I have been thinking about this for the longest time already. When I was still in College, I asked my parents to pay for my braces but they said they couldn’t afford it, so I didn’t forced them to pay for it. Two years ago, I have visited my dentist and I have thought of having braces again but then, he told me that pregnant women are not allowed to have their teeth braced so I obliged.
Last week, I went to my dentist and finally he gave me a paper with “Patient Instructions” and contract written on it and told me that I need to think it over. Because having braces is a 2-years contract and he told me that I really need to visit him every month for that 2 years contract.
Here, let me share with you with what was written in the “Patient Instructions”
- FIRST MONTH: This is the most difficult time of orthodontic treatment. The teeth can be sore as well as the inside of the lips. Paracetamol and a soft diet help greatly. Orthodontic wax can be helpful also, but should only be used if a sore develops on the soft tissue. If wax is used in areas that are only tender, then tissue will not toughen up.
- DIET: Avoid hard or sticky foods. Hard foods as ice, nuts, corn chips, French bread, can break or loosen the braces. Sticky foods such as gums, chewy candy can bend or pull the braces off. For each bracket is knocked-off, treatment is extended for another one month. Apples, corn on the cob, pizza, etc, must be cut up and eaten using a fork.
- Oral Hygiene: Having braces requires extra effort to keep teeth and gums clean. The braces tend to trap more plaque and food, so extra time is required for brushing and flossing to avoid cavities or de-calcified marks on the teeth. Special attention must be paid to the gum line areas to avoid inflammation and swelling on the gums. Poor oral hygiene can lead to longer treatment time as well as poor treatment results.
- RUBBER BANDS: Anytime the doctor ask for rubber band wear, cooperation is important. The bands must be worn full-time, including school and sleeping. They should be taken out only for meals and replacing with new band after every meal. Part-time wear will result in no movement of teeth. This would lead to longer treatment or poor results.
- LOOSE BAND or BROKEN BRACES: If a bracket or band comes loose, it can usually wait till the next appointment for replacement. If it is causing discomfort, call the office for instruction – if wax does not provide comfort should a wire become bent by food and cause discomfort, try using orthodontic wax. If no success, call the office for instruction. Good hygiene and proper diet will greatly reduce the number of loose brackets and bands and bent wires.
I have read these 5 instructions over and over again and I guess, I will pay the 1/4 cash down payment tomorrow. I know that it is quite hard at first but I guess I need to endure it so that I could have that “perfect smile”.
Have you had braces? Was it hard for you? Did you complete your 2 years contract?