Not only can braces align your teeth into a more attractive position, they can correct extreme overbites, underbites, crossbites, and sometimes even change the shape of your face! Here’s what you need to know about braces.
1. Orthodontic work takes time
Whether you go with Invisalign, lingual braces, or traditional braces, you should prepare yourself for at least 6 months of treatment. For minor cases (in which Invisalign is ideal), it may take just 6 months to straighten out your smile. If you have more serious orthodontic needs, it may take two years or more. Basically, with each additional aspect that needs correction, the treatment timeline extends.
2. Home care for braces is a must
You have to be all-in if you want to keep your teeth healthy while wearing braces. When wearing traditional wired braces, you’ll need to use special flossers and get rid of the food between your teeth and in your braces after every meal. Particles can get stuck easily and cause bad odors if they aren’t removed frequently.
You’ll benefit from brushing 3 times a day, flossing at least twice, using mouthwash, and using a Waterpik to reach all the nooks and crannies your toothbrush and floss can’t reach. Doing all this will avoid complications like cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease.
3. Every case is different.
Less complicated straightening procedures use less-invasive and simpler methods, whereas complicated orthodontic treatments require all the bells and whistles.
If your orthodontic needs involve correcting a severe underbite, overbite, or cross-bite, you may find that your treatment may need extra support, such as jaw surgery for an underbite. Or you may get extra hookups in your braces to accommodate headgear to correct a severe overbite. If you need headgear, you’ll also have to get traditional braces in your mouth instead of a quicker treatment like Invisalign.
Each special intervention will be an extra expense and add on to the length of a standard braces treatment.
4. You need to be consistent with dental appointments
Progress can only be made when you continually go forward. You will go to a series of appointments where your orthodontist will tighten the wires or give you a new Invisalign mold. You’ll need to be consistent and go to every appointment to make sure that you progress on schedule.
If you skip an appointment, your wires won’t get tightened, meaning your teeth won’t move and you’ll have to wear braces longer than anticipated. Skipping one week isn’t the end of the world, but rescheduling a few appointments over time can result in your treatment lasting few months longer than initially estimated.
5. Your gums and jaw may be sore after each appointment
At your braces appointment, measures will be applied to shift your teeth. As with any orthodontic adjustment, there’s usually a degree of discomfort that follows as your teeth shift and make your gums and jaw feel sore. This discomfort usually subsides in a day or two and can easily be managed by over-the-counter pain medication.
6. You can finance.
All this talk of appointments and extra gear may prompt you to start crunching numbers, but rest assured that even the most complex orthodontic plan can be financed. You can opt to split up your payments in quarters or pay monthly to allow a manageable amount for your budget and income.
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