So, it's finally time for you to bite the bullet and get braces to straighten or correct your smile. Your orthodontist says it won't be that bad, but you are looking for some reassurance. Here is exactly what a patient can expect when getting fitted for braces for the first time.
First, you need to expect a long stay in the orthodontist's chair. It can take up to a few hours to get braces on. The orthodontist will put a bracket on each tooth with some dental cement. This part won't feel like anything at all. Next, he or she will use tight rubber bands or small wires to attach an arch wire to the brackets. This wire is what makes your teeth move. It will be tightened a bit every time you see your orthodontist until the braces are ready to come off.
The tightening is the uncomfortable part. When you first get your braces, you will most likely feel an uncomfortable pressure for up to a few days. You will also feel some tightness each time the wire is tightened. Over-the-counter pain killers are usually enough to relieve this discomfort.
Another discomfort associated with braces is the sores on the inner cheeks and lips that can be caused by rubbing against the brackets. A simple solution is to apply wax to the offending braces. Again, an over-the-counter pain medication or oral anesthetic can help with the discomfort.
Braces can be uncomfortable, but the discomfort usually only lasts for a few days. If you experience severe pain or discomfort that lasts for more than one week, it's a good idea to call your orthodontist. Be sure to stay vigilant about oral hygiene while you wear braces to prevent any cavities or discoloration of the teeth. Most patients wear braces from 1 to 3 years, and nearly all say the resulting dazzling smile was well worth the hassle.