How to Get Braces?

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Wondering how to get braces?

If you are looking for a way to make your smile perfect and have straight teeth you are in the right place. This article will guide you through the process of getting braces and give you all the tips and tricks you need to know to make the whole process fast and comfortable.

Most people visit the dentist only in emergencies but if you want your new smile to be straight and confidant you might want to consider different treatment plans for getting the best results.

So, without further ado let’s see what this orthodontic treatment is and how to get metal braces fast. In addition, make sure you stay until the end for the best alternatives and frequently asked questions.

What are the steps for getting braces?

When you know the specific stages and are familiar with the method, getting braces is a simple process. While some individuals believe that this procedure may be completed in a single day, the truth is slightly different.

This straightening teeth treatment involves a few stages that are all equally important for the best end result.

So here are the steps for getting new braces for upper and lower teeth:

Make the decision

This step might look like an easy and obvious one, but you need to make sure to prepare yourself for the treatment. This decision can be life-changing and will boost your confidence, but on the other hand, it will take time and dedication. This is why you need to be sure this is the treatment for you even before you visit the dental office.

During the initial process and getting the best orthodontic care you will be more comfortable and familiar with the idea, so it will be easier to assess if this specific treatment is the best option for your problem.

Considering that there are more comfortable solutions on the market like invisible aligners you do want to be informed and make the best choice.

Find the best orthodontist

Once you are determined to get your new smile and amazing teeth alignment you need to look for the best general dentist and have the recommendation for orthodontic services. Many offices specialize in braces and have many treatment options.

The office you choose should also be affordable and have different payment plans.

So, make sure to shop around for the best orthodontist office before you make the official first visit.

Make the appointment

Your dentist will send you to the best orthodontist to make further assessments once you have that initial appointment.

The first consultation is the time to ask all the questions that might worry you and make an agreement with your doctor about the treatment plan. Different patients will have different misalignments that can be treated with traditional braces or sometimes even clear aligners.

This is why you need to have an elaborate assessment of your condition in the initial consultation or even x rays done for a better treatment plan.

Orthodontic contracts and consent forms

Before the treatment can begin you will most likely need to sign some papers, contracts, and consent forms. These documents are made to protect the patient and make sure you know what the treatment plan is and that the medical care is provided as promised.

When signing any documentation make sure you read all the fine print and double-check all the information provided. This way you can be sure that you are informed and have consented to all the treatments, adjustments, and payment plans.

Most of the time contracts will be about the payment methods and other financial addendums.

On the other hand, there will be a few consent papers you need to sign, like:

  • Informed consent to treat;
  • Periodontal clearance and consent;
  • Clear aligner consent;
  • Marketing consent;
  • Compromised treatment consent (in rare cases);

This part of the treatment plan is quite formal but it needs to be honored for the whole process to be successful and you are guaranteed to feel confident with your straight smile at the end.

Get the braces treatment placed

This part of the process is usually the most crucial one, as the braces will be in the same position for quite some time. This is why your orthodontist has to clean the teeth and prepare them for the bonding material before the brackets are placed.

These brackets are holding firmly to your teeth with the bonding glue that is medical-grade cement. Once the brackets are placed in the orthodontist will place the metal bands or wire to your back molars to make the tension needed to pull the teeth in the right position.

The placing of the braces on the teeth might take a few hours in some cases, so make sure you are not hungry or thirsty before you visit your doctor. The process is not painful, however, it will take a while to place everything in and get your straighter teeth faster.

Follow the treatment plan

When the braces are in position your doctor will explain everything you need to know about the maintenance and the next visit you need to make. This first check-up is usually done after 3 to 4 weeks.

The treatment plan is different for each patient so it’s crucial to follow the exact directions made by your orthodontist and come to all dentist appointments as directed.

Maintain oral health

Maintaining oral health is important because braces will keep food particles in the wires and rubber bands, so your doctor will explain the steps you need to take for the best oral hygiene.

Most of the time you need to focus to remove food particles and even use small spindle brushes to get bits of food out of the wires and rubber bands. This takes patience and practice, but most patients get used to bracket care very fast.

Adjustments during orthodontic treatment with braces

When you are done with the initial process and the braces are properly placed in you need to make sure to follow the treatment and visit your dentist as instructed.

A lot of people are not aware that braces need adjustment overtime to make the progress you need to straighten your teeth.

First braces consultation and adjustment should be done in 3 to 4 weeks after the placement. This time your orthodontist will assess the situation and insert a slightly different wire that will be more effective and firm.

Keeping up with appointments is crucial not just for the adjustment process but also for orthodontic emergencies and regular cleaning of your teeth.

While you wear braces small pieces of food will get trapped between small rubber bands, the wires, and the brackets, and only trained professionals will be able to completely remove food particle.

This will ensure maintaining your oral health and prevent cavities and gum inflammation that can occur.

Are there any food restrictions?

Yes, there are a few foods you need to avoid while undergoing the treatment with braces.

Most of the time patients get used to the new diet very fast because there is still a lot of food you can eat, but there are a few that you need to cut out.

Here are a few examples of food you need to skip:

  • Crunchy foods – Items like popcorn, ice, and chips;
  • Sticky foods – Chewing gum and caramels;
  • Hard food – Hard candy, apples, carrots, and nuts;

All of the mentioned foods can get stuck between the wired and be uncomfortable. In addition, it will easily accumulate bacteria and cause different health problems so make sure you stick to allowed foods.

