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Kids: What's it Like to Wear Braces? 

You may already know other kids that have braces, like your classmates or brothers and sisters.  You may have seen old photos of your parents wearing braces and now it’s your turn and you’re wondering, “What’s it like to wear braces?”
Your dentist may have noticed that your teeth are out of position, crooked, or that they do not come together as good as they could when you bite.  Your dentist may have recommended an evaluation from an orthodontist, a brace’s specialist.  An orthodontist can examine your teeth and determine if you need braces or not.
If you need braces, the orthodontist will take X-rays and molds of your teeth that will be used as models to create braces that specifically fit your mouth.  There are many different kinds of braces.  Some are made of clear plastic and some are made of metal.  Regardless of the type, today’s braces are much less noticeable than ever before.  On the other hand, you may want your braces to get noticed as cool work of art.  Braces can be fun and creative—you can choose from any color of rubber bands that you want.  Some kids like to choose their school colors or special color combinations for the holidays.  Retainers that you wear after your braces come off can be customized as well, with colors and glitter—they can even glow in the dark!
Sometimes your braces may hurt a bit, especially after they are first put on or adjusted.  Let your mom or dad know if it is too painful, and they can give you pain-relieving medication.  It may help to eat soft foods when you experience discomfort.  You should avoid chewing gum, sticky candy, and hard foods to keep your braces from breaking.
You should wear a mouthguard when you play sports to protect your lips and your braces.  You should be able to do everything else that you like to do with braces—talk, laugh, and sing.  Everyone probably gets teased from time to time about wearing braces, but the very kids that tease you are probably the next kids to get braces.  Braces may be sort of a nuisance now, but when they are taken off, you will have a gorgeous smile and know that it was all worth it!

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This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.

The iHealthSpot patient education library was written collaboratively by the iHealthSpot editorial team which includes Senior Medical Authors Dr. Mary Car-Blanchard, OTD/OTR/L and Valerie K. Clark, and the following editorial advisors: Steve Meadows, MD, Ernie F. Soto, DDS, Ronald J. Glatzer, MD, Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, Christopher M. Nolte, MD, David Applebaum, MD, Jonathan M. Tarrash, MD, and Paula Soto, RN/BSN. This content complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. The library commenced development on September 1, 2005 with the latest update/addition on April 13th, 2016. For information on iHealthSpot’s other services including medical website design, visit