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At some point, your dentist may recommend that your child get braces. And if your smile could use some improvement, you may want to bring up the subject with the dentist yourself. Getting braces is a big step, and here are some things to consider before you get started.

First, your dentist will need to give you a thorough exam, complete with dental x-rays. Afterward, you and the dentist will discuss which option is best for you. You may need braces that are comprised of brackets that are bonded to the front of your teeth. There are also brackets that your dentist can bond to the backs of your teeth; and a third option that consist of a metal band around your teeth. Depending on your age and your needs, you may be a candidate for a system such as Invisalign®.

A few days before your the big day, schedule an appointment with your dentist for a cleaning so that your teeth are free of plaque. On the day of your appointment, brush and floss your teeth. These simple steps will make your appointment go faster.

If you receive metal braces, you may have some discomfort over the first few days. You may find it difficult to eat. If that is the case, stick with soft foods for a few days. Your braces may irritate your mouth, and your dentist will provide you with dental wax to relieve the discomfort. A topical or over-the-counter-pain reliever may also help.

You will need to spend a little more time brushing and flossing with your braces on. You should rinse your mouth before and after you brush. Start with brushing at the gumline, then from the gums down to the tops of the brackets, and then up from the gumline to the bottoms. Afterward, brush the wire. Flossing is very important for maintaining your braces. If you have problems flossing around your dental work, try using a water flosser or a floss threader.

If it is time for you or your child to get braces, you should call 205-884-2370 to make an appointment with Dr. Scott Barnett at Pell City Dental Center PC in Pell City, Alabama.