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Orthodontics FAQs

Do braces hurt?

Braces do not often hurt; however, you may feel a small amount of discomfort for a couple days as your teeth, gums, cheeks, and mouth gets used to your new braces.

Do I need to brush my teeth more often if I have braces?

With braces, you should brush your teeth at least three times a day to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy and clean. Brushing regularly will help remove any food that may be caught between the braces. You should also floss daily to get in between your braces where your brush isn’t able to reach. We can show you how to properly brush and floss once your braces are placed.

If I have braces, do I still need dental checkups every six months?

Yes! In fact, it’s even more important that patients receiving orthodontic treatment visit their dentist regularly. With braces, food may be caught in places that your toothbrush can’t reach. This causes bacteria to build up and can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease.

Will my braces interfere with my school activities like sports or playing an instrument?

Playing an instrument or a contact sport may require some adjustment when you first get your braces, but wearing braces will not stop you from participating in any of your school activities. If you play a contact sport, it is recommended that you wear a mouth guard to protect your braces or appliance.

What are retainers?

Retainers are removable appliances that are worn when the braces are removed, to hold the teeth in their new positions.

How long do I wear retainers?

Throughout your life, your teeth are always moving, even if you have never had braces. It happens more in some people than others. For this reason, we recommend wearing retainers as long as you would like your teeth to be straight.

Should I be worried about spaces or gaps that weren’t there before?

It is very common for your teeth to shift and develop gaps or spaces while treatment is underway. Your bite will change many times during your treatment. Remember that any strange spaces or poor bite problems will be resolved by the time your treatment is complete. If you are very concerned, please speak with your orthodontist.

How often will I have appointments?

Appointments are scheduled according to each patient’s needs. Most patients in braces will need to be seen every 4-8 weeks.

Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?

Unfortunately, we cannot schedule all appointments for students after school hours. By scheduling longer appointments during the morning and early afternoon hours, we are able to schedule most of the quick adjustment appointments during after school hours so missed school time is kept to a minimum.

Will my child need full braces if he/she has a 1st phase of orthodontic treatment?

Most 1st phase patients will need a second “finishing” phase of braces. Usually, this second phase is less complicated and less likely to involve extractions of permanent teeth, due to the work done in the 1st phase.

Are there foods that I shouldn’t eat while I’m wearing braces?

Yes. Once treatment begins, we will provide a comprehensive list of foods to avoid. Some of those foods include: ice, hard candy, bubble gum, uncut raw carrots, caramel, and taffy. Most emergency appointments can be avoided by carefully following our instructions on foods to avoid.