How to Overcome Your Fear of Having Braces
Anyone who has worn braces will tell you that orthodontic treatment was worth it. Around 4 million Americans have some type of orthodontia, and one-fourth of them are adults. Straight teeth and a winning smile are confidence boosters at any age. Aside from enhancing appearance, treatment has a number of additional health benefits:
• Brushing and flossing are easier and more effective.
• Kids and adults alike have extra motivation for maintaining their smiles with better oral hygiene.
• The risk of developing cavities, gum disease or jaw problems is reduced.
• Correcting misaligned teeth helps prevent chips and other damage.
• Chewing problems, headaches and other complications caused by tightly packed teeth are avoided.
• Correcting problems as soon as possible reduces the cost of future care.
The outcomes of orthodontia are clearly positive. Still, it’s not unusual for patients to be apprehensive before treatment.
Maybe you’re a mom considering treatment for yourself. All things considered, maybe you just want to put your child at ease. In either case, fear about wearing braces can be alleviated with better information. Below are some commonly asked questions that will help you prepare.
Does it hurt? Is anesthesia necessary?
Fear of pain is completely understandable, and it would be unrealistic to say that orthodontia is 100 percent painless. If the orthodontist senses anxiety or panic about installation, he or she may use anesthesia. However, it is rarely needed.
Most soreness occurs in the few days after fitting and installation of the hardware. Consequently the adjustment of a retainer or other appliance might take a day or two to get used to as well.
A few mouth sores usually spring up, but they heal quickly and are nothing to worry about. These can be caused by the brackets rubbing against tissue or by accidentally biting the inside of your cheek. Chewing and talking will seem clumsy at first, but you’ll quickly adjust. As a result mouth tissue will become less sensitive, and you’ll stop getting sores.
Here are some tips for coping with minor pain:
• Use ibuprofen or another over-the-counter pain remedy one hour before the appointment. Afterward, take as directed until the pain subsides.
• Eat soft foods for a couple of days. Scrambled eggs, soups, mashed potatoes, and smoothies are a few suggestions. Avoid acidic foods and drinks like fish, processed items, sodas and orange juice.
• Ask your orthodontist to recommend a wax product or soothing ointment.
I hate feeling out of control. How will I know what’s going on inside my mouth?
That’s a valid concern. It’s difficult to lie on your back for an hour or two without being able to see anything.
Do your best to relax. Your doctor is a professional who has done this many times. As a result, he’ll thoroughly explain the procedure before he begins, but here’s the typical installation process for most kinds of hardware:
• In the first place, he’ll thoroughly clean and dry your teeth and mouth.
• Bonding glue will be applied to your teeth. It may not taste very good, but it’s harmless.
• The bands and brackets that will hold the archwire in place will be affixed to the glue. The archwire will then be placed in the brackets.
• He’ll finish up with elastic bands that hold everything in place.
Is metal the only option?
No, due to advanced technology and new materials, patients have more choices than ever. Clear, Invisalign and Invisalign Teen are popular varieties for people who are especially concerned with their looks. The appearance of metal appliances has also been improved over the years, and you can even choose from several colors.
The orthodontist will go over the pros and cons of each option. It’s important to trust his recommendation; the wrong approach could result in discomfort or in treatment taking longer.
Patients who are self-conscious about their appearance, particularly kids, can take comfort in knowing that they’re not alone. Leafing through any middle school yearbook will give you an idea of how many kids are in the process of getting their teeth straightened. Also, the embarrassment of having permanently crooked teeth far exceeds that of wearing braces for a year or two.
Will I have bad breath during treatment?
None of the materials used cause bad breath however. The only reason for a foul odor is disease or poor hygiene. It’s more important than ever to brush regularly, use a mouth rinse and use specially designed floss. Having routine checkups will ensure that your teeth and gums are in good shape. Furthermore a number of new products on the market were created with orthodontic patients in mind.
Will food get caught in the appliances?
Yes, but food gets caught between teeth to begin with. Again, brushing and flossing often will keep the hardware clean. When brushing is impossible at work or school, swishing water around in the mouth during and after meals is helpful.
Focus on that day in the future when all the gaps in your teeth will be closed. Less food will get trapped, and romantic, candlelit dinners will be less terrifying.
I’m afraid that treatment will take years. What’s the typical time frame?
Every patient is different. The duration of treatment will depend on the severity of your problems. For most people, treatment lasts a year or two. You’ll start seeing a difference sooner than you think. A retainer or other appliance may be recommended long term. It’s wise to trust the expert and not attempt to rush the process.
How will I afford it?
Most insurance plans have a coverage amount set aside for orthodontics. Thus the co-payments are designed to be affordable for families. Any investment you make will pay off.
At King Orthodontics in Centerville, Ohio, we respect your questions. Our caring, professional staff can fully inform you about our many treatment options and guide you to a good decision.
How to Overcome Your Fear of Having Braces