Here are a few examples of soft foods you can eat:

  • Dairy – Milk, milkshakes, yogurt, cheese, and pudding;
  • Pasta and rice;
  • Veggies – Eat soft foods like mashed potatoes, beans, and steamed veggies;
  • Fruit – Go for the mashed versions of fruit and make smoothies;
  • Soft meats like chicken and meatballs;

It’s important to take care of your new braces and your teeth because any food stuck can cause a problem. Brush your teeth and braces after every meal and keep up with all the orthodontist appointments.

In addition, make sure you are getting enough healthy food and fiber while you are on this diet. Get creative with the alternative foods and look for recipes that will accommodate your new dietary plan.

Traditional metal braces cost

Depending on the state and your chosen orthodontist the braces can cost anywhere from $3,000 up to $7,500 for the entire process.

This is not a small amount of money so many people are wondering about the payment plan and if there are any other ways to make the price lower.

Luckily the process of getting braces begins with a free consultation and you can be more informed about the prices before you sign the contract.

Many dental insurance plans also offer partial or full coverage for the treatment, so you need to contact your insurance agency and ask the staff about this option. Most of the time the insurance company will have a list of orthodontists that you can choose from and have your orthodontic care there.

Even if your insurance doesn’t cover the full cost of the treatment you can still have reduced prices for oral care and other procedures that need to be done before braces.

If you don’t have insurance coverage some dental offices will offer different payment plans for their patients which can help you pay off the braces in a couple of months. In addition, make sure to ask about other options like lingual braces and Invisalign aligners that can be efficient and less expensive options.

How long is the treatment time with braces?

Most patients will see improvement or complete straightening of their teeth in 18 to 24 months.

In some cases, this period can be prolonged if the person is older or there are many misalignments to be corrected.

When the patient has impacted teeth or crowding the treatment usually lasts longer, but the maximum amount of time is three years. Braces can be worn even longer but this is more than enough time to fix even the hardest cases.

Braces begin to pull on the teeth the same day you get them installed, but this is controlled pressure that will take time to place the teeth into the right position.

Alternatives for traditional braces

There are many alternatives on the market for traditional metal braces like lingual braces and even clear aligners.

All of the alternatives need to be approved by your orthodontist after the first assessment.

Depending on the severity of your condition you might be a good candidate for clear aligners like Invisalign, Byte, or Candid. All of these are using the new, cutting-edge technology to make invisible aligners to get your teeth straight. After the digital scan of your jaw, the orthodontist will be able to recommend the best plan for getting your confident smile.

Clear aligners are more comfortable to wear and there are no food restrictions. In addition, most aligners will straighten your teeth in less time so people are loving the idea.

When the treatment with braces or aligners is complete you will have to wear a removable retainer to keep the teeth in the right position. Since teeth tend to shift back it’s important to follow the instructions and wear the retainers each night, as prescribed.

After a few months, you will most likely be able to skip a night or two without any consequences.

Keep in mind that alternatives for braces also have a different payment plan and a lot of insurances are now willing to pay for them partially or in full. So, talk to your dentist about the best options for you and your budget.


Does wearing braces hurt?

Braces are not painful, however, most patients report slight discomfort during the first few days or weeks. This is expected considering that there is constant pressure applied to all teeth.

This pressure can cause soreness that goes away pretty fast when you are getting used to braces and the tightening feeling in your jaw. Each adjustment usually entails slightly stronger wires and you can expect some discomfort for a few days.

How can I get free braces?

Most families that are on low income have the right to apply for the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) or Medicaid plan. This will allow the members of the family to get different free medical care including braces.

Make sure to contact your customer support for more information, because in most cases the list of available doctors is limited.

This is still a good way to get your braces and make a huge step towards your success, even if you need to rely on financial assistance from the government.

Can I get braces while pregnant?

Getting braces while pregnant is considered to be completely safe for both the mother and the baby. But you need to inform your doctor about the pregnancy as it might change some of the treatment steps.

In addition, since there are a few dietary restrictions you need to take in enough nutritious food to maintain a healthy pregnancy.

What is the minimum time for braces?

In some cases, braces can straighten teeth in just a few months, but this is only true in mild cases of spacing issues and slightly crooked teeth. Most of the time it takes between 18 and 14 months to be done with the treatment.

Each appointment session will be an opportunity to see the progress, get a new wire installed, and discuss with your dentist the plan and how much time is remaining. Getting braces is a long-term commitment so keep that in mind before starting the procedure.

Do braces change your face?

Yes, a different configuration and alignments of the teeth can slightly change your face. This is mostly because the jaw bone is aligned too and the teeth are moved to the right position.

Most patients are presently surprised with the end result as the face will get more symmetrical and a straight smile will boost your confidence.

Do you lose weight with braces?

Yes, slight changes in the diet and avoiding certain foods can lead to weight loss.

Some patients love the idea of losing weight while others need to keep up with the calory intake to be healthy. This is especially true for younger patients that need to eat healthy foods and maintain their weight even with braces.

Final Thoughts

Getting the best and straight smile might take some time, but it’s an investment that is worth both money and time. It’s a big commitment so you need to be informed and prepared before you find the best orthodontist that will take care of you.

Always ask about the alternatives for the treatment, and make sure you know the available payment options. Also, contact your insurance company for additional support.

Make the appointment today and be one step closer to the perfect and straight teeth you deserve.

Dr Febin Mary George - Editor

With more than 10 years as a dental surgeon, Dr Febin Mary George is passionate about educating consumers around the world to help look after their teeth.

She completed her Bachelor of Surgery at the Century Institute of Dental Science and Research Centre in 2010.

Alongside editing the International Journal of Dental Clinics she has also written for major publications including Thrive Global.