Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you. Although it is possible to go through life with misaligned teeth, there’s no question that our smile can impact our quality of life. The good thing is that, thanks to braces, you are never too old to give your smile the revamp it needs.
Braces have continued to grow in popularity as more people recognize the myriad benefits of having straight, well-aligned teeth. Before you get those braces though, it’s important that you consider the following.
1.Determine Your Budget
Braces vary in cost depending on the type of braces you need, the orthodontist you use, the severity of misalignment to correct and your aesthetic preferences. Classic metal braces typically cost the least. Invisible braces are pricier but they come with the advantage of being more discreet.
Whatever your budget, orthodontists usually offer convenient payment plans that allow you to spread the cost over several months.
2.Get Your Teeth into Good Condition
You should fit braces when your teeth are in good shape. Before you book an appointment to have braces fitted, consult with your dentist. The dentist can identify cavities, plaque and other problems that need rectifying beforehand. They will also share invaluable tips on keeping your teeth clean throughout the period you will be wearing braces.
Even after the braces are fitted, continue visiting the dentist to ensure your oral hygiene is always up to par.
3.There Will Be Some Pain
It would be nice if one could say brace installation is a painless process. That, unfortunately is not the case. You are trying to force your teeth into a position that is different from the one they’ve been accustomed to for years. There’s going to be some discomfort.
The installation process should take up to two hours. As much as possible, don’t schedule any work or other strenuous activity after the procedure. Plan to take the day off and rest.
4.Brace for Temporary Discomfort
You will eventually get used to wearing braces, but the first few days will feel awkward. The discomfort is caused by the unnatural pressure being exerted on your teeth. You can give go easy on yourself by sticking to soft foods for the first few weeks.
If you can endure the tenderness, do so. If not, some over-the-counter pain medication could help. Note that you are likely to experience some discomfort each time the braces are tightened as well.
5.You May Experience a Lisp
Braces may bring a change to how you speak. Remember that speech occurs as a result of movement of the tongue, mouth and jaws together. When you fit brackets to your teeth, there will be an immediate impact to how you speak.
Try not to worry, however. A temporary lisp is just part of your body’s adjustment to the foreign hardware it’s been introduced to.
6.Change Your Diet
Eating soft foods may help with the discomfort of the first few days of wearing braces, but long-term, your diet will have to change. Any food that is too hard or chewy won’t be palatable when you are wearing braces. It could also crack the brace wire or bracket.
Typically, apples, hard cookies, corn on the cob and bubble gum aren’t recommended for anyone wearing braces.
Some people are ready to wear braces for as long as is necessary to get their teeth perfectly straight. Others, however, have a deadline they are trying to beat. Consider for instance a couple with a wedding in six months who want to show a straight set of teeth in their wedding photo album.
Discuss timelines with your orthodontist and make it clear if you want to get the procedure done within a certain period. Usually, braces are worn for 18 to 24 months, but this can be shorter. People with mild alignment problems could be finished with their braces in just six months.
Forewarned is Forearmed
Braces are good for your teeth and smile. However, you are likely to reap their maximum benefit if you familiarize yourself with these factors before going ahead with the procedure.