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What can you expect from orthodontic treatment?

  • Congratulations! You’re on your way to a healthier, more beautiful smile. No matter how long your orthodontic treatment lasts – your time in treatment is short compared to a lifetime with your radiant new smile.

    Now that treatment has begun, you may be asking yourself – how will my lifestyle change and how do I get the most from my treatment? The answer is simple – regardless of your treatment type (aligners or braces) your lifestlye won’t change much! You can still eat out, be active and play sports, you just have to learn how to properly care for your aligner trays or braces in the process.

    We’ve compiled a few tips below to help you get started. Always be sure to ask your doctor for full care instructions as well!

What does orthodontic treatment feel like?

Having any new appliance in your mouth may feel strange at first but within a few weeks, you won’t even notice!

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    Clear Aligners: When you first get your custom-fit clear aligners they may feel weird in your mouth. They may feel tight and your teeth may be sensitive for a few days – but remember, its important to wear your aligners for at least 22 hours a day!

    Braces: Once your braces are bonded to your teeth you may notice that your teeth feel larger and your mouth may be sensitive for a week or so.

    Regardless of your treatment type, be easy on yourself. Start by eating soft foods and avoid eating or drinking anything that’s too hot or too cold. Your perfect smile is just over the horizon now!

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    Clear Aligners: You may notice a slight lisp the first time you wear your custom-fit clear aligners. This is totally normal and is to be expected. You will start to get used to your aligners over time and your speech will adjust.

    Braces: Hidden braces, or braces that bond to the backside of your teeth, may cause you to have a noticeable lisp at first. Again, this is normal. Try slowing down your speech and focus on annunciating. Your speech may not be as affected with traditional braces but any impact on speech should resolve in about a week or so.

    Remember – your discomfort will resolve and your confidence will increase as you become more comfortable in your treatment. You’re so close to that beautiful smile you’ve always wanted!

The Rainbow Passage
In order to acclimate to your new braces, try reading The Rainbow Passage aloud three times a day. This passage was designed by speech pathologists and contains many of the sounds and sound combinations found in the English language. When the sunlight strikes raindrops in the air, they act like a prism and form a rainbow. The rainbow is a division of white light into many beautiful colors. These take the shape of a long round arch, with its path high above, and its two ends apparently beyond the horizon. There is, according to legend, a boiling pot of gold at one end. People look, but no one ever finds it. When a man looks for something beyond his reach, his friends say he is looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

How do I take care of my smile during orthodontic treatment?

Good oral hygiene is essential to the success of treatment and to your overall lifelong oral health.

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    Brushing with either braces or clear aligners isn’t hard – but it is important. Make sure to follow your orthodontist’s instructions for brushing your teeth several times each day. For aligners, make sure to brush your teeth after you eat and before putting your aligners back in. For braces, you can use a “tree brush” to check behind your archwire for any remaining food.

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    We all know, flossing is an important part of maintaining good oral hygiene. With braces it can take some practice but once you’ve got the hang of it – it’s a breeze! Flossing with clear aligners is no different than normal, simply remove your trays and floss.

    Trust us, your doctor will know when you haven’t been flossing!

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What happens after treatment?

The wait is over and your dedication has paid off: time to start enjoying your new smile! Your teeth may feel sensitive for the first few days as they get used to standing on their own, but this won’t last long. As always, it’s very important to keep brushing and flossing regularly. Ask your orthodontist about any other instructions you should follow after your treatment.

Retainers help make sure your teeth “remember” their new positions. Some retainers are removable, clear plastic trays for the top or bottom teeth. Others are permanently attached to the back of your teeth, out of sight, meant to be worn for a couple years. It’s important to wear your retainer as instructed. You’ve already invested a lot of time in your new smile – this extra effort will be worth it to make sure your teeth stay beautifully straight!

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Now that you know what to expect from orthodontic treatment, you’re ready for the next step!