How braces are put on: step by step process

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Ever wondered how braces are put on?  The process of getting braces is one of the most common questions we get at the OrthoBee Orthodontics. We will discuss the steps of putting on braces and explain why they are important.

Before getting braces:

Before placing orthodontic appliances, we work with your general dentist to ensure that your teeth have a healthy foundation, free of cavities and gum disease. It is possible to get braces if you have crowns or bridges, however, if you have additional restorative needs, we coordinate with your dentist. In many cases, new crowns and bridges are placed at or near the end of the orthodontic treatment. Another consideration is an impacted wisdom tooth, which can often be addressed during or after orthodontic treatment.

Braces day:

Putting on the braces is an important step because they will remain on your teeth throughout your treatment, and that is why we schedule up to 1.5 hours. Please prepare by showing up on time, with your teeth brushed and flossed. Since fluoride toothpaste can interfere with the bonding process, it is best to brush without toothpaste before your appointment.

The bonding of braces is quite painless and no injections are needed. However, you can expect some discomfort that evening or the next day. For your comfort, you can take a Tylenol before your appointment to minimize the soreness. The soreness usually lasts for the first few days.

We prepare the teeth for braces by inserting cheek retractors to keep your mouth dry. You will feel a bit dry from the air and suction used to prevent saliva contamination. Contamination with saliva interferes with the braces adhering to the teeth.

The teeth are cleaned on the surfaces where the braces will be placed. First is a mechanical cleaning (with pumice and water) to remove the debris of the tooth surface. This is followed by a chemical cleaning (called etch). Next, a primer is added to the teeth and the adhesive is added to the braces. The curing light, a high-intensity LED light, is used to harden the adhesive and set the bond. Bands may be placed on the molars to serve as anchors.

 Once all the braces are placed, the wires are placed. The last piece of the braces process is the fun part: braces colors! You can change your braces colors (called ties) at every visit so you can get creative. The final check is to ensure that you do not have any interferences with your braces or any poking wires.

Tips for dealing with your new braces:

  • Stick to soft foods for the first day or two – soup, yogurt, smoothies, milkshakes, scrambled eggs, mac and cheese, etc. Visit our blog for braces-friendly recipes, such as
  • If necessary, use over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
  • Use orthodontic wax (included in the braces kit we provide you, and at drug stores) for any areas that feel sharp or irritating. To apply, pinch of a small piece about the size of the bracket, squash the wax between your fingers and press it on the brackets that are bothering you.
  • Avoid sucking on or touching your mouth sores or teeth with your tongue or fingers. Because they’re so sensitive, the more you touch them, the more they’ll hurt.
  • Try using an over-the-counter oral anesthetic like Anbesol or Orajel to temporarily numb the painful areas. Dab a small amount of the anesthetic on a cotton swab and apply it to the sores in the mouth. 
  • Rinsing with warm salt water can ease the irritation from the new braces. 

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