Frequently Asked Questions


  • Can you explain the different parts of the braces?

    The BAND is a ring of metal with the bracket attached that is glued onto the tooth. This is what anchors the wires that will move the teeth.
    The BRACKET or BRACE is the attachment cemented to the tooth or welded to the band. These hold the archwires.
    The ARCHWIRE is a removable, thin wire that fits into the bracket slots. This is what guides the teeth into place.
    The ELASTIC LIGATURE is a plastic ring that ties archwire into the brackets.
    The LIGATURE WIRE is a tiny wire that ties archwire into the brackets.
    The HOOKS are used to attach elastics (rubber bands).

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  • What do I do if the bands or brackets become loose?

    If the seal created by the cement is broken, call your orthodontist’s office to schedule an appointment. If a band or bracket becomes detached from the wire, bring it with you to your next appointment.

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  • What do I do if the archwire breaks or a hook or ligature is lost?

    Call your orthodontist’s office and advise them of the problem. They will tell you the proper action to take.

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  • What do I do if a wire is sticking out or poking my mouth?

    With the eraser of a pencil, try tucking the wire in or dry the wire with a napkin and place wax over the tip to prevent irritation. If a bracket or hook are causing you discomfort, wax can be applied to that as well.

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  • What do I do if my mouth is sore?

    Rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater can relieve soreness. Advil or Tylenol can also be taken as directed.

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  • Can you play an instrument while wearing braces?

    Typically, yes, but a little more practice may be needed. If you have any problems in playing, ask your orthodontist.

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  • How can I insure the success of the orthodontic treatment?

    1. Make every effort to keep every appointment scheduled and bring your retainers to each visit.
    2. Follow all instructions that you are given by your orthodontist or his staff.
    3. Keep your teeth clean with regular brushing and flossing. It is important to try to brush teeth after each meal and snack.
    4. Schedule and keep cleaning/check-up visits with your general dentist at least every six months.
    5. Keep your braces and any appliances or retainers as clean as possible.
    6. If required, wear elastics (rubber bands) as instructed.
    7. Be sure to maintain a healthy diet, rich in Vitamin C.

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  • How much will braces cost? How does my insurance work? Are financing options available?

    Without an examination it is impossible to say. Once we complete our examination and review your insurance coverage we can give you a good estimate of the total investment required.

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  • Can teeth straighten out as they grow?

    Generally not because the space available for the front teeth does not increase as you grow. In most people, after the permanent molars erupt, the space available for the front teeth decreases with age.

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  • Will my child need an expander?

    At the completion of the initial examination, we will determine whether a patient will need an expander.

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  • Will I need to have any teeth removed for braces?

    Removing teeth is sometimes required. There are many new techniques which greatly reduce the need for removal of teeth.

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  • Do I need to have my family dentist schedule my appointment with the orthodontist?

    No. Some of our patients come from Dentist referrals and others from our previous patients referrals.

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  • How long will it take to complete the treatment?

    Every patient is different and the time required to straighten the teeth may vary. In general, treatment time lasts from 8 months to 30 months.

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  • How old should a child be to schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?

    The American Association of Orthodontists recommends age 7. By this age, several permanent teeth in most children have erupted, allowing us to effectively evaluate the alignment of their teeth.

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  • How often do I have to come in for appointments?

    Every 4 -8 weeks is common but each patient is different and we will adjust the schedule to fit the patient.

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  • Can you schedule all of our appointments for after school?

    Unfortunately, we cannot schedule all appointments for students during after-school hours. Since most appointments are scheduled 4 to 8 weeks apart, most patients will miss minimal school due to their orthodontic treatments. We will make a sincere effort to meet your scheduling needs.

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  • Can I return to school the day I receive my braces?

    Yes.

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  • Can I drop my child off for an appointment?

    Yes. We understand your busy schedule, and we are happy to help you make the most of your time. We do ask that you check your child in at our front desk and that you return as soon as the appointment is complete.

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  • Can I play sports while wearing braces?

    Yes. We recommend a mouth guard for any sports.

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  • Should I still see my family dentist while in braces?

    Yes! Regular checkups with your family dentist every 6 months are important while in braces. If there are any cleaning issues your family dentist will help you with those issues and keep your teeth clean.

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  • Do you do braces for Adults?

    Yes, 25 percent of our patients are adults.

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  • Are there foods I should not eat while I have braces?

    Yes. Some of those foods include: ice, hard candy, and all sticky foods such as taffy. You will be provided a list of foods to avoid when you leave with your new braces. Raw fruits and vegetables should be cut into smaller pieces and chewed with back teeth.

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  • How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?

    Patients should brush their teeth at least four times each day – after each meal and before going to bed. We will teach you how to floss your teeth with braces and may also provide a prescription for a special fluoride, if necessary.

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