Anxious About Braces? Knowing the Facts Can Help

If the idea of getting braces has your stomach in knots, allow us to ease your worries. Sometimes, big procedures can conjure up worries or fears that are understandable but unwarranted. Anxiety like this can lead to other problems that won’t do a thing to help accomplish your goal: a healthy and beautiful smile.

If you are having anxiety about getting braces, we want to give you peace of mind. Here are some common questions we receive from anxious or worried patients, paired with Dr. Piper’s expert opinion and response to these concerns. We hope that this information debunks any myths you may believe about braces and helps you see that it will not be as scary as you may think!

Q. Who are the most anxious patients?

A. Most of the time we don’t see much anxiety – most of our procedures aren’t painful; most of what people experience is after our procedures and it’s soreness due to movement of the teeth which is manageable with mild anti-inflammatories like Motrin or Advil.

Q. Isn’t getting braces just like any other dental appointment?

A. Orthodontic treatment is unlike any other dental experience because we don’t use anything sharp or intrusive; the procedures we do involve placing something on the surface of the teeth to move the teeth; no needles are involved; there’s no more discomfort than a routine cleaning.

Q. Won’t the patient be sore each time you “tighten” the braces?

A. We actually call this an adjustment, which we schedule every four to six weeks. People use the word “tighten” because sometimes the teeth will feel tighter following an adjustment. Any discomfort usually resolves in under an hour. Actually, most patients say they do not feel any discomfort after an adjustment. It is normal for teeth to feel sore two to three days after the first appointment. All of our procedures are to move teeth and that usually causes soreness or pressure in the area of movement.

Q. What if I or my child just feels anxious in any clinical setting?

A. I tell the patient exactly what I’m going to do or show them on a model and that tends to  relieve anxiety about “unknowing.” But if your child is especially sensitive we can discuss whether or not pre-medicating is warranted.

If you have additional questions about any aspect of orthodontic treatment, please call our office. We are happy to walk with you through the process and do everything we can to ensure that you have a positive experience. We don’t want your stomach in knots while we straighten your teeth. Knowing the facts and trusting the process can go a long way to set the worried patient’s mind at ease.

Jill Piper
piperworld@aol.com