Getting braces for the first time?
Want to know the process/procedure of getting braces?
Does it hurt to get braces?
Do they use needles when putting on braces?
Watch the video to see how braces are put on, step-by-step!
We're going to walk you through putting on braces and I'm going to use this patient that we're going to call her Sarah. We're going to put on Sarah's braces right now and we start off by basically putting on a little cheek retractor, and this cheek retractor holds the lips and cheeks away from the teeth, which you'll see then, we also use a little device that holds the tongue away from the teeth. Now the reason we want these guys in there is we want to keep the teeth as dry as possible. Once we start preparing the teeth and working on them, we don't want the lips the saliva or the tongue to interfere with what we're doing. And here you see that we're painting each individual tooth with a little cotton applicator and we're basically sterilizing the tooth surface and preparing it for the glue. This glue is a special kind of glue that sticks to tooth surfaces only after they've been prepared with this special material. Once we put the sterilization agent on, we rinse it and then we dry it off. We want the teeth to be as dry as possible and then here you'll see me come in and put on each of the braces one at a time. Now the braces, or the bracket, we call them. Brackets each have a little bit of glue on them and we put them on the tooth just like you'd put a sticker on something. So you put them on just like a sticker but the glue is not yet set or dried so it allows us to work with the braces. So at this point we have all the braces on the teeth. One of the things you might notice at this stage, also is that each of the teeth has a very specific bracket for it. So as a matter of fact, we use six different types of brackets on the upper arch and five different types of brackets on the lower arch. And they're a little bit different in shape and dimension. Some of them have hooks for rubber bands to where you can see those hooks on the brackets themselves. So, they're all very specific for the individual tooth they're moving. Here you can see that we're actually trying to get the angles of the brackets right so we're positioning them with what we call a scaler and now we're going in and we're actually measuring the height of each bracket. Now each bracket, along with each tooth, out in a specific bracket each mm for ideal bracket placement. I'm using this measuring device and holding it at different angles to get the brackets right at the right measurements on each specific tooth. A couple things I want to talk about with the specific brackets, is that within those brackets, they actually have a what we call a prescription built into them. That prescription, once we put a wire in that prescription, dictates the angulation and the torque or inclination of each individual tooth as well as the height of each individual tooth within the mouth.
One of the things that's important to me is when I go in and start putting on the braces, I can already envision the teeth and their final position. So I kind of begin with the end in mind. I can already see the final results. I can see the final smile before I even put on the braces!
Now here you see the special light it's basically within the visible spectrum. It's not a laser or anything like that. There's no heat that's generated from it. It's just a very intense light that acts as a catalyst to make the glue harden. Each bracket needs to be cured approximately 20-40 seconds. We move on, one bracket at a time, and you can see as we finish moving the light across the glue, bracket is then set and it becomes a permanent fixture on the teeth until we decide to take that bracket off. See really at this point there's not really any pain that goes into putting on the braces. Like I said it's just like putting stickers on the teeth. Doesn't feel real normal at first. She has a hard time getting your lips over her teeth, over her braces. Everything feels real bulky and thick now.
Once we've got all the braces on we move to the next step, which is putting the wires onto the braces themselves. Okay at this point, Sarah has all of her braces on. We've used the light to make the glue hard and now she's ready for the next step which is to put her wires in. Now these wires are made of, well we call them, copper night tie wires. Basically this material was developed by NASA quite a while ago and it is a temperature sensitive wire that is also a shape memory wire. Now what that means is that this wire is very flexible but when it hits body temperature, when it starts to warm up, the wire always returns to its original straight shape. So it's not like your standard wire that you'd find in, you know building materials or what have you. It's a shape memory wire.
So what that means is, as we attach the wire to each individual bracket, and you'll see that we're putting on her colored ties right now. These colored ties, although they're kind of cute and pretty, really their only purpose is to hold the wire to the braces. Now you'll see this wire to get distorted as we go into the more crooked teeth. This wire what like I said once it hits body temperature, It actually starts to return to its original straight shape, so as that wire over time, straightens out, the teeth that you can see are crooked, the wire that you can see is crooked, become straight. As the wire becomes straight, the teeth become straight. Really the braces are just a handle on the tooth. The ligature ties, those rubber colored rubber ties, are nothing more than holding the wire to the handle.The wire is what puts the pressure on the teeth and causes the teeth to move.
Now at this point, she feels a little bit of pressure from the wire. But again it's a very light flexible wire. We start off with real light flexible wires and work up into heavier thicker rectangular wires some. So the initial wire is very light forces, but after about tw,o hours her teeth will start to feel tender. She won't want to be chewing on anything hard. So basically her diet is going to consist, for the first three days, of swallowing type of foods or softer foods.
Okay so there you go. You just saw us give you a little clip of what it is like getting the braces put on. Now obviously, that was a little short version of the reality of it from starting to finish. It probably takes us about an hour to put on braces and get everything done from start to finish. So it's a little longer than what you saw there. But we're not working on the patient the whole time. So you're not sitting there with your mouth open and your cheek stretched out for the whole hour. But it does take about an hour to get the whole thing done.
One question we get asked a lot, “Does the orthodontist use needles when putting on braces?”
Now one of the things you notice that we do not use needles when we put braces on. There's no needles when putting on braces. There's no poking. There's no blood. There's no crying or anything like that. It's a pretty relaxed deal. We talked through the whole thing.
Now there's some points where you can't talk because we've got your cheek straight out, stretched out and your tongue kind of held back. But really, the whole time, you're just you should be pretty relaxed about this whole deal.
We put braces on patients as young as six or seven and you know really it's not a hard thing to go through.
How long do braces hurt when you first get them?
Now I will say that a couple of days after braces are put on, that's when your teeth are going to be sore. But in our office, really there's not a lot of pain while you're at the office. Most of your soreness and tooth soreness is more of a dull soreness rather than a sharp pain and it usually happens a day later for about two days. Maybe at the earliest four hours after an appointment. But during the appointment itself, you can see pretty relaxed pretty easy and again shouldn't be a lot of worries about what's going to happen here in the office.
Glad you watched it. Hope you got something out of it. We look forward to putting on your braces. Should be a great experience for you. Look forward to doing it for you.