Braces are a common right of passage for teens and young adults. In order to have straight teeth, you will likely need braces for some period of time. People have many questions about braces. Here are 10 of the most common braces questions and answers.
Do I Need Braces?
The simple answer is no, you do not need braces. Braces are designed to help straighten your teeth, which is both cosmetic and functional. Straight teeth are aesthetically pleasing, but they also make your teeth more efficient at chewing. However, you can go without braces and have straight or crooked teeth and get along ok.
Are Braces Painful?
Having braces is not painful, but adjusting to them might be. Braces apply constant pressure to your teeth, which may make your gums sore. You will adjust to the way that they feel. Most people describe the feeling as soreness and that it is annoying, but not painful.
How Long Do I Keep My Braces?
The length of time that you need to keep the braces on depends on your body and growth patterns. However, most people have them on for at least one year, and up to three years. Once they are removed, you will need to use a retainer to keep your teeth in place while they adjust to the lower pressure.
Can I Hide My Braces?
Braces are usually made of a non-corrosive metal like Titanium, but there are other materials that they can be made out of. Acrylic and other transparent materials are used to make braces that are harder to see. There is also a style of braces that can be placed on the back of your teeth to hide them entirely. Ask your orthodontist about these different types of braces.
Can I Eat Hard foods?
Having braces means that you will have food restrictions to keep them from breaking or discoloring your teeth and leaving spots when you get your braces off. Sugary drinks, acidic foods, and exceptionally hard foods should be avoided. You also need to practice good oral hygiene habits with every other type of food to prevent future problems.
Are There Alternatives to Braces?
In recent years, several alternatives to braces have become available. Invisalign® is one of the leading options and it uses clear straighteners instead of braces. They are very discrete but are less durable than braces. They also have special requirements for fitting, so your orthodontist will need to assist you with getting Invisalign® aligners.
When Should I Get Braces?
There is no set or recommended age for getting braces. It all depends on each patient. Some wait until they are teenagers, while others start as soon as seven-years-old. Others wait until they are adults. Consult your orthodontist to see if you are ready for braces.
What Else Do Braces Do?
Braces can fix problems other than straightening your teeth. They can also realign your bite, which is important for how your jaw functions. Fixing your bite can help with speech issues, as well as muscular problems and structural problems in your mouth.
How Often are My Appointments?
You will need to see the orthodontist regularly while your braces are on. Appointments are scheduled six to eight weeks apart. The orthodontist will examine, fix, and adjust your braces accordingly during each visit.
How Do I Care For My Teeth With Braces?
Aside from avoiding foods, you care for your teeth as normal. They need to be thoroughly brushed, and you need to floss between your teeth and around your braces twice per day. This will keep food from getting caught in your braces.
Ready to Get Started?
If you have questions about braces or any other part of your dental health, give us a call at (952) 938-1443 to schedule an appointment. We can help you with all of your orthodontic needs.