What are braces, and how do they work?
Braces are an orthodontic treatment that uses brackets and wires to straighten and align teeth. The brackets are attached to the teeth, and the wires are threaded through the brackets. The wires are then adjusted to apply gentle pressure to the teeth, gradually moving them into the desired position.
How long do you have to wear braces?
The length of time you will have to wear braces depends on the severity of your orthodontic issue and how well you follow the treatment plan. On average, people wear braces for about 18 to 24 months, but it can be shorter or longer.
Can braces be removed?
Yes, braces can be removed. The process is called debonding, and an orthodontist does it. The brackets and wires are carefully removed from the teeth, and any remaining adhesive is cleaned.
Do braces hurt?
Most people experience some discomfort when they first get braces, as their mouth and teeth adjust to the new appliance. However, this discomfort is usually mild and goes away after a few days. Some people may experience more significant pain or discomfort, but this can be managed with over-the-counter pain medication.
Are there any special instructions for caring for braces?
Yes, there are some special instructions for caring for braces. It’s important to brush and floss your teeth regularly to keep your mouth and teeth clean, and to avoid eating hard, sticky, or crunchy foods that can damage the braces. Your orthodontist will provide detailed instructions on how to care for your braces.
Are there any risks associated with braces?
While braces are generally safe and effective, some risks are associated with the treatment. The most common risks include irritation or discomfort in the mouth, tooth decay, and damage to the braces. Rarely, braces can cause more serious problems, such as root or nerve damage. Your orthodontist will discuss the risks of braces with you before starting treatment.
Can adults get braces?
Yes, adults can get braces. Orthodontic treatment can be effective at any age, and many adults get braces to straighten their teeth and improve their smile.
How much do braces cost?
The cost of braces varies depending on factors such as the type of braces, the severity of the orthodontic issue, and the length of treatment. Braces can cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars to over $10,000. Most dental insurance plans cover at least part of the cost of braces.
Are there any alternatives to braces?
Yes, there are alternatives to braces. Invisalign is one popular alternative, which uses a series of clear, removable aligners to straighten teeth. Other alternatives include lingual braces, placed on the backside of the teeth, and clear ceramic braces, less noticeable than traditional metal braces. Your orthodontist can help you decide which treatment option is best for you.
Can braces cause teeth to become more sensitive?
In some cases, braces can cause teeth to become more sensitive. This is usually temporary and goes away after the braces are removed. If you are experiencing increased sensitivity, your orthodontist may recommend desensitizing toothpaste or mouthwash to help manage the sensitivity.
Can you eat with braces?
Yes, you can eat with braces. However, you should avoid eating hard, sticky, or crunchy foods that can damage the braces. Your orthodontist will provide a list of foods to avoid and may recommend using a special brush or floss threader to clean around the braces.
Can braces cause tooth decay?
In some cases, braces can increase the risk of tooth decay. This is because food particles and bacteria can become trapped in the brackets and wires of the braces, leading to an increased risk of cavities. It’s important to brush, floss regularly, and visit your dentist for regular cleanings to prevent tooth decay.
Can braces cause gum disease?
In some cases, braces can increase the risk of gum disease. This is because food particles and bacteria can become trapped around the brackets and wires of the braces, leading to an increased risk of infection. It’s important to brush, floss regularly, and visit your dentist for regular cleanings to prevent gum disease.
Are there any special instructions for wearing braces?
Yes, there are some special instructions for wearing braces. It’s important to avoid eating hard, sticky, or crunchy foods, as these can damage the braces. You should also avoid using your teeth as tools, such as to open bottles or packages, as this can damage the braces. Your orthodontist will provide detailed instructions on how to care for your braces.
Can braces cause jaw pain?
In some cases, braces can cause jaw pain. This is usually due to teeth grinding or clenching, which can put a lot of pressure on the jaw. If you are experiencing jaw pain, your orthodontist may recommend using a mouthguard to help relieve the pressure on your jaw.