Braces: Everything You Need to Know

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Braces used to be associated negatively among children many years ago. Names like “brace face” and “metal mouth” were common phrases exchanged among school children. Today, between 50-70 percent of American children between the ages of 6-18 have braces, and society has learned to embrace the “brace face.”

Getting braces can be scary and it is hard to know what to expect. Here are a few tips to make that time in the orthodontist chair a little bit less stressful.

What is the step-by-step process? First, the orthodontist will clean and dry your teeth. He will then apply bonding glue to your teeth to attach the brackets. Next, he’ll place the brackets, put in the arch wire, and secure it all with elastic bands.

Will I be in pain? How long will it hurt for? Getting your braces on doesn’t hurt, but after they are all in place and tightened, your mouth will be sore for 5-7 days. When you get your monthly adjustments, the soreness will still be there, but will not last for more than 1-2 days in most cases.

Tips and Tricks
• Use orthodontic wax that your orthodontist will provide you with. This can help prevent mouth sores from developing as your brackets rub against the inside of your mouth.
• For sores that won’t go away, try this: mix ½ tsp of salt with 1 cup of water and rinse with it several times per day.

For more information, visit the American Association of Orthodontics at