Braces FAQ

Are there any alternatives to braces?

Braces are the standard treatment for straightening teeth, but you may be able to benefit from clear aligners. These are a new technology that uses clear, plastic aligners to gradually shift teeth — no metal brackets required. To know exactly what treatments you qualify for, you’ll have to schedule a consultation with our doctors.

What’s the best age to get braces?

You can get braces at any stage of life! That said, it is easier to get braces at a younger age. For full braces generally between 10 to 14 is best. This is a good period because the permanent teeth are in and this is peak growth spurt time which allows us to more easily shift the teeth. However, if early treatment is needed to correct skeletal growth issues, the best age to be seen is 7 or 8. That is why the American Association of Orthodontics recommends every child be seen by an orthodontist at the age of 7. Please find more information on this in our “Early Orthodontic Treatment” section

How long do people have to wear braces?

The length of treatment really all depends on the extent of your orthodontic issues. Some people can get by with just a few months of treatments, while others require several years. In general, you can expect to wear braces between one to three years, but our doctors can help establish a better timeline at your initial consultation.

Are braces really necessary?

Some people want braces for cosmetic reasons, but for many others, braces are an important tool for good oral health. They can help straighten crooked teeth, so they’re easier to clean, reducing your chances of gingivitis, tooth decay, and excess tooth wear.

Do braces do anything other than improving my smile?

Yes! Braces are an excellent tool for correcting bite issues that may make it hard to chew and speak correctly. They can also make it easier to clean in between teeth by spacing out overcrowded teeth. This greatly reduces your risk of getting cavities or gum disease. And of course, braces can give you a big boost of self-esteem once you see your final smile revealed.

Do Braces hurt?

Braces can be uncomfortable, but they should not be painful in most cases. Most of the discomfort comes after an appointment when wires have been tightened. However, this should just last for a day as the teeth adjust to the new pressure. You may also find that the metal brackets cause some discomfort along the inside of your mouth, but your mouth will also adjust to this over time.

How much do braces cost?

The cost of braces varies for every patient. That’s because every patient has different issues that need to be addressed. We’ll provide an estimate for your total treatment cost at your initial consultation so you can see if braces fit into your budget.

Am I too old for braces?

You’re never too old for braces. As long as your teeth and gums are healthy, you can have braces placed to straighten your teeth. If you have tooth decay or gingivitis, your doctor will want to clear that up first, as braces can make it harder to keep your teeth clean.

How long will I have to wear braces?

How long you have to wear braces all depends on your treatment plan. Our doctors will create that for you at your initial consultation. However, your treatment time can change depending on how well you cooperate during the process. This means attending all of your appointments, keeping your brackets safe, and wearing any auxiliary rubber bands as recommended.

Do I need to see my general dentist while wearing braces?

Yes, seeing your regular dentist is vital to maintaining good oral health. Your orthodontist will be primarily concerned with alignment issues, so they won’t necessarily be on the lookout for dental decay or gingivitis. It’s your dentist’s job to tackle these issues, so make sure you keep up with your regular cleanings and checkups.

What is limited treatment?

If just improving your smile is your primary concern, you may want to consider limited treatment. In standard comprehensive treatment, we typically treat the bite to help align the teeth and ensure optimum functioning of the jaw. However, limited treatment just involves straightening the front teeth without worrying about the bite. It’s a good option for those who want braces for cosmetic reasons only. You’ll be able to improve your smile much faster than with standard treatment.

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