braces anxiety FAQs

Braces anxiety: common questions about the impact of orthodontic treatment

If you have anxiety and questions about how orthodontic treatment would impact your life, you’re not alone. For some, fear of the unknown outweighs the desire to fix their smile – we think it’s time to change that.

Orthodontic treatment is indeed a life-changing investment, but for the better. Great River Orthodontics is here to answer some of the most common questions about the impact of orthodontic treatment and explain what you can expect throughout the process. (Spoiler alert: you won’t regret your choice!)

What will I look like after treatment?

Like online technology that allows us to see what a room would look like with new paint colors or how a new pair of glasses would look on our face, orthodontists are armed with tools that help predict what your smile will look like after treatment.

We start by providing free digital X-rays and a free iTero® 3D scan of your teeth and gums during your initial consultation with a Great River orthodontist, which allows us to discuss a realistic version of what successful treatment would look like.

If you are considering Invisalign® aligners, the company offers its free SmileView™ tool to give future patients a glimpse of how great their new smile could be. Simply take a smiling selfie and the tool simulates the outcome of your smile transformation right before your eyes.

Do braces hurt?

Every person will have a different experience with braces, but here’s what you can generally expect:

  • Some patients have to wear spacers between their teeth for a week or two before getting braces. They may feel tight or sore for a few days (sort of like having food caught between your teeth), but this discomfort should ease over time.
  • When being fitted for braces, patients do not usually experience any immediate pain. The same goes for applying the glue (although it might taste funny!), bonding the brackets, and connecting them with wires.
  • After a few hours, the gentle pressure that braces put on your teeth will start to take effect. Any pain or discomfort you feel should last for less than a week. You may also experience sore gums or sore teeth when chewing – but again, this is temporary. Eating soft foods like yogurt, soup, and bananas can help, as can over-the-counter pain relievers. Be sure not to run your tongue along your braces to avoid any cuts.
  • When your braces are tightened, you may experience the same pressure in your teeth and gums, but only for a day or two.

Doesn’t sound so bad, does it? Most people get totally used to their braces in a matter of weeks.

Do braces change your face?

It depends. Using braces or Invisalign aligners to align your teeth means that the soft tissues laying over them (such as your lips and cheeks) will conform as well. However, this change is gradual and less obvious in adults, whose facial features are already developed.

Braces do not change your lips as far as fullness or shape are concerned – they can only change the position of your lips. For example, if you have an underbite and your lower and upper teeth are brought into proper alignment, your lips may appear slightly plumper.

Braces also do not change your nose, but they can change the shape and size of your jaw in younger patients. As an adult, the only way to change your jawline is through a surgical procedure.

Can braces make your teeth fall out?

No, braces will not make your teeth fall out! During the first few days of wearing braces, as your teeth begin to shift, they may feel looser. This is perfectly normal – your teeth are not going anywhere.

Will I be able to eat my favorite foods?

You will have to avoid some foods, but there are a ton of “braces-friendly” foods you can still enjoy. As mentioned above, soft foods are best in the very beginning (think mashed potatoes and mac n’ cheese!). Once your mouth adjusts, you can eat just about anything except hard or sticky foods, such as candy, popcorn, nuts, or hard pretzels.

The team at Great River Orthodontics will guide you through every step of your orthodontic treatment. Visit our orthodontic care and maintenance page for more information about food choices and how to care for your braces or Invisalign aligners while eating.

It’s normal to feel some anxiety, but Great River Orthodontics has your back

You can count on our experienced team to alleviate your fears and provide you with the highest-quality orthodontic care. We are 100% committed to creating a treatment plan that meets your specific smile goals.

All our orthodontists are Invisalign Diamond Plus providers, which means they’re in the top 1% of all Invisalign providers in North America. Whether you choose Invisalign aligners or braces, you’re always in excellent hands at Great River Orthodontics.

Change can be hard, and we know that you’re embarking on a new experience with us. We understand your fears and will do everything we can to resolve them. Orthodontics are a long-term partnership, and our goal at every visit is to put you or your child at ease.

Schedule your free consultation today

If you’re ready to explore orthodontic treatment, we’re ready to welcome you! Your free consultation includes one-on-one Q&A time with a doctor, digital X-rays, a 3D model of your teeth and gums, a personalized treatment plan, and financial consultation – all in one convenient visit. No dentist referral is necessary, so you can visit us anytime. To get started, contact Great River Orthodontics today.