Frequently Asked Questions about Getting Braces

If you or someone in your family thinks that they could benefit from braces, it is going to be in your best interest to find out as much as you can about orthodontics and all that is involved. It is only natural that you would have questions and the more information that you are able to gather, the easier it will be for you to decide on the type of braces that you would like to invest in or the payments and results that you can expect as you move forward.

What is Orthodontics?

Orthodontics is basically a branch of the dentistry field that specializes in not only the diagnosis of certain facial and dental irregularities but also the prevention and treatment. Such irregularities can include teeth that are misaligned or a mal-positioned jaw. A Dentist who practices Orthodontics is called an Orthodontist. Orthodontists are specialists that are fully educated and trained to work on straightening teeth with the use of measures that include some form of braces.

What is the cost?

The cost of having braces put on, or any other sort of orthodontic treatment, will depend on a number of factors. You have the complexity of the case itself, the age of the patient, how long the treatment is anticipated to be and what types of appliances are going to be used in the correction process. During your initial consultation, you are going to have an evaluation done that will help to determine the cost of the treatment. You will be able to ask that the cost of orthodontic treatment be submitted to you in the form of a written estimate prior to the time that treatment actually begins.

Are braces covered by insurance?

With a lot of dental insurance programs, orthodontics will be considered as a benefit that is separate. If you do have a dental insurance plan that you are enrolled in, you need to verify that you have benefits that are going to be payable for any orthodontic care. In order to determine how much you have for orthodontic coverage, it is important that you are able to communicate with your insurance company or the administrator of your plan through your place of business. In general, you want to ask what treatments are covered, what the percentage of coverage is and whether or not there are any limitations to your coverage.

Are braces safe and will they hurt my teeth?

All of the modern brackets and bands that are used for braces today are made to minimize discomfort as much as possible. However, most patients will notice a bit of soreness for the first couple of days after the braces are put on as your mouth will be getting used to them. Whenever you have an adjustment and they are tightened, you will notice some of the same discomfort or soreness. Braces are safe and if you do have issues with discomfort or pain that does not seem to subside, your orthodontist will be able to work with you on a remedy.

What kind of braces are available?

Braces today are looked upon as not only functional, but also fashionable. Not only are you able to get the traditional metal braces, but you are also going to have a number of options when it comes to the color of the brackets. There are also invisible braces that are available that still work like traditional metal braces, yet they are made from transparent material and will sit on your teeth almost like a mouth guard.

What can I expect when braces are put on?

Once you have an initial visit, there will be x-rays taken to get a better idea of the alignment that needs to be done. From there, you can set up further appointments for the application of the braces and follow ups. During the application time, you can expect that it may take anywhere between one hour up to an hour and a half from start to finish.

How long is the procedure and treatment period?

The time that it takes from start to finish of a treatment with braces will depend greatly on the difficulty of the case as well as whether or not the patient is fully cooperative. There are some newer technologies that are able to shorten the treatment time that a patient will have to go through. Usually in a case where a full set of traditional braces are put into place, the treatment time will usually range from between 18 27 months in length. As long as you keep up with all of your dental appointments, you follow along with any instructions that you are given and you take care of your braces, you should see that it could result in your ability to have the braces removed a lot earlier than initially anticipated. This will mean that you always take the time to practice great oral hygiene.

What foods should be avoided?

It is never a good idea to chew gum while you have braces as the substance can stick and the sugar found in most gum will cause cavities. However, your dental professional may be able to talk with you about your options in sugar free or non-stick gum. As far as foods, you want to try to be careful if you are eating food that is excessively sticky, gooey or too hard. When a food is too hard, it can cause your brackets to loosen or the bands to break. If you are eating a crunchy nutritious food such as an apple or carrot, just try to cut it up into pieces prior to eating to lessen the impact on your braces.

Overall, you will find that there is really nothing to worry about when it comes to orthodontic visits and having braces put on. As long as you stick with all of your appointments and you do your best to take care of your teeth while the braces are on, you should end up with an incredible, straight smile that you can be proud of.