Sometimes, our Tarrytown braces patients are a little apprehensive about the thought of getting braces on. The good news is that the braces procedure is absolutely painless and there are zero needles involved. Knowing what to expect getting braces put on can go a long way in alleviating any jitters, which is why we’re sharing what happens. Here is a step by step guide to the braces procedure, as well as a few tips for breezing through your first day with braces.
The Braces Procedure
Step One: The Consultation
Your braces journey always starts with a consultation. Consultations are complimentary at 914 Smiles because we know that choosing a braces provider is an important decision and we want you to feel comfortable. At your consultation, we’ll show you around our Tarrytown orthodontic office. Then, a team member will take diagnostic records, including digital photos and low-dose, digital x-rays. We’ll also take a quick, comfortable, digital impression using our iTero® or TRIOS® scanner. No gagging on goopy, putty-filled impression trays! A computerized, 3D model of your dental anatomy is created and Dr. Kothari plans out your tooth movements directly on the model.
Dr. Kothari will perform an exam to evaluate your bite. He uses his findings and your diagnostic records to develop an accurate diagnosis.
Once Dr. Kothari has a diagnosis, he’ll come back and chat with you about your treatment options and his proposed course of treatment, including how long you’ll wear braces. You’ll have the opportunity to ask questions. We’ll wrap things up by going over the braces cost, your insurance and our flexible payment plans.
Step Two: Getting Braces Put On
Getting braces on usually takes about an hour. Does getting braces hurt? Nope, not at all. You’ll sit back and relax in a treatment chair. A team member will put a retractor in your mouth, which is just a device that holds your mouth open and keeps you comfortable. We will apply a special solution to prepare the surface of the teeth for the adhesive we use. After we do this, we’ll rinse the teeth off and dry them before brushing on the adhesive. We’ll stick your brackets to the glue and then cure them with a light so they stay put throughout your treatment. When the brackets are in place, we’ll thread the upper and lower archwires through them and secure the wires with ligatures, or tiny elastics or metal ties. The archwire is bent and as it returns to its original position, it puts pressure on the teeth, which is what shifts them into place.
Before you leave, we’ll go over everything you need to know about caring for your new braces, including how to brush and floss, what to eat with braces and the foods to avoid. You’ll feel informed and confident about your new hardware!
Step Three: Adjustments
After getting braces on, you’ll come in for periodic adjustments, typically every six to eight weeks. These visits are quick and are a great time to ask questions or bring up any concerns. Dr. Kothari will check that your treatment is on track and you’re progressing according to plan. Getting braces “tightened” also doesn’t hurt, though your teeth can be sensitive afterwards. Dr. Kothari occasionally swaps out your archwires for new ones that are programmed to achieve certain tooth movements. Then you’ll go on your way.
Step Four: Taking Off Your Braces
When your treatment is complete, you’ll come in to have your braces removed. Getting your braces taken off doesn’t hurt and it’s actually even faster than getting braces put on. We’ll use special tools to remove your wires and then loosen and take off your brackets. He’ll scrape off any leftover adhesive and polish your teeth. Then, we’ll let you check out your beautiful new smile in the mirror.
Step Five: Retainer Time
The final step in your braces experience is getting fitted for a retainer. A retainer locks in your bite and holds your teeth in their new positions so that your smile lasts a lifetime. Wearing a retainer is the only way to maintain your results. Without one, the teeth will usually shift back to their old places. Dr. Kothari will give you instructions for wearing your retainer but, eventually, you’ll only need to wear it at night. Since we have a 3D printer in our office, we can design and fabricate your retainer at 914 Smiles, ensuring you get the perfect fit.
Tips for the Best Braces Experience
Here are a few things you can do before getting braces on and in the few days after that will help the experience go as smoothly as possible:
- Before your appointment to get your braces put on, schedule an exam and cleaning with your primary care dentist. This way, your teeth will be sparkling clean and ready for your new hardware. If your dentist spots any problems like a cavity, they can take care of it prior to starting orthodontic treatment.
- While getting braces put on doesn’t hurt, getting your braces adjusted, can leave your teeth feeling tender after. This is normal and the discomfort will go away on its own. However, if you want, you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever before your braces adjustment visits. This way, it will kick in by the time you start to feel any sensitivity.
- Stock up on braces-friendly foods like yogurt, mashed potatoes, applesauce, and ingredients to make smoothies, ice cream, popsicles and soup before getting your braces on. Since your teeth and gums will be sensitive for a few days, sticking with soft foods and cold foods and drinks is your best bet until you feel ready to tackle your usual diet. Cutting your food into smaller pieces also makes chewing much more comfortable.
- To manage discomfort and irritation during your first week with braces, swish with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt dissolved in a glass of warm water) as often as needed. If the brackets or wires are rubbing on your cheeks or lips, break off a tiny piece of orthodontic relief wax, roll it into a soft ball between your fingers and place it on the part of your braces that’s bothering you. You should never feel any true braces pain and the discomfort will go away in a few days.
There you have it, everything you need to know about getting braces on. If you’re ready to start your smile transformation, schedule a complimentary consultation with our Tarrytown orthodontist, Dr. Kothari, today. Set up your appointment by calling or texting us at (914) 332-0900.