The exact experience of getting braces varies for every child depending on the type of braces that you’ve chosen. For instance, if you have chosen traditional braces, it will include metal brackets, wires, elastic rubber bands and bonding glue but if the braces are invisalign then your child will only be wearing customized aligners for roughly 20-22 hours every day. But regardless of what you choose, your child may be anxious and apprehensive initially. When you explain what they can expect before, during and after the braces, they will be at ease throughout the treatment.

To help parents prepare their children for this extended orthodontic procedure, here is a list of the most frequently asked questions along with comprehensive answers.

Before Getting Dental Braces

Will dental braces hurt?

This is the biggest concern that most children have even though the procedure is relatively painless. Parents can reassure their anxious children that getting braces will only take an hour or two. However, it is also important that parents tell their children that when the braces start aligning the teeth, it may cause some pain and discomfort but it can be easily alleviated by having your child:

  • Eat soft foods for the first few days after the braces are put on.
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers.
  • Rinse the mouth with warm water containing salt.
  • Eat cold foods like ice cream and milkshake as they reduce swelling.
What foods can be eaten after getting braces?

Once your child gets used to the dental braces, they can consume soft fruits, grains, vegetables, dairy, and meats. However, to ensure oral hygiene hard, chewy and sticky foods should be avoided as they can get stuck in the metal wires and brackets.

What happens during appointments?

Your child would have to visit the orthodontist several times because the teeth straightening process takes time depending on the type of dental braces. While invisible braces show a visible difference in a month or two, traditional braces take longer to fix crooked teeth. After the braces are put on, most children need to go for follow-up appointments every four to six weeks. During these visits, the orthodontist will check the progress of your child’s teeth and if needed readjust the archwires to continue the realignment.

How long will the treatment last?

The length of treatment will depend on several factors, including the severity of the maladjustment, age, type of braces, and the oral health of your child. Nevertheless, dental braces usually take up to 2 years to show visible results.

What are the don’ts of living with braces?

To ensure that your braces work efficiently, your child needs to:

  • Be extra careful and gentle when brushing teeth.
  • Use a mouth rinse and fluoride toothpaste to remove the plaque left around the braces.
  • Avoid biting into hard and chewy foods like corn on the cob, ice cubes, sticky sweets, pizza crust, bagels and pork crackling.
  • Stay away from soda, juices and beverages that are very high in acid and sugar.

After Getting the Braces Off

What happens after the braces are removed?

Most children are excited to see the results after almost two years of wearing braces. While they will definitely see straighter teeth, they should also expect to see a few white spots on their teeth. This happens because certain parts of the teeth were covered by brackets and wires for two years. The enamel tends to undergo natural staining but these spots usually fade out after a short while.

Is it necessary to wear retainers after the braces come off?

After removing the braces, your child will have to wear custom retainers to keep the teeth straightening in place. It is very important that your child wears these retainers for at least 12 months after the removal of dental braces for sustainable results.

How to care for teeth after the braces are removed?

It is very important that parents have an oral hygiene routine in place to make sure their child’s teeth stay clean after every meal even after the braces have been removed. Apart from regular brushing and flossing, using a mouth rinse once a day is also essential. The retainer should be disinfected using a retainer cleanser daily or as recommended by your orthodontist. Finally, as a parent you need to make sure that your child does not skip follow-up dental checkups. Dental checkups ensure that no oral hygiene issues have developed while the dental braces were on so your child’s new smile remains straight and strong!

If you don’t want to take any chances with your child’s orthodontic treatment, you can count on Koch Orthodontics. Instead of traditional dental braces, we use self-ligating braces that are convenient, comfortable and have no ties or bands. To know more about them, call us at (770) 962-9560.