Do you think it’s time for you or your child to get braces? It’s understandable, you’ll want to do as much research as possible to know what to expect. Getting orthodontic treatment can be a big decision and does become part of your life for several months. Whether you’re an adult looking into braces, or helping your child understand what to expect when getting braces, it’s normal to have lots of questions.
To help put your mind at ease, the experts at O’Gara-Gilbert Orthodontics in Reno, Nevada have compiled the most frequently asked questions about braces so that you can easily find the information and resources you need. Keep reading for straightforward answers to all of your orthodontics questions!
- What are braces and what do they do? Braces are orthodontic appliances used to correct misaligned teeth and jaws. They work by slowly bringing your teeth into proper alignment over time, using consistent pressure and tension. During treatment, you will visit the orthodontist regularly to have them adjusted as necessary.
- Who needs braces and when should they be worn? Braces can improve the alignment of teeth and jaws for people of any age. It’s best to start considering braces at an early age (between 5-7 years old), as this is the optimal time for orthodontic treatment. That said, adults can get braces – it’s never too old to straighten your smile!
- How long will I have to wear braces for and how often will I need to see the orthodontist for adjustments/check-ups? The amount of time you’ll need to wear braces varies from person to person, depending on the severity of the misalignment. Generally speaking, it takes about 18-24 months for teeth and jaws to be properly aligned. During this treatment period, you’ll need to visit the orthodontist regularly (usually every 4-6 weeks) for check-ups and adjustments. *Please keep in mind that these are just estimates – only your orthodontist can tell you the exact amount of time you’ll need to wear your braces and the best cadence for checkups.
- Are there any foods or activities that I need to avoid whilst wearing braces (or after)? Generally speaking, it’s best to avoid foods that are hard/chewy or sticky/gooey (e.g. popcorn, candy, gum) as they can damage the braces and make cleaning your teeth more difficult. Additionally, you should avoid activities such as playing contact sports and using a straw – these can cause injury and irritation to your mouth.
- How much do braces cost on average and is there anything that can be done to reduce the cost/spread the payments out over a longer period of time? The cost of braces varies depending on your individual needs and the type of braces chosen. On average, you can expect to pay several thousand dollars for traditional metal braces. Many orthodontists also offer payment plans or financing options that allow patients to spread out payments over a longer period of time. *Please keep in mind that these are just estimates – only your orthodontist can tell you the exact amount of time you’ll need to wear your braces and the best cadence for checkups.
- Will my insurance cover the cost of my braces treatment or a portion thereof? It’s best to check with your insurance provider regarding their coverage of braces. Most plans will cover at least a portion of the cost, but this amount can vary significantly depending on your plan and any other applicable factors.
- How do I care for my braces and what should be done to ensure proper hygiene? Proper oral hygiene is essential when wearing braces. This means brushing twice a day and flossing daily, as well as using any additional products recommended by your orthodontist (e.g. special toothbrushes or gels). Additionally, it’s best to limit sugary foods/beverages and avoid chewing gum altogether.
- How are braces taken off? Braces are typically removed in the same way they are put on. Your orthodontist will use a special tool to gently remove the brackets and wires from your teeth, then polish them to create a smooth surface.
- Do I need any special retainers/aligners after my braces are taken off? Once your braces have been removed, you will be fitted with a retainer or aligner to help maintain the position of your teeth and keep them straight. Your orthodontist will be able to advise you on the best course of action for your individual needs.
- Are there any risks/complications associated with braces? There are very few risks or complications associated with wearing braces, though some people may experience minor discomfort or irritation during their treatment. Additionally, patients should be aware that if the braces are not looked after properly (e.g. by avoiding certain foods/activities), there is a risk of damage to the teeth/braces and an extended treatment time. It’s important to follow your orthodontist’s advice for the safest and most effective treatment.
- Do braces hurt? Generally speaking, braces treatment does not cause pain. Some patients may experience discomfort in their mouth during the initial adjustment period but this should pass within a few days. Additionally, visiting your orthodontist for check-ups and adjustments usually only takes a few minutes, and the process is not usually painful.
In conclusion, braces are a safe and effective way to transform your smile. It is important to keep up with good oral hygiene while wearing them, as well as follow the instructions of your orthodontist to ensure the best possible outcome. With proper care and patience, you can look forward to enjoying a beautiful, straight smile in no time! If you have further questions about braces, call the experts at O’Gara-Gilbert Orthodontics in Reno, Nevada!