning them out in no time. You will be able to remove even the most stubborn food out from around your wires and crackets, without the fear of bending or breaking your brackets.

3. You do actually need to follow your orthodontist’s list of approved and forbidden foods.

When I got my own braces, I wasn’t sure how strictly I needed to follow my orthodontist’s advice on what foods to avoid. But I quickly figured out that these rules are very important: I ended up continuing to eat chewy and stick foods like gum and had to pay a few unplanned visits back to Advanced Dental NYC to fix the mess I had gotten myself into. If you follow the instructions the orthodontist gives you, you’ll be able to avoid the problems that I had to go through, and avoid any additional visits to the office!

4. The change in your bite will be noticeable.

As the braces move your teeth into new positions, it will feel as though they are out of place. It will especially be noticeable when you bite down on something or chew. But don’t worry, you will quickly become accustomed to this new and strange feeling.

5. Brushing your teeth is more important now than ever before.

Because food can so easily get stuck in or around your wires and brackets, brushing your teeth is essential to maintaining your braces and oral hygiene. The acid from the food that gets stuck around your teeth can break down your enamel and form cavities, and the last thing that you want is finishing your treatment and ending up with cavities! Brushing your teeth thoroughly will help you avoid that problem altogether.

6. You will have to make your own adjustments.

If you need to have an expander or a headgear piece you will be expected to learn how to do minor adjustments on your own! It might seem scary at first, but eventually you will learn how to properly adjust it every night before and after you brush your teeth. You have to be more involved in your treatment than those patients who don’t have additional pieces, but you won’t be expected to do anything too complicated or time consuming. If you want your treatment to be effective and finish during the estimated time frame, keeping up with things such as adjustments is crucial!

7. The time goes by faster than you think.

When patients, especially kids, hear their orthodontist tell them they have to wear braces for over a year they tend to complain about it. At first, a year or two sounds like a really long time to have braces on. But by the time your braces come off, you’ll realize that all that time and discomfort is worth having a beautiful smile that you can be proud of. You will realize that a year or two wasn’t really that long of a time, and you’ll start to notice so many things you haven't before: how easy it is to chew or how great your smile looks. Even the patients who had to wear braces for three years think that it had definitely paid off!

8. Invisalign is a good option, but it isn’t right for everyone.

Invisalign may seem like a great option for those who don’t like the look of metal braces in their mouths, or the complications of having brackets and bands. Without the need for wires and brackets, Invisalign surely seems to be an easy and comfortable solution. But turns out, it's not for everyone. Some people have alignment problems that are too serious for Invisalign to be able to fix, and metal braces can be the only option.

9. There are a lot of things you’ll have to relearn.

If you play an instrument such as a flute, you will have to learn how to adjust to having braces in your mouth. I can tell you from experience, there is definitely an adjustment period after you get your braces! But after a few weeks, you will feel comfortable and natural again, so be sure to wait it out!