Braces are a standard orthodontic procedure, but they are a big deal regardless of the intended user’s age.
Going through orthodontia can be a significant life adjustment and will take some getting used to, no matter how prepared you think you are for the procedure.
As well as impacting your physical appearance, braces can also affect your mental health since the metal-mouth look can be off-putting for many wearers.
Going through orthodontia is an individual experience, as no two experiences are the same.
Still, you must prepare yourself mentally and physically before committing to the procedure.
Being well-prepared is essential for making the transition to wearing braces as smooth as possible and ensuring that you make the best choices for yourself and your smile.
There are many ways that you can prepare yourself before getting braces, from ensuring that your fridge is well stocked with brace-friendly foods to purchasing the supplies needed to maintain the care of your new braces; we’ve outlined a few ways to prepare yourself for getting braces below, continue reading to discover more.
Get Your Emotions In Check
The first step in preparing yourself for braces is to prepare yourself emotionally for the adjustment that wearing braces will have on your life.
As touched upon in our introduction, getting braces can be jarring both physically and emotionally, so the chances are that the first time you see yourself with them will be an emotional time.
Before heading to your local dentist’s office, you might be feeling a mixture of emotions such as nervousness, fear, or reluctance.
It’s easy to let these emotions take over; it’s essential that you prepare yourself by focusing on the positives that braces provide instead of the negatives – although we understand that this is easier said than done.
Get yourself in the appropriate headspace by focusing on the benefits that wearing braces will provide you with.
From giving you confidence in your smile to improving your overall oral health, braces may seem terrifying at first, but focusing on the positives they provide wearers with will make it a little less daunting.
Choose The Type Of Braces
Let’s face it when an individual first hears that they require braces, images of brackets, wires, and multi-colored rubber bands spring into our minds. However, unbeknown to most, thanks to the advancements in modern dental technology, multiple teeth-straightening methods are available for individuals with uneven teeth. Some of which provide the same results as braces minus the unsightly metal-mouth look!
Although metal, wired braces are the more traditional, widespread option for straightening teeth, other options are available. Ensure that you discuss some of the following options with your chosen health practitioner to ensure that you make the best choice for yourself and your dream smile.
- Invisible Aligners – A lesser-known teeth-straightening method, invisible aligners are rapidly growing in popularity across many different age groups. Custom-made out of high-quality dental-approved plastics, clear aligners are designed to fit your teeth perfectly and gradually shift them into an improved position using a push force that guides teeth into their corrected positions as the apparatus is worn. Unlike dental braces, you can complete the treatment process for aligners in the comfort of your own home using from-home kits like the ones from ALIGNER. For more information or to order your first kit, look at their website or follow their blog, which is full of helpful advice from what you need to know before going for braces to teeth whitening solutions.
- Lingual/Ceramic Braces – Like traditional braces, lingual/ceramic braces work through the use of metal brackets, exerting gradual pressure on the surface of your teeth to shift your teeth into appropriate placement slowly. However, unlike the unmissable presence of traditional metal braces, both lingual and ceramic braces provide wearers with a more discreet option for straightening uneven teeth. Ceramic braces are color-matched to your teeth’s natural shade, making them harder to detect than traditional braces. In contrast, lingual braces are fitted on the surface of your teeth which is closest to your tongue, making them much more challenging to detect than other orthodontic options. Although ceramic and lingual braces are a good option for those who want to avoid the metal-mouth look that traditional braces provide users, this discretion method comes at a high price. It can set wearers back $8,000 to $10,000, unlike conventional forms of braces. Not to mention, as well as being costly, ceramic and lingual braces can be challenging to maintain, as due to their materials, they can stain or break easily, adding to their overall expense if they do break.
- Inman Aligner – Like other forms of dental aligners, the Inman Aligners are a viable option for those that suffer from malocclusion of the frontal lower or upper rows of teeth. The Inman Aligner only covers the first couple of front or bottom teeth, leaving the teeth at the back of the mouth untreated. The Inman Aligner provides wearers with many attractive benefits, from being able to swear the apparatus anytime and in any place to being one of the most cost-friendly teeth-straightening solutions on the dental market. The only downside is that they are not suitable for those suffering from severe malocclusion issues and that they have to be pre-programmed by a health professional, meaning that you cannot complete the treatment from home, unlike other aligners, which we discuss in more detail in our next point.
As you can see, each type of dental brace has its pros and cons, which is why it’s critical to discuss all your options with your dentist before settling on a choice.
Not to mention, you’ll also have to consider how to personalize your dental braces and decide on the color of your brackets and rubber bands holding them together.
Indulge In Chewy/Crunchy Food
Aside from the apparent drawbacks of dental braces, one of the worst aspects of getting braces is avoiding chewy or crunchy foods to ensure that your newly fitted braces don’t break.
While you wear braces, you will have to adhere to a strict list of foods that you can and can’t eat for the duration of your treatment, since it will avoid breakages and make it easier to keep the apparatus clean. For this reason, it’s a good idea to get all your cravings from chewy/crunchy food out of the way before you get your braces fitted, as it will give you the mental satisfaction of being able to eat what you want for the last time in a while!
Prepare To Be Uncomfortable
Not only can getting braces to knock you both mentally and physically, but they can also be painful – so prepare to be uncomfortable! Braces put constant pressure on your teeth, and as your misaligned teeth shift into their corrected positions, it can cause pain in your mouth and jaw areas.
Although this pain won’t last forever, and you’ll soon grow accustomed to the uncomfortableness that wearing braces provides, it’s well worth stocking your cupboards with some pain relief during those first couple of days! You can also discuss the after-effects of braces and any other queries you may have with your orthodontist to prepare yourself for what to expect after getting dental braces.
Sandra is a health blogger based in San Diego, California. She is passionate about living a healthy lifestyle. She loves being outdoors and exploring new places with her husband. She is a mom of two awesome kids and a dog named Luna!