Braces FAQs

What types of food should I avoid?

When you get your new braces, Dr. Pearson will discuss eating with you, and you’ll get a list of foods to avoid. In general, you’ll need to stay away from the kind of foods that have a high chance of dislodging or otherwise damaging your braces and teeth. This usually includes:

  • Hard candy
  • Chewy and sticky candy like taffy, gummy candy, or caramel — also includes gum
  • Chewy bread like bagels and pizza crusts
  • Hard and crunchy foods like thick pretzels, popcorn, nuts, and raw veggies
  • Foods that you must bite into like corn on the cob, bone-in ribs, and raw apples
  • Ice — it’s fine to have in your drink, but don’t crunch or chew on it

How long do I have to wear braces?

The treatment time depends on what kind of bite and/or orthodontic issues that you’re facing. Most patients end up having braces for a total of between 12 and 24 months. Dr. Pearson will discuss your expected treatment time frame with you before you get started and will update you if your time in braces needs to change.

How can I ease pain from braces?

Braces today are smaller and more comfortable than they were in times past. However, it’s normal to experience some mild to moderate discomfort or pain when you initially get the braces and for a short period after your braces adjustments. To alleviate this pain, you can gargle with a saltwater rinse (a tablespoon of salt dissolved in warm water), take over the counter pain medicine like Tylenol or Advil, or use dental wax to smooth your braces brackets.

How much do braces cost?

Your total price varies based on how long you need to wear the braces and what kind of correction you’re having. Dr. Pearson will review your correction needs and discuss the projected treatment time and cost with you during your appointment.

What is the braces process like?

The first step is your comprehensive dental exam, which includes detailed X-rays and photos. Dr. Pearson reviews your images and your health records to determine the braces plan best for you, and then discusses it with you. During the braces application, you’ll lay back in the chair while Dr. Pearson applies the brackets and then strings them together using the wires. He’ll place the elastic ligatures, as well. You’ll review aftercare instructions and you’re done.

You’ll have regular appointments, every 4-6 weeks, so Dr. Pearson can do the necessary braces adjustments, do repairs, or replace braces components if needed. These appointments are crucial in keeping your teeth straightening on track.

How do I take care of my braces?

Be sure to brush carefully, both between teeth and around brackets. An interdental brush, a small brush that’s perfect for reaching underwires, can be a great supplement to regular toothbrushing.

Floss under wires using braces-safe flossing methods, or use special flossing tools made for use with braces. Always brush after you eat, and use mouthwash or rinse when you’re finished flossing to wash any lingering food particles out.

Of course, good care at home is important but seeing Dr. Pearson for your braces adjustments is just as essential. Missing appointments could make you end up wearing braces longer than you’d planned.

How can braces interfere in my lifestyle?

There’s good news on this topic: your braces really don’t have to interfere in your lifestyle much at all. You can still do the things you love. You can even play contact sports without worry as long as you wear a mouthguard.

The main thing to remember about eating is to avoid foods that can get lodged between brackets, and foods that are sticky or hard enough to possibly break or pull your brackets loose.

You’ll need to be extra careful about oral hygiene, as it’s a little bit more time consuming to brush and floss properly with braces. You’ll grow used to the new oral hygiene changes fast and soon it will take just a few extra minutes of your day.

You don’t need to devote too much time to braces appointments, either: your braces adjustments are usually pretty quick and straightforward and you only need to have them every 4-6 weeks.

When is the best age to see the orthodontist?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children should have a pre-orthodontic evaluation before the age of seven. The earlier that your child is evaluated, the more easily you can find out about potential issues — and maybe stop those issues from becoming a major problem for your child later.

Earlier is better for orthodontic evaluation and treatment because the jaw is still developing in children and young teens and that means it’s much easier to make the necessary corrections. Of course, that doesn’t mean adult treatment isn’t possible. Adults should see the orthodontist as soon as they notice issues, even if you’re had braces when you were younger. You can successfully straighten your teeth at any age!

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