Seeing an orthodontist usually means getting fitted for braces or another device to straighten your teeth, correct an overbite and the like. Getting braces is not uncommon but you need to know what to expect and how they affect your mouth after you leave the orthodontist's office. Note a few questions you might want to ask an orthodontist before or during your visit so that you're prepared and you know what to expect.
1. Ask what discomfort to expect immediately after braces are installed.
Once your braces are attached or installed in your mouth, you may feel some discomfort. You may find that you're constantly running your tongue over the wires to adjust to the feeling or to keep the braces from brushing up against the inside of your mouth. Your level of discomfort may vary according to how tightly the braces are fitted, so you want to ask your orthodontist what level of pain you should expect. It's also good to ask if the wires will cut your mouth or tongue or if this means one is broken or exposed. You should know what to expect those first few days and weeks when you get braces so you know what's normal and safe and what signals the need to make an appointment with your orthodontist to have your braces rechecked or refitted.
2. Ask if there are medications you should avoid when wearing braces.
Typically, having braces doesn't affect your health so that you should avoid taking any medications, but many medicines today come in a type of pill that you keep in your mouth until it dissolves. If you use these types, you might ask your orthodontist if residual from the medication would get caught in the braces. If so, you might need to talk to your doctor about adjusting the type of pill you take, or choose a different form of medicine for over-the-counter drugs.
3. Ask about mouth guards for sports.
A person with braces is usually not prohibited from playing sports, but it might be recommended that you wear a mouth guard to protect the braces from breaking. Some mouth guards might not fit over the braces or they may get damaged by the braces themselves. Ask your orthodontist for recommendations on the type of mouth guard you can wear if you play sports. He or she may even want to fit you with a custom mouth guard or may have certain models that are meant to be worn by those with braces for maximum protection and comfort.