No one ever really looks forward to getting braces. Having a bunch of metal wires glued to your teeth isn’t what the everyday man calls “comfortable”. They’re uncomfortable, don’t always look the greatest, and instantly put a limit on what you can eat.
But, braces are well worth it when you have that perfect smile at the end. The jagged smile has now turned into something that even Hollywood celebrities would 741be jealous of.
Even though braces are often linked with middle school awkwardness, more and more adults are turning to braces. That still doesn’t change the fact that they’re uncomfortable, but at least they’re not paired up with middle school acne, greasy hair, and awkward love relationships.
If you or your child are about to have the metal brackets inserted, here are a few things you should know.
Braces Aren’t Always Covered by Insurance
You might have heard some dads and moms say over the years, “Be careful with that mouth, I paid a ton of money for it!”
There’s no getting around it: braces are a pretty expensive procedure. Of course, it depends on what kind of braces you’re getting. Metal braces can range from $3000-$7000, ceramic braces can run you somewhere in the middle, and lingual braces are the most expensive, hovering around $10,000.
Some insurance companies only cover the cost up until the age of 18, while others don’t cover it al all. Make sure you’re looking over your dental plan first.
You’ll Be Going to the Orthodontist
There are eight different specialties in dentistry, and the one who will be dealing with your teeth straightening is your orthodontist.
If you’re in a big city like Houston, it may be hard to find the perfect place for braces, so be thorough in your search and look for someone with experience.
Braces Can Be Painful…but Not That Bad
Many people often wonder if braces hurt and for some, that could be an issue when deciding whether or not to get them.
But don’t freak out! Braces are really only painful at two occurrences: when they’re initially put on and after tightening. It’s not so much “pain”, as it is general discomfort for a day or two. Then after that, you don’t even notice it.
There is No Set Time for Braces
Another big question is “how long do I have to wear braces for?” The answer to that is somewhere between one day and 100 years.
The truth is, it’s entirely different for every person. Your brother may have to wear them seven years while your sister only had to wear them for two. It might be disheartening to hear your orthodontist say “any day now” until you realize he’s been saying that for years.
You’re just going to have to be patient.
There are No-Go Foods
One of the ways to take care of your braces is to watch what you eat. You’re going to want to avoid super hard or crunchy foods like nuts or hard candy. On the flip side, you’ll also have to avoid super chewy foods like beef jerky or bubble gum.
You’ll also want to stay away from overly sticky foods like licorice or caramels and anything you have to really bite into, like corn on the cob or a granny white apple.
Overall, avoid sugary foods because getting a cavity with braces is a huge pain.
The Extra Step for Braces Care
Just like the steps needed for a beautiful smile, there are additional steps for taking care of your braces. You’ll have to brush your teeth longer than normal to get into all those spots.
Flossing is super important, because you’ll want to get rid of all those food particles stuck in between your teeth and the brackets. You might want to at least take floss on-the-go with you so you can be sure and remove those hanging food particles.
There are Plenty of Changes
You might start to notice changes in your teeth within the first month. Suddenly some teeth look a little straighter and are starting to lineup.
You’ll also notice many changes with your braces over the timeframe. There will be regular tightenings, once every eight weeks or so, plus you may have to have rubber bands inserted. This are there to correct an overbite or underbite and may require a bit more metal put in your mouth.
Overall, braces is a pain but ultimately worth it for having that big, bright smile.