Frequently Asked Questions about Braces

 

When is the ideal time to get braces?

Technically speaking, there’s no ideal age for individuals to get braces. Patients with orthodontic issues such as crooked teeth or a misaligned jaw can get braces at pretty much any age. With that said, most people find it socially acceptable to install braces during adolescence from ages 10 to 14. During this time, the head and oral cavity are still growing and therefore more susceptible to changes such as teeth straightening.

Are braces painful?

Although you might experience slight discomfort or sensitivity immediately after placement of your braces and following every tightening session, you shouldn’t feel any pain. Notify your dentist immediately if you do feel any pain as it could mean that your braces are too tight and need to be adjusted. Keep in mind that it’s normal to feel some soreness for the first week or so after having braces installed. After that, the soreness should subside.

Which foods should you avoid eating with braces?

Certain foods should be avoided as they can damage the wires, get stuck between your teeth or get stuck in the metal brackets. The types of foods you should generally stay away from include:

  • Hard fruits you have to bite into like carrots, corn on the cob, or apples
  • Chewy foods like pizza, bagels, bread rolls, licorice
  • Sticky foods like gum, caramels, hard candies
  • Extremely sugary foods like any type of candy
  • Hard or crunchy foods like pretzels, nuts, or crackers

Can you kiss with braces?

Of course! A word of caution though: while kissing your loved ones with braces on is certainly acceptable, just be careful that their lips don’t graze against your front braces as this can cause them to get cut.

Which beverages should I avoid with braces?

Fizzy drinks, soda, natural fruit juices, and even carbonated beverages all contain high amounts of sugar in the form of fructose. These beverages are highly acidic and can erode the natural enamel on your teeth, leading to tooth decay and periodontal disease. If you do indulge in these beverages from time to time, try to limit the amount of direct contact they have with your teeth by using a straw. The same basic principles apply to drinking coffee or tea with braces on. Coffee and dark teas can stain your teeth, so if you do drink them regularly, it’s important to rinse your mouth out immediately afterward.

How much do braces cost for kids and adults?

Orthodontic treatment is personalized depending on the needs of each individual patient and this can influence the overall cost. Price ranges can vary from approximately $3,000 to over $10,000. This is based on the length and intensity of treatment required. Some people only need braces for six months to one year, while others might need to keep them on for much longer. In some cases, braces might also be covered under your dental insurance plan through your place of employment. Before making the financial and orthodontic commitment to getting braces, check with your insurance provider to see how much coverage you have. 

Are braces worth the potentially high cost?

Braces are certainly worth the cost because they require professional placement and a great deal of maintenance throughout the treatment process. The end result will leave you with straight teeth, reduced risk of developing future orthodontic problems, and a stunning smile. However, there are other teeth straightening treatment options available that your dentist can recommend if the idea of having metal wires and brackets on your teeth makes you uncomfortable.

Are braces safe?

Yes, braces are completely safe. The only minor potential side effects you may experience after just having your braces installed or tightened is soreness or sensitivity. However, these side effects should subside fairly quickly. Aside from that, you just have to watch what you consume and be sure to clean your braces thoroughly every single day.

How can you whiten your teeth with braces?

To help your pearly whites stay bright and beautiful, we recommend that you brush regularly with a whitening toothpaste. Also, rather than avoiding the healthy foods such as blueberries and strawberries that can stain your teeth, consider rinsing your mouth out immediately after eating them. The same thing goes for coffee and tea. Use straws whenever you can to prevent direct contact of these beverages with your teeth. Floss every night to remove food particles that can easily get lodged in the wires and brackets of your braces. This will help prevent future orthodontic problems. 

How can I floss with braces?

Flossing with braces isn’t as difficult as you might think. Using a floss threader—a thin plastic thread with a loop to pull your floss through—is very useful. You can use this to pull the floss through the spaces between your teeth like a sewing needle pulls thread through fabric. Slide the floss gently up and down along your gum line to remove any food particles and plaque, then slowly remove the floss and the threader. Alternatively, there are also mechanical dental devices on the market that spray water in the gum pockets between your teeth to gently blast away any food particles that are lodged there. Ask your dentist for recommendations on the best flossing method for you.

What’s the best way to brush your teeth with braces?

Many patients struggle with effectively brushing their teeth after they’ve had braces installed. Start by thoroughly rinsing out your mouth to remove any loose food particles. Then, rinse your tooth brush with warm water, squeeze out a small amount of toothpaste on top, and angle the brush approximately at a 45-degree angle. Maneuver the brush gently and slowly in small circular motions as you move it across your teeth. This will help it effectively remove as many food particles as possible. Rinsing your mouth out after every meal or snack also facilitates easy cleaning in the morning or at night.

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