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Frequently Asked Questions

General

  • Make a list and bring it along to your first consultation. Here are a few common questions:
     

    • How is my treatment cost determined, and how much will it be?
    • Does your quote include all treatment costs from beginning to end? Are there any additional fees?
    • What are my insurance and payment options?
    • Can you describe the procedures you will be using?
    • How long will it take to get my braces put on and taken off?
    • How long will I be wearing braces or aligners?
    • Do I need headgear? If so, what are my options?
    • Will braces significantly affect my eating, oral hygiene, or speech?
    • How often will I need to schedule my check-up or adjustment appointments?
    • What do I do if one of my braces falls off or a wire breaks?
    • What follow-up steps or appointments do I need after my braces are removed?
    • Will my teeth move after my braces are removed?

Aligners

Braces

  • Every patient is different and ever smile is unique, on average, patients may wear braces for a range of time between 6 months to 2 years – sometimes more, sometimes less.
  • Brushing and flossing can be slightly more complicated with braces, but it’s worth the extra effort to take care of your smile properly. Use a “tree brush” to check behind your archwire for any remaining food. An electric toothbrush can make it easy to remove plaque in tiny, hard-to-reach spots – precisely like the areas around your braces. Many people wearing braces use a water flosser in addition to regular floss to make sure they’ve removed any food from in between teeth and around brackets.
  • You can still eat many of your favorite foods, but you’ll want to be a little more careful. Your braces are designed to be durable, but certain foods can damage a bracket or wire. Choose softer foods that you can cut or tear. Avoid sticky, hard or crunchy foods like bubble gum and hard candy.
  • No matter how teeth are straightened, most people experience tenderness when their teeth move. After first getting braces, and after each adjustment, you may feel a little pressure and discomfort when biting or chewing, but this should only last for a few days. For your appointment days, stock up on soup, pasta or other gentle foods that don’t require much chewing.
    Your orthodontist can also give you soft wax to use if any brackets are rubbing against your cheeks, lips or tongue. If a wire is poking you, don’t hesitate to call your orthodontist – they can cut it shorter.

  • Yes, you can exercise and play sports while wearing braces. Depending on the sport, it may be a good idea to wear a mouth guard or lip protector so the braces don’t cut the inside of your mouth.
  • To help speed up your adjustment period, speech pathologists have developed a special exercise called the rainbow passage. It’s a short paragraph that contains many of the sounds found in the English language. Practice reading it aloud until you’re comfortable speaking with your new braces.

  • Yes, you can still play your instrument! You may be able to get a custom mouth guard or lip protector through your orthodontist's office.
  • Orthodontic emergencies are rare. Your braces are held in place by a strong, reliable dental adhesive, and the brackets themselves are designed to bond securely. But if one of your brackets does fall off – or if a band or wire comes loose – call your orthodontist right away.
  • They may move slightly over time making retainers/retention an important part of your treatment. Retainers help make sure your teeth “remember” their new positions. Some retainers are removable, clear plastic trays for the top or bottom teeth. Others are permanently attached to the back of your teeth, out of sight, meant to be worn for a couple years. It’s important to wear your retainer as instructed.
  • These questions are meant to serve as a guide. Only your orthodontist can provide treatment specifications and recommendations related to your specific case.