Do braces hurt?

This is really a two part question. First, the procedure of applying the braces doesn’t really hurt at all. It is a fairly simply procedure to attach the braces to the teeth and shouldn’t be something that you need to lose sleep over.

Second, there may be some discomfort and sore gums when you first get your braces put on or after a new wire has been added or adjusted. This usually only last for a few days and is usually very mild. It is due to the wire putting pressure on the teeth and pushing them into place. Years ago, patients experienced greater pain with adjustments. But thanks to innovations in technology, pain and soreness has been minimized.

Are there certain foods I should avoid?

There are certain foods that you should avoid while you have braces. These are hard, sticky or chewy foods that could put too much pressure on your braces while you are chewing them, causing the braces to pop of your teeth or break. These may include hard foods like Apples or Carrots (unless cooked or cut into small pieces), Corn on the Cob, Nuts, Popcorn, Hard Candy, Bagels, Beef Jerky, Peanut Brittle, Hard Pretzels or Ice. It also includes sticky/chewy foods like Taffy, Gummy Bears and Caramels. Talk to your orthodontist before chewing gum or other sugary foods.

How long will I have to have them on?

How long you have your braces on all depends on how much correction your teeth need. Mild cases may only be as little as 18 months while more extreme cases could take a few years. Ask your orthodontist when you first meet with him/her to get a better estimate.

How much do they cost?

The cost of braces varies between each orthodontist, but typically runs between $5,000 and $7,000. This also depends on where you live and how many orthodontists are in your area. Consult your local orthodontist to get an exact price. Many orthodontists offer free consultations to answer questions and talk about pricing and options.

Am I too old to get Braces?

You are never too old to get braces. As long as you have teeth, you can get braces if you need them. Talk to your orthodontist to see what he/she recommends as a treatment plan.

When should I first see an orthodontist?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends all children see an orthodontist by age seven. They may not need work right away, but it gives parents and orthodontists time to plan what action if any will be necessary for the child's teeth. Enough permanent teeth have come in to allow the orthodontist asses what treatment a child may need or problems may have in the future. An early visit, can help correct things before they get to out of hand.

How do the Braces stick to my teeth?

Braces are carefully and painlessly bonded to your teeth. In order to get the braces to adhere properly to your teeth, your teeth must be clean and dry. They orthodontist or one of his assistants, first cleans and drys your teeth and then may apply an etching gel. He/she will then apply primer to the tooth and composite to the bracket and place the bracket on your tooth. Once the bracket is properly positioned, a bright light is shined on the bracket to harden the composite and ensure proper adhesion to the tooth.

Is it hard to brush your teeth when you have Braces?

Brushing your teeth with braces often takes a little longer because you not only have to brush around each tooth, you have to brush on top and bottom of each bracket. It take a little longer to make sure you have adequately brushed around each bracket and wire. But you will quickly get the hang of it.