Life with Braces

Life with Braces

Braces can significantly impact self-confidence by transforming smiles and enhancing overall facial aesthetics. While the initial adjustment period may involve temporary discomfort or self-consciousness, the eventual outcome of a straighter, healthier smile often leads to increased confidence and self-assurance. As teeth gradually align and bite issues are corrected, individuals usually smile more freely and feel more comfortable in social and professional settings. Beyond the physical transformation, the journey with braces fosters resilience and self-acceptance, empowering individuals to embrace their unique journey toward a brighter, more confident future.  


Types of Braces   

Traditional Metal Braces  

These are the most common types of braces. They consist of metal brackets attached to the front surface of the teeth, connected by wires, and secured with elastic bands. While highly effective and durable, some people may find them less aesthetically pleasing.  


Ceramic Braces  

Ceramic braces are similar to traditional metal braces but use clear or tooth-colored brackets that blend more seamlessly with the natural color of the teeth. They offer a more discreet appearance while still providing effective orthodontic treatment.  


Lingual Braces  

Lingual braces are placed on the inner surface of the teeth, making them virtually invisible from the outside. They are custom-made to fit each patient's teeth and offer a discreet option for individuals who prefer a more hidden treatment approach.  


Clear Aligners  

Clear aligners are removable, transparent trays that gradually shift the teeth into alignment. They offer a more discreet and convenient alternative to traditional braces, allowing for easier maintenance and flexibility in daily activities.  


The Procedure of Braces  

Before Getting Started  

  • Consult an orthodontist to discuss your orthodontic needs, goals, and treatment options. Your orthodontist will evaluate your teeth, take X-rays and impressions, and develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to your needs.  

  • Once your orthodontist has assessed your teeth and determined that braces are the best course of action, they will discuss the recommended treatment plan, including the type of braces, estimated duration of treatment, and expected outcomes.  


During Treatment  

  • On the day of your appointment, your orthodontist will place the braces on your teeth, attaching brackets to each tooth and securing them with wires and bands. This process is painless and typically takes about one to two hours.  

  • It may take some time for your mouth to adjust to the presence of braces, and you may initially experience discomfort or soreness. Over-the-counter pain relievers and soft foods can help alleviate any discomfort during this adjustment period.  

  • Throughout treatment, you will visit your orthodontist regularly to adjust your braces. During these appointments, your orthodontist will tighten wires, replace bands, and make necessary modifications to ensure progress toward your treatment goals.  

  • Proper oral hygiene is crucial during orthodontic treatment to prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and staining. Brushing and flossing regularly and using orthodontic tools such as interdental brushes and water flossers can help maintain oral health and hygiene with braces.  


After Treatment  

  • Once your braces are removed, you will enter the retention phase of treatment, during which you will wear a retainer to prevent your teeth from shifting back to their original position. Your orthodontist will instruct you how and when to wear your retainer to maintain the treatment results.  

  • Attend all scheduled follow-up appointments with your orthodontist to monitor the stability of your results and address any concerns or issues that may arise.  

  • With proper care and maintenance, orthodontic treatment results can last a lifetime, giving you a straighter, healthier smile and improved confidence in your appearance.  


Eating with Braces  

  • Opt for softer, gentle foods on your braces and teeth, such as mashed potatoes, yogurt, soups, and smoothies. Avoid hard, sticky, or crunchy foods that damage braces or get stuck in wires and brackets.  

  • Cut your food into smaller, bite-sized pieces to make eating easier and reduce the risk of damaging your braces. This can help prevent unnecessary pressure on your braces and minimize discomfort while chewing.  

  • Instead of biting directly into hard foods like apples or carrots, consider cutting them into smaller, more manageable pieces. Alternatively, cook or steam hard vegetables to make them softer and easier to chew.  


Maintaining Oral Hygiene  

  • Brushing after meals helps remove food particles and plaque from around your braces, reducing the risk of cavities and gum disease. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to clean your teeth, brackets, and wires gently.  

  • Flossing is essential for cleaning between your teeth and under the wires of your braces. Use a floss threader or orthodontic floss to navigate around the brackets and wires, ensuring thorough cleaning and preventing plaque buildup.  

  • Incorporate an antiseptic mouthwash into your oral hygiene routine to help kill bacteria and freshen your breath. Swish the mouthwash around your mouth for 30 seconds, then spit it out. Avoid mouthwashes containing alcohol, as they can cause dry mouth and irritation.  


Life with braces may require adjustments to your eating habits, oral hygiene routine, and comfort management strategies. Still, with the right tips and techniques, you can confidently navigate your orthodontic journey. Visit McManus Orthodontics at 507 24th Street, Rock Island, IL 61201, or call (309) 558-0075 to schedule a consultation and discover how braces can transform your smile and boost your confidence. 



4507 24th Street,
Rock Island, IL 61201

Phone:  (309) 558-0075

Office Hours

MON7:00 am - 6:00 pm

TUE7:00 am - 6:00 pm

WED7:00 am - 6:00 pm

THU7:00 am - 6:00 pm

FRI7:00 am - 6:00 pm