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A Guide to Preparing for Braces

Braces are a transformative tool in orthodontics that is often used to straighten teeth, correct bites, and address other dental concerns. Opting for braces is a significant step that requires a lot of preparation and a clear understanding of what the process will involve. 

At Brodie Bowman Orthodontics in Fort Walton Beach, FL, we want to guide you through every step of the process. We know that each question that is answered and every detail that is clarified can help to improve your experience with getting braces and having your teeth corrected. We offer personalized consultations where you can gain even more knowledge about the different types of braces, your treatment timeline, and what to expect at each step. 

Reasons for Getting Braces

  • Teeth Straightening: Braces are used for teeth straightening, improving dental health and appearance. Orthodontic braces gradually shift teeth into ideal positions, making them easier to clean and reducing the risk of decay or gum diseases.
  • Crowded Teeth: Braces effectively address crowded teeth, a condition where there’s insufficient space in the jaw for all teeth, causing them to overlap or twist. Braces create necessary space for teeth alignment, improving oral health by making cleaning easier and reducing the risk of cavities and gum disease.
  • Bite Correction: Beyond aesthetics, braces play a key role in bite correction. Braces can correct overbites, underbites, crossbites, or open bites, reducing difficulties in chewing, speech issues, and excessive wear on teeth. This results in improved oral function and less risk of future dental problems.

The Different Types of Braces and Aligners

Mini-Diamond Braces

Mini-Diamond braces are a variation of traditional metal orthodontic braces. They’re smaller in size, making them less noticeable and more comfortable than their standard counterparts. Despite their smaller size, Mini-Diamond braces offer the same effectiveness in terms of treatment.

Clear Ceramic Braces

Clear Ceramic braces are a discreet alternative to metal braces, offering effective teeth correction while blending in with your natural tooth color. These types of braces are less visible, making them an excellent choice for those who are conscious of the aesthetic aspect of braces.


Aligners such as Invisalign offer a nearly invisible method of teeth straightening. They’re a series of clear, removable devices custom-made to fit your teeth. They apply gentle, consistent pressure to shift your teeth into the desired positions. The advantage of aligners like Invisalign is that they’re virtually unnoticeable and can be removed when eating or cleaning your teeth.

SmartClip Braces From 3M Unitek

SmartClip Braces from 3M Unitek are self-ligating braces that use a clip system instead of elastics to hold the archwire. These braces are more comfortable, need fewer adjustments, and can reduce the overall treatment time. They’re an excellent option for those looking for a more efficient and comfortable orthodontic treatment.

What Your Treatment Timeline May Look Like

The treatment process of orthodontic braces or aligners is a highly personalized one, with timelines varying widely based on the complexity of the case and the type of treatment chosen. Typically, treatment duration ranges from 12 to 24 months, although certain cases may require a longer duration. Remember, it’s essential to have regular check-ups and adjustments throughout your treatment to ensure everything is progressing as planned.

Preparing for Braces: What to Expect During the Process

Step One: Consultation

Orthodontics treatments always begin with a comprehensive consultation. During this session, we will discuss your dental issues, the potential treatment options, and the expected outcomes. This is also your opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the process, treatment timelines, and cost.

Step Two: Planning and Preparing

After the consultation, the next step involves planning and preparing for your treatment. We’ll take dental impressions, X-rays, and photographs to create a detailed map of your mouth. This step might also involve additional dental cleaning or other preparatory dental work to ensure that your mouth is ready for the orthodontic braces.

Step Three: Getting Your Braces

The day you get your braces is an exciting one! For traditional braces, we’ll first clean your teeth thoroughly, then apply a bonding agent to your teeth. Next, we attach the brackets to your teeth using this bonding agent, followed by carefully securing the archwires to these brackets. This process takes about one to two hours.

Step Four: Managing Discomfort

After getting your braces, you may experience some initial soreness. This is normal as your mouth is acclimating to the new appliance. Using braces wax can help manage any irritation caused by the braces. You’ll also need to adjust your diet to avoid foods that could damage your braces, and you’ll need to modify your oral hygiene routine to ensure effective cleaning around your braces.

Step Five: Adjustments and Regular Check-ups

Regular check-ups and adjustments are a critical part of having braces. During these visits, we’ll make adjustments to the archwires, replace elastics, change brackets, or perform other necessary tasks to ensure your teeth are moving correctly. These appointments are usually scheduled every six to eight weeks.

Step Six: Removal and Retainers

Once your teeth have moved to their ideal positions, it’s time for your braces to be removed! But the process isn’t quite over. You’ll need to wear retainers to ensure that your teeth maintain their new positions. The duration for which you’ll need to wear these retainers varies, but it’s a crucial step to preserving your newly aligned smile.

Begin the Process Today at Our Orthodontics Office

Deciding to get braces is a significant step towards a healthier and more confident smile. At Brodie Bowman Orthodontics in Fort Walton Beach, FL, we are committed to providing a seamless and stress-free experience backed by our expertise and patient-centric approach. To begin the process, you can reach out to us at (850) 659-7599 or fill out our online form for a personalized consultation.