If you or your child is getting braces for the first time, you may be a little nervous about the process. At East Village Dental Centre, our priority is to make sure you are comfortable and informed about the dental work you need! To put your mind at ease, we’re going to review everything you’ll need to know as well as what to expect when you’re getting braces from our dentist in Chicago.

How Do Braces Work?

Braces apply continuous pressure to your teeth to help move them into the correct placement. While you have braces, you will need to visit an orthodontic dentist in Chicago regularly to have them adjusted until the end of your treatment. Braces have three main components:


  • Brackets are made from metal or ceramic and are typically bonded directly to the surface of each tooth.   
  • Archwire is a thin, but strong, metal wire that connects the brackets on each tooth. The archwire is what exerts the force necessary to move your teeth.
  • Elastics, which may also be referred to as a ligature or o-ring, often come in many colors. They help hold everything together and can provide a fun way to add some flair!


Locating an Orthodontist

Braces are a dental service provided by specialized dentists known as orthodontists. Though anyone can take it upon themselves to find an orthodontist and set up an evaluation, in most cases people receive a referral from their treating dentist in Chicago. Our cosmetic dentists in Wicker Park provide general and specialty services, including orthodontics, for the convenience of our patients. 


When you visit your orthodontist for the first time, they will evaluate your teeth and figure out whether or not you need orthodontic treatment and, if you do, they’ll determine what treatment you’re going to need. The evaluation is likely to include a full review of your dental history, a thorough dental inspection, and x-rays. 

Planning Your Care

If your orthodontist determines you are a good candidate for braces, they will likely take a mold of your teeth to begin planning your care. Just like your fingerprint, your mouth is unique and has unique problems. Common bite variants include an underbite, overbite, and crossbite—all of which relate to significant misalignments of the teeth. As you can imagine, there are countless variables. Some people may even be asked to wear headgear or rubber bands during specific phases of your treatment.

Placing Your Device

When the big day comes to get your braces, you will likely have an appointment scheduled for one to two hours. During this appointment, you will sit back and relax as each bracket is fixed on your teeth. Our cosmetic dentist in Wicker Park will then begin attaching the archwire, usually starting with your back molars. As your dentist works around your mouth, you may notice some pinching or tightening sensations. 

After Your Appointment

Your teeth may continue to feel a bit tight or uncomfortable for a day or two as they shift into position. If you would like to, you can take an over-the-counter medication to help relieve these symptoms. Some people notice that metal brackets rub uncomfortably against their gums during their initial adjustment to wearing braces, which can be remedied with orthodontic wax as a remedy. Orthodontic wax can be found at most drug stores and can easily be applied to any especially irritating spot on your device.

Ongoing Adjustments

Most patients will be asked to return for adjustments every 4-6 weeks. At each appointment, your cosmetic dentist in Wicker Park will tighten your braces, causing some of the same sensations as your first visit. Be sure to continue coming back for your adjustments on time! Neglecting to make your regular appointments can lead to a much longer course of care.

Caring for Your Braces

Good oral care is even more important while you are undergoing treatment with braces. More frequent brushing, such as after each meal, can help you prevent white spots on your teeth from forming (only visible after braces are removed). Your dentist may also recommend the use of an interdental brush or floss threader.

What Should I do if My Bracket Breaks?

If you wear braces for an extended period, there’s a good chance you will have a bracket come loose at one point. The first thing to do is assess the damage; if the bracket is loose but mostly still in position, you may be able to secure it with dental wax until you can visit the dentist. If the bracket is completely loose, store it in a safe place and bring it with you to your orthodontist. In either case, you should make an appointment to see your orthodontist as soon as possible.

Contact Our Dentist in Chicago

Have you been considering braces for yourself or your child? Whether you have visited East Village Dental Centre previously or not, you can call us to discuss your options. We can answer any preliminary questions you have about braces, cosmetic dentistry, or simply schedule you for a teeth cleaning appointment. Reach out to us today!

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East Village Dental Centre

901 N. Ashland Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622

(773) 278-6622

Office Hours

Mon, Tues, Thu8am – 7pm
Wed, Fri8am – 2pm
Saturday8am – 2pm