Dental Braces 101

Braces 101

Once you’ve gotten braces, it’s important to know how to care for them properly. It can be a little overwhelming at first to think about all the changes you need to make to keep your braces and your teeth well cared for.

However, taking care of braces, whether they’re traditional braces, clear ceramic braces or Invisalign clear aligners is relatively simple. What’s the braces 101?

Answers to your questions about braces

Are Braces Painful?

A common misconception about braces relates to the pain and discomfort you may feel. The truth is braces shouldn’t hurt when the orthodontist applies them. Therefore, patients can relax heading into their appointment. You can rest assured the placement of your braces won’t be painful at all. However, you may feel some mild discomfort or even soreness once Dr. Lippitz engages the orthodontic wire into the brackets. In the first few hours after the braces are placed, it may take you longer to eat. This is mainly because you need to get used to wearing the braces and may need to adjust the way you chew.

In some instances, you may find your teeth are more sensitive. Avoid eating foods that are difficult to chew. You should consider limiting yourself to softer foods or liquids for several days after having your braces placed. As the day progresses, you may also feel a slight discomfort as your teeth begin to move. Ask your dentist to recommend a pain reliever just in case you may need it.

How Much Do Braces Cost?

Orthodontic treatment is highly individualized based on the orthodontist recommendations and what your budget is. The cost of braces depends on your age, insurance and type of braces you wear. If you have concerns about pricing, our team is happy to talk with you about different financing options.

Food and Eating Habits

If you choose Invisalign clear aligners, we have great news…you can still eat whatever you want! Just remove the aligners before eating, and brush or swish with water when you are ready to put those clear aligners back in your mouth.

If you choose traditional metal or clear braces, you will want to avoid food that could potentially damage your braces. These include sticky and chewy foods because they can become stuck in braces, as well as crunchy or hard foods, such as nuts, chips and popcorn. It’s probably a good idea to refrain from foods you have to bite into as well, for example, apples and corn on the cob. Try cutting food into small, manageable pieces.

Tenderness and Soreness

It’s common to experience a little tenderness or soreness after you get braces. There are many ways to alleviate this discomfort and rest assured, the pain will go away with time. One way to help relieve this pain is to dissolve a teaspoon of salt in an eight-ounce glass of lukewarm water. Gargle this solution and swish it around in your mouth for a few minutes. An over-the-counter pain reliever can also help with more severe pain. Your orthodontist can also provide you with wax to put on your braces, which can help prevent tenderness. Also, chew on the TheraBite provided by Dr. Lippitz. Doing so can greatly decrease the intensity and duration of the discomfort.

If you’re searching for affordable braces in Highland Park, Rogers Park, Deerfield, Evanston, Glencoe, Northbrook, Glenview, Skokie & Wilmette or other areas of Chicago, IL, and a team that can help you with the process of wearing braces, contact us at Lippitz Orthodontics today. We will help you with any questions or concerns.

7070 N. Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60645

(773) 508-5588

1500 Shermer Rd. #100
Northbrook, IL 60062

(847) 562-8858

650 Vernon Ave
Glencoe, IL 60022

(847) 835-3200