Dental Braces (cont.)
In this Article
How Long Will I Have to Wear Braces?
The time required for treatment varies from person to person, depending on the severity of the problem; the amount of room available; the distance the teeth must travel; the health of the teeth, gums, and supporting bone; and how closely the patient follows instructions. On average, however, once the braces are put on, they usually remain in place for 1 to 3 years. After braces are removed, most patients will need to wear a retainer all the time for the first 6 months, then only during sleep for many years.
How Often Will I Need to See the Orthodontist During Treatment?
Your orthodontist will want to see you about every month or so in order to make sure that the braces are exerting steady pressure on your teeth. To create more tension and pressure on your teeth, your orthodontist will make adjustments in the wires, springs, or rubber bands of your braces. In some cases, braces alone aren't enough to straighten the teeth or shift the jaw. In these situations, an external appliance, such as a headgear may need to be worn at home in the evening or through the night.
Will Braces Cause Pain?
Some of the adjustments your orthodontist may make to your braces may make your mouth feel sore or uncomfortable. When needed, over-the-counter pain relievers like Motrin or Tylenol can help relieve the pain. If you always experience a lot of pain after your braces are adjusted, talk to your orthodontist about it; he or she may be able to make the adjustments a bit differently.
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