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About Orthodontics

What’s It Like to Get My Braces On?

The biggest step to your great smile is getting on your braces.

So what’s that like?

Getting your braces on is the longest appointment – most people are a bit nervous – that’s normal. We love putting your braces on because we know you’re going to find it easier and more comfortable than you expect.

Before I became an orthodontist, I spent a year working on young kids at the children’s hospital here in Winnipeg. In my office here at Polo Park, my staff and I are very comfortable with reassuring people – taking it slow and easy for your well-being and comfort. Easy peasy – no need for freezing or anything like that.

Your appointment will be about an hour and a half – a bit longer if we’re taking orthodontic records.

The actual time putting on your braces is only about 20 minutes or so.

Most of the time is showing you what we’re going to be doing, – the care of your braces, cleaning your teeth and the things you can do to make your braces go as quickly and as comfortably as possible. We’re here to answer your questions and get you started on your path to a great smile.

Bring headphones or ear buds with you to listen to your music while we’re putting on your braces – we need one of your ears open slightly so we can give you a few instructions, but you can drift off into the music.

So when we’re ready to actually put the braces on your teeth, we put this contraption into your mouth – think of it as a cheek and tongue guide to keep your teeth clean and dry for the braces to stick. It does the work to keep your cheeks and tongue away from the braces and your teeth so you can completely relax. You just drift off, listening to your music, maybe lying on a beach somewhere while your braces go on. I’m not kidding – some people actually go to sleep.

Your teeth are cleaned, dried and prepared for the glue with a solution painted on your teeth. We rinse it off and dry the teeth again – paint another solution on your teeth and then I just place a brace on each of your teeth with the glue. It’ s easy. The glue does all the work – I position the brace and we light up the glue with a bright blue light to set it. We’re done. We take out the cheek guide and you rinse your mouth and get back to normal – well the new normal with braces.

Your braces feel very odd at first – your teeth don’t feel pressure until the wire goes in, and your teeth won’t feel smooth like they did before. The braces feel rough on your cheeks at first. It takes a few days to get used to the braces on your cheeks. We also give you some wax to mold around a brace – to make it feel smoother.

We promise, you’ll quickly feel normal again – it may take a few days or a week or so. And for the first day or two you won’t believe us. “We’re crazy you might think – I’m never going to get used to these braces.” But you will – the new normal for a while. But you’re going to love to see your teeth start to move and you’ll be looking forward to showing off your great smile without the braces. We’re totally looking forward to that day too.

So with your braces on we’ll put in the wire to start guiding your teeth. We start with a very gentle wire thanks to the braces we use with the door built into them. Your teeth won’t start to feel the pressure until later in the day or in the evening. Your teeth feel the change in pressure so at the beginning that’s what you’ll be feeling. Your teeth will get used to that gentle pressure and no longer feel it, but your teeth will keep moving.

Rinsing with cool water or drinks can make your teeth feel better while they get used to the new pressure and Ibuprofen – Advil for example – is the best thing to take if your teeth are sore. Gently chewing on a soft piece of gum can also help.

Another feature of your braces can be what we call a bite turbo. This is often placed on a back tooth to keep the upper and lower teeth apart while they start to move. This allows the teeth to move faster and more comfortably. Your bite will feel weird at first, but you’ll get used to that too.

Finally, we show you how the elastics work. These are light little elastics that you hook onto the braces.

Almost everyone with braces will get little elastics or rubber bands that you put on your braces to work with your wires to guide the teeth. These elastics are small and gentle to match the light wires we use, but again- a change in pressure for your teeth so it’ll take a few days to get used to them too. Many people with regular older style braces wear heavier elastics later in their treatment. You won’t wear those heavier elastics in our office. We find the light elastics worn right from the beginning are way more comfortable and move your teeth faster and more gently!

So, after showing you a few points on the care of your braces, eating with braces and keeping your teeth clean, you’re done! People tell us it was much easier than they’d expected. All good.

We’ll get your cell number or your parents’ cell numbers so we can text you and so you can text us. And it’s the easiest way to keep in touch to keep your braces on track and comfortable. And you can text us with any questions you have at any time! I have my phone for your texts when the office is closed. So you can also text us a picture of anything you’re wondering about. It’s the best way to keep in touch to keep your teeth moving to a great smile as quickly and as comfortably as possible.

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