Top 9 Questions from New Patients
There are many reasons one may need braces: Crowded teeth, missing teeth, extra teeth, the jaws are not growing right, bad overbite, openbite, etc. Not everyone needs braces if they go early enough to the orthodontist for an evaluation.
There is NO best age for getting braces, as both adults and children can be treated. However, the best time to be seen by an orthodontist is around 7 years old. Most people seen at this time do not actually get braces. They are simply placed on observation recall for further check-ups. Most people get braces between ages 9-14 years.
There is a special wire that is attached to the braces which places a light force on the teeth. Orthodontists also use special rubber bands to bring teeth into the right position. Treatment takes long because teeth move slowly into the right position. (only 1 millimeter or less per month).
To prepare your teeth for braces, they are first cleaned. Then braces are put on the teeth with special paste. After the wire is attached to the braces the teeth may become sore within a few hours once the teeth start moving. Discomfort may last a few days until you adjust to the braces.
Depending on the severity of the case, it could take as little as 6 months or as many as 3 years for complete treatment. Once treatment is started, most patients will be seen every 4-8 weeks.
Yes, but with much care. You may need a mouth guard to prevent injury and damage to the braces, teeth and gums. We will provide a sports mouth guard free of charge. We do not want our patients using the “boil and bite” type of mouth guards available in the stores of from athletic coaches as they interfere with the treatment.
While in treatment patients should avoid hard, sticky foods - especially gum.
Rubber bands (or “elastics”) bring the teeth together to make them fit perfectly. Most people need them. They are usually worn towards the end of treatment.