Starting braces is like building a house. If you start to build before a plan is completed, the result will be less than ideal and take longer to complete.
The orthodontist needs to evaluate your wants and needs before presenting a detailed plan. To do this they will interview you and your family, evaluate diagnostic x-rays, photos and a model of your teeth. This all takes anywhere from a few days to a week or more.
At our office the patient and family is presented with a detailed plan that outlines all the issues to be addressed, the initial treatment plan and any known problems or limitations regarding the treatment. Only when everyone agrees with the plan are the braces started.
An important part of the orthodontic plan is that is needs to be re-evaluated at every appliance adjustment to be sure everything is on track and no changes need to be made. Almost every treatment lasting for more than 12 months will be reevaluated at about the mid-point to see if adjustments need to made to the plan.
The colors for braces are actually small plastic rings that connect the brace to the wire. They are changed at almost every adjustment appointment. The rings come in 30 or more different colors. There are clear rings for clear braces and silver rings for metal braces for those who do not want fun colors.
Many of our patients will choose colors for upcoming holidays such as orange and black for Halloween, red/white/blue for Independence day, etc.
Clear rings can become stained and discolor depending on the foods you eat. Food that is yellow, like mustard or curry will discolor the ring ties.
Self-ligating braces such as Damon, Speed and Inovation are highly advertised to the public as a better and faster alternative to other brace products. These types of braces do not require a ring tie to attach to the wire, and no colors are used.
Ask your orthodontist for the colors available.
Mostly no. However, there are a few times they can be uncomfortable.
When you first have the braces placed, they will irritate the lip and cheek for the first few days until you are more used to them. The orthodontist will provide soft wax to cover the braces so you can adjust a little at at time. The day after placement will be the most difficult. Every day after will be better. Which ever side of your face is on the pillow when you sleep will be the most sore.
The teeth will also be sore for the first few days. It feels like having a seed or food stuck between your teeth that you can’t take out. More annoying than sore.
Taking some Tylenol, Motrin, etc. before have braces placed or an adjustment will be helpful. Also, chewing some gum, or a chew wafer for the half hour after the adjustment will make the teeth less sore.