The most frequent questions
Oh yeah! Key questions and answers on braces
Why do I need braces?
Your orthodontist will only advise you to get braces if your teeth or jaw need treatment to keep them in good alignment and to avoid later hassle. Wacky teeth or (often invisible) jaw misalignments can be reasons for treatment.
What is orthodontic treatment?
Orthodontic treatment usually involves the wearing of braces, sometimes the extraction of teeth and very occasionally jaw surgery.
How do braces feel?
Most people have some discomfort after their braces are first put on or when adjusted during treatment. After the braces are on, teeth may become sore and may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. The orthodontist will advise patients and/or their parents what, if any, pain relievers to take. Overall, orthodontic discomfort is short-lived and easily managed. Once patients have become accustomed to their braces, they may even forget they have them on.
Braces - as normal as wearing jeans?
Nearly every other teen wears them, more and more grown-ups wear them and even your favorite stars: Braces are as normal to wear as jeans these days. So, you can just laugh back at people who tease brace-wearers, can't you?
Won't I get laughed at with braces?
Surely not by true friends!
Does the treatment hurt?
Don't fret: Having braces and archwires fitted doesn't hurt. In the first few days after fitting, your new braces may still feel funny, but you'll soon stop noticing it.
Who will carry out the treatment?
The orthodontist often carries out the treatment personally, although in some cases another member of their staff may treat you. Your dentist or dental surgeon will usually carry out any extractions, if necessary, as part of the treatment.
Do braces make you snag when you kiss?
No fear: That can't normally happen, because braces don't get so close during a kiss.
Are there boys who go for girls with braces?
Sure! Always remember: If a boy thinks you're sweet and really fancies you, it's no problem to him if you are wearing braces or not. And lads, no fear: It is no different for the girls!
Have I got to change what I eat?
A bit. Hard and sticky food or food containing a lot of sugar can damage your teeth and braces. By the way: See FAQ on this website for tons of great nutrition tips.
Are sports off the menu with braces?
Nope! You can go on doing sports, because sturdy material goes into your braces. Wear a mouthguard to be on the safe side for some types of sports. Your orthodontist can give you more exact tips on this.
Will braces interfere with playing musical instruments?
Playing wind or brass instruments, such as the trumpet, will clearly require some adaptation to braces. With practice and a period of adjustment, braces typically do not interfere with the playing of musical instruments.
Is tooth care complicated with brackets?
Not very complicated, but very important! At the start you may not like brushing your teeth and braces after each meal. But you adapt fast and do yourself a big favour: Because just imagine, your braces come off and though your teeth are straight, they've got holes or ugly plaque. No thanks!
Do teeth have to be extracted?
It depends. In some cases the jaw is not wide enough for all teeth. To secure that all remaining teeth have enough place teeth might be extracted. Your orthodontist will explain