Apprehension about getting braces can stem from a fear of the process and its aftermath to its cost. It’s certainly true that braces are not without side effects nor are they inexpensive.

However, the benefits of smiling with more confidence and looking and feeling your best throughout the rest of your life eclipse all of those fears. The key is to be prepared.

Read on to learn more about the seven surefire ways to get ready for getting braces.

Who Gets Braces?

About 75 percent of the four million people with braces are children. This only stands to reason since dental formation changes so rapidly during this time with the losing of baby teeth and the growth of mature teeth.

If you had to have braces as a child or have a history of it in your family, it could also place your children with a higher probability. Keep a close watch on children’s teeth as their adult teeth form.

Adults With Braces

It’s possible you made it into adulthood without having to get braces. If that’s the case, you might not be aware of the costs, which can run anywhere from $5,000-$7,500. No wonder so many families without insurance delay it!

It’s tough adulting with a crooked smile, though. As you move into young adulthood and start exploring insurance options, you might wish to revisit getting braces.

You won’t be alone if you do. About one million adults get braces each year.

Partial Braces

Not all braces installations encompass the whole mouth. Some individuals — children and adults — have mostly straight smiles that can benefit from the use of partials. Partial braces are usually applied to upper or lower front teeth.

Retainers, palatal expanders, and Invisalign are all options for straightening a few crooked teeth. The best option will depend on what you and your orthodontist can decide. The upside is that it’s cheaper and less intrusive than full braces.

Now that you know who usually gets braces, it’s time to think about the best way to prepare. Follow these seven steps, and you will be prepared to handle the stress and discomfort that occasionally comes from braces.

1. Focus On Outcome

Before seeing an orthodontist, it helps to get into the right headspace. That means looking past the reasons not to get braces (side effects we’ll get to in a moment) and studying the end result. For millions of patients, that means being able to smile with confidence in an increasingly visual world.

2. Double Down On Hygiene

Another thing to do to prepare for the orthodontist’s office is to take extra good care of your teeth in the lead-up to your appointment. That means brushing at least twice per day and flossing every day.

Avoid foods and beverages that might put your teeth under strain as well. Braces are much easier when you don’t have existing pain or discomfort.

3. Prep for the Side Effects

Usually, every treatment will come with its share of side effects. These can include rubbing which leads to rawness in the mouth, headaches or jaw pain, and food getting trapped in the metal and wires.

Furthermore, braces can more easily cut and injure the inside of your mouth should you have a fall or other injury. All these factors can understandably make you apprehensive, but knowing the issues ahead of time will make you more vigilant in avoiding them.

4. Embrace Supportive Voices and Terminology

The goal of wearing braces: straightening your teeth so the crookedness doesn’t follow you throughout your life. As you prepare to get braces, look to supportive voices and learn the terminology.

People who support your decision will make it easier to think of the long-term benefits rather than the short-term discomfort. They might even be able to share some personal insights from their own experiences.

Terminology like brackets, bracket hooks, archwires, chain elastic, and separators, will help you to better understand the procedure. Learning what each of these parts of your braces do will give you a better sense of how to take care of them.

5. Come Prepared to the Orthodontist

It’s natural to have questions if you’ve never had braces before. Even if there are people close to you who have had them, they might not be up-to-date on current options and procedures.

Sit down before your visit and make a list of questions. Ask your orthodontist to explain how it works, which medications will be used, what to do for sore gums, and other issues.

6. Follow Proper Procedures

Aching teeth can be a result of the braces being too tight or it can be due to another dental issue. When speaking to your orthodontist about the process, have a long discussion regarding after-care.

What do you do about adjusting braces, removing them when necessary, and administering proper dental care (i.e., brushing, flossing, etc.) while they’re on? Avoid getting complacent and commit to the routine night after night.

7. Use This Time to Establish Healthier Habits

Many of the side effects are avoidable, just like many of the other dental issues you might face are as well. For a time, you’re not going to feel like yourself.

Use this time to snap out of destructive habits like eating added sugars and not properly caring for your teeth. The more that you’re able to establish healthy patterns, the easier it will be to get through the process of wearing braces.

Getting Braces Puts You on the Path to a More Beautiful Smile

The process can seem intimidating and expensive. The right orthodontist, however, can help you understand every component of the hardware and installation and answer any questions you might have to set your mind at ease.

Ready to take the next steps toward getting braces? If you’re in the Billings area, we want to hear from you. Contact Bennion Lambourne Orthodontics today to get answers or set an appointment at one of our convenient locations.