If you're thinking about getting your teeth straightened, you will naturally have a lot of different questions. Don't let fear of the unknown stop you from moving forward, but learn all that you need to know so you can make an informed decision about braces. What are some of the typical questions asked?
How Long Will This Take?
The amount of time that your teeth will take to move into their ideal place will depend entirely on your individual case. Your dentist is best placed to give you a specific estimate. If you are wearing fixed braces, it can take between one and two years. Sometimes it's necessary to wear removable braces for a while after you've finished with the fixed ones.
Are They Uncomfortable?
Expect to take some time to 'break in' the braces and there may well be a little discomfort initially. For them to work they need to be able to exert some pressure, of course. Usually any discomfort is minor and can be treated with over-the-counter painkillers. You may also be able to apply a thin layer of special wax to certain parts of the brace if you find that they are being particularly problematic and rubbing against the inside of your mouth.
Will They Need Adjusting?
Adjustments will need to be made by your dentist or orthodontist to ensure everything is proceeding nicely. Don't miss out on these appointments, as otherwise it could drag on a lot longer than it needs to.
Is Talking Difficult?
Many people are worried that they won't be able to conduct a normal conversation when they first fit braces. Certainly, your speech may be slightly affected at first, but you will soon get used to the brace being in place and adapt your speaking.
What About Eating?
You may have to make some adjustments to your diet when living with a brace. Initially, you will need to stick to softer foods while you get used to wearing it. Try to cut hard pieces of food into smaller sections. Avoid sugary drinks, as they can not only lead to tooth decay but also stain the brace. It's also not a good idea to chew gum as it can get stuck to the brace and be difficult to displace.
Are Sports Okay?
Do you have an energetic lifestyle? Don't let this stop you from engaging in your favourite sport. Ideally, if you have removable braces then you should take them out and store it safely while participating, but don't forget that you need to replace it as soon as you can. If you have a fixed base, work with the dentist to design a mouth guard that is specially configured. If you enjoy participating in a contact sport, it's a good idea to wear a mouth guard no matter if you wear a brace or not.
If you have any other questions, don't forget to ask your dentist.