Young girl with braces wearing a yellow shirt holding a tooth brush smiling.

Getting Braces: What You Should Know

If you're reading this post, we'll assume you've already made the decision to get braces. Now you're wondering what to expect from your treatment. Will getting braces hurt? Can you really go an entire two years without eating popcorn? Even when you go to the movies?!

We're here to address some of our patients' biggest concerns when it comes to getting braces. Spoiler alert: it's not that bad and the results are totally worth it.

Your Teeth Will Be Sore

Will your teeth hurt? It depends on your pain threshold, but we'd describe it more as soreness rather than actual pain. You'll have constant pressure and pushing on your teeth, so it's only natural that you'll feel some tightness. This sometimes also manifests as a tension headache. The soreness will be the worst just after getting your braces, and you'll experience a less intense version of it each time you visit us to get your braces tightened. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever and treat yourself to soft foods until the tenderness subsides.

Orthodontic Emergencies Do Happen

Brackets fall off your teeth. Wires become loose. It happens to everyone and it's important to tell us when it does.

Sometimes we may tell you not to worry about it and that we'll fix it next time we see you. But other times that missing bracket can be a setback for your treatment, especially if you go a few weeks without letting us know it fell off. It might be a hassle to come in before your scheduled appointment to fix something that broke, but that's what we're here for.

Some Foods Will Be Off-Limits

One way to prevent orthodontic emergencies and broken brackets is to follow the dietary guidelines we give you. Much of the broken orthodontia we see is the result of eating foods that are either too hard or too chewy. Everyone knows the no popcorn and no gum rules, but things like apples and carrots should be cut into bite-sized pieces rather than bitten into, hard nuts like almonds are best avoided, and even tough meats can cause brackets to break.

Dental Hygiene Is Harder––and More Important Than Ever

The last thing you want is to get your braces off in a year or two and realize your teeth are stained––or, even worse, have cavities. But that's what happens if you don't take the time to care for your teeth while you have braces. We know it's a pain to floss and brush around all those brackets and wires, but it's important to do it. Try a floss threader or a water flosser. Bring a toothbrush with you when you're on-the-go, just in case.

They're Not a Permanent Solution

Did you think getting braces would result in straight teeth for a lifetime? Nope! Your teeth will only be straight as long as you maintain that beautiful new smile. We'll give you a retainer to wear to keep your teeth in place for the long-term. You may need to wear it all day immediately after your braces are removed, but you'll taper down to nights only eventually. Trust us, it's worth it.

Learn More About Getting Braces

We hope we've answered your questions about getting braces, but if there's anything else you'd like to know before starting your treatment, contact us to make an appointment at one of our three Minnesota locations.