Braces FAQs

What is the best age to get braces?

The ideal age for the placement of braces is between 10 and 14 years old. Your dentist will evaluate your child’s teeth, starting at age 4 or 5 and will recommend orthodontic treatment if it is necessary at an age earlier than 10.

Why do I need braces if my bite is off?

A healthy bite helps prevent other dental and health problems later in life. It also helps to keep teeth from excessive wear and tear. A bad bite can also cause wear of tooth surfaces, difficulty in chewing and strain of the supporting bones and gum tissue.

Am I too old for braces?

You can have braces put on at any age. However it is important to keep in mind that the bones of adults have stopped growing. Therefore some structural changes cannot be achieved without surgery. Your dentist will evaluate your teeth and give you an approximation of the length of time you will need braces.

How much will braces cost?

The Consumer Guide for Dentistry estimates that the cost of traditional braces falls somewhere between $3,000 to $7,000. This depends on whether or not you have insurance coverage. There are monthly payment plans available.

How long will I need to wear braces?

Orthodontic treatment is based on your individual oral needs and treatment goals. On average, traditional braces for age 12-14 will be worn for 24 months.

How often will I have appointments for my braces?

Most patients with braces will be seen every 4 to 8 weeks. In the case there are special situations that require you to be seen more often, we will schedule your appointments accordingly.

Will braces hurt?

Braces sometimes cause discomfort for a few days after application or adjustment. If needed you may take Tylenol or Advil to relieve mouth soreness associated with getting used to braces. Rinsing with salt water can help alleviate discomfort.

Are there foods I can’t have while wearing braces?

In general, you will need to avoid any food that will stick to or get caught on your teeth and braces. Some of these include bagels, hard rolls, licorice, corn on the cob, popcorn, ice, chips, caramels, gum, nuts, and candy.

How often do I brush my teeth while wearing braces?

If you can, you should brush your teeth after every time you eat. If you can’t brush with a toothbrush, at least rinse your mouth out with water. Swish the water around your mouth really well and spit the water out. You should also clean between your teeth with floss at least once every day. After flossing, brush your teeth and braces until they are clean and polished. An ideal time to do this detailed cleaning is right before you go to sleep at night.

How often do I floss my teeth while wearing braces?

You should floss at least once per day, but two is highly recommended.

Are retainers necessary after having braces?

Yes. After your braces are removed, you will need retainers to hold your teeth in their new arrangement. Otherwise, the teeth will shift back into their original placements.

Can you get braces if you have a missing tooth?

It may be more difficult to fit braces when teeth are missing, however it depends on the unique circumstances of each patient. Your dentist will advise you if it is possible to place braces, or what other treatment options are available to you.

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