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New Patients

Top 9 Questions from New Patients

1. Why do people need braces?

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.

2. What is the best age for braces?

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.

3. How do braces work?

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).

4. Does it hurt to put braces on?

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.

5. How long does treatment last?

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.

6. Can I play sports while wearing braces?

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.

7. Can I eat “anything” while wearing braces?

While in treatment patients should avoid hard, sticky foods - especially gum.

8. Can I get “shocked” if braces are touched by metal?


9. What are rubber bands and why do people need them?

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.