A decade or two ago, the braces experience was quite a bit different than it is today. The hardware was bigger, bulkier and less comfortable. More frequent adjustments were needed due to less technologically advanced wires. A lot has changed but patients still get a little nervous about getting braces on and about treatment in general. It’s often because of hearing other people’s braces stories from a long time ago, the way they’re portrayed in pop culture or just a fear of the unknown. My team and I always chat with our Alaska, Bothell, Monroe and Mill Creek braces and Invisalign patients at their consultation and let them know exactly what to expect. This goes a long way in helping to alleviate any jitters they’re feeling. We also take a personalized, patient-centric approach, meaning our focus is on ensuring you’re comfortable, relaxed and happy. With that in mind, here are 8 things you won’t hear us say when getting braces on:
1. “I guess I should have mentioned Invisalign was an option too. Oops.”
Your satisfaction is a top priority and we want you to feel just as confident during your treatment as you will after. That’s why we offer a variety of teeth-straightening options at Richard Chan Orthodontics, including metal braces, clear braces, Invisalign® and Invisalign Teen. This way, you can pick the solution that works best for your lifestyle and needs. At your free consultation (which you can schedule here!), we take diagnostic records, I examine your mouth and fill you in on the treatments I think will bring about the best results. We’ll go over all of the choices and talk about the pros and cons of each, so you can make an informed decision.
2. “Maybe you should wait until you’re an adult to get braces.”
Parents often ask when should kids get braces? But, there isn’t a set age and every patient is different. At Richard Chan Orthodontics, I take a conservative approach to treating children and rarely recommend lengthy two-phase treatment unless there are very clear and evidence-based benefits.
Teens are a different story. Once the permanent teeth are all in – aside from the wisdom teeth – around the age of 12 or 13, I can get a clear picture of your child’s bite. Getting braces at this age is typically ideal because teens are still growing and developing. Their jaws are easier to manipulate and we can often get dramatic, stable results that will last a lifetime more quickly. So, when a teenager visits us who clearly needs braces or Invisalign Teen, we’d never suggest they wait until adulthood when correcting misalignment is more difficult.
3. “You’re too old for braces.”
While, yes, jaws and teeth that are still growing and developing are easier to manipulate, you’re never too old for orthodontic treatment. Adult braces and Invisalign have become increasingly more popular and nearly a quarter of orthodontic patients in North America are 18-years-old and older. The benefits go beyond improving your appearance and confidence; straightening your teeth can also boost your oral health and, in turn, your overall health. If you don’t like the idea of metal braces, clear braces or Invisalign are effective and discreet and adults tend to be great candidates for these esthetic options.
4. “We’ll have to give you a few needles to numb you before getting braces on.”
There are absolutely no needles involved in the braces or Invisalign procedure. Getting braces on is completely painless. The brackets are bonded to your teeth with special adhesive, then I thread the archwire through them and they’re secured in place with colored ties. That’s it. We make sure you are not biting into the braces and that the wires aren’t poking you, and you are good to go! Your teeth will be sensitive for the first few days after getting your braces put on from the pressure, but it’s easily managed with an over-the-counter pain reliever and by sticking to soft foods and cold drinks. The procedure itself is a breeze and you’ll be back to enjoying your day in under an hour.
5. “Don’t worry too much about brushing your teeth with braces; the brackets and wires will repel plaque.”
Practicing good oral hygiene is more important than ever with braces. The brackets and wires tend to trap food particles and plaque, so you’ll want to brush your teeth in the morning, after every meal and before bed to avoid tooth decay and to keep gums healthy. You’ll also need to floss at least once daily. Make sure to continue to visit your general dentist for check-ups and cleanings twice a year too. Teeth move most efficiently in a healthy oral environment. Getting cavities and gum disease can prolong your treatment time and, in severe cases, we might even have to take your braces off while the issue gets fixed and then put them back on. Make flossing and brushing your teeth with braces a priority!
6. “Now is a good time to let you know you might encounter some extra fees throughout treatment.”
This is the exact opposite of what you’ll hear at Richard Chan Orthodontics when getting braces on. We’re upfront and transparent about the cost of braces and Invisalign. There are never any hidden fees. We don’t think finances should stand in the way of having a healthy smile and we pride ourselves on making orthodontic treatment affordable for all of our patients. We accept most insurances and offer in-office, interest-free financing to help break up the cost of braces or Invisalign into low monthly payments. At your consultation, a team member will sit down with you and talk to you about your needs and then we’ll work out a financial plan for your budget.
7. “Have you considered DIY braces instead?”
There have been a number of news stories and consumer advisories about the dangers of DIY braces or aligners. Thanks to YouTube tutorials promoting using hair ties and other household objects to shift the teeth and mail-order aligners, people have sustained significant damage to their teeth and gums in an effort to perfect their smile at home. Since orthodontic treatment is a medical treatment and it involves bone remodeling and causes permanent changes to your facial anatomy, it’s crucial to leave it in the hands of a specialist. The cost of replacing missing teeth and fixing the consequences of DIY braces far outweighs the cost of treatment supervised by a certified specialist in orthodontics.
8. “When your braces come off, you won’t have to wear a retainer.”
Every patient has to wear a retainer after braces or Invisalign because it’s the only way to maintain your results for life. When the brackets and wires or your aligners are no longer applying constant pressure, the teeth naturally shift back towards where they used to be. A retainer prevents this and holds them in their new positions. Eventually, you’ll only need to wear your retainer at night and it really won’t seem like a big deal when you see how fantastic your new smile looks.
These are 8 things you won’t hear us say when starting braces or Invisalign in our offices. However, we will offer encouragement, transparency and explain everything you need to know in detail, so you feel confident about your care. Are you ready to get your dream smile with Alaska, Bothell, Monroe or Mill Creek braces or Invisalign treatment? Book a free consultation at Richard Chan Orthodontics to get started!