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Getting Fitted For Braces, What To Expect
What is it like being fitted for braces? Whether you are a child or an adult getting braces, it is important to be prepared for what lies ahead.
By: Dr. Aly Kanani
Throughout a straightening treatment, braces will be working to move and correctly align the teeth. During this process, the back molars could be forced too tightly together. This is not only very painful, but it also increases the likelihood of cavity development. Patients with an overcrowded mouth are at greater risk of this problem.
From tooth extraction to spacers, or small elastic rings inserted between molars, many of the patients at Langley Orthodontics require a few dental treatments to lessen overcrowding before being fitted for braces. "If this is the case," says Doctor, "we will use orthodontic spacers between the back teeth to ensure that there's enough space between those teeth before having braces fitted."
The First Day
Another preliminary step to getting fitted for braces is to have an orthodontic impression made of the top and bottom teeth. This is done by filling a dental tray with alginate, a molding powder. Once this powder is mixed with water, it takes on the consistency of thick batter. The tray will then be placed in the patient's mouth, over the teeth. Within a few minutes, the mold will begin to 'set' into a rubbery consistency, casting a perfect impression of the patient's mouth.
Once the imprints of the gums and teeth are complete, the orthodontist will pour stone or plaster into the imprints. This creates a 3D version of the patient's teeth that can then be used for examination or for fabricating dental appliances.
Finally, it's time to get braces. Typically, it will take 1-2 hours for an orthodontist to attach the braces. The orthodontist will first insert a plastic mouth guard into the patient's mouth to keep the work area unobstructed by the patient's lips. Then, the teeth will be thoroughly cleaned and dried. Bonding glue will then be applied to each tooth, and the brackets will be attached. This glue has a slightly bitter taste but is perfectly safe. Finally, the archwire will be inserted into the brackets and secured to each tooth with elastic bands.
Does It Hurt?
Most distress comes from opening the mouth for so long. Patients often find that their lips are slightly sore from being stretched by the mouth guard, but - again - this causes only minor discomfort. However, the patient can expect some soreness of the teeth and mouth for about a week following the braces fitting appointment.
Tips For Dealing With The Pain
"I highly recommend that patients stick to soft foods for the first couple of days," says Doctor, "and over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen can be used for the pain if necessary."
Additionally, some patients find the use of orthodontic wax works well to avoid mouth sores in the first few weeks after having braces installed. By just placing a little wax on a bothersome bracket, patients can enjoy instant relief. After a while, the mouth will begin to toughen, and the wires and brackets will no longer cause so much discomfort. In fact, after about six weeks, many of Dr. Kanani's Langley Orthodontics patients admit that they don't even notice their braces any longer.
To learn more about being fitted for braces or to schedule an initial consultation, contact Doctor (http://www.langleyorthodontics.com/
The lower cast is usually done first followed by the upper. With the upper molding, it is common for the patient to think that the alginate is going down their throat, but this is never the case. Dr. Kanani assures his patients that there is no reason to be nervous. All patients will feel is a minor discomfort, if there is any discomfort at all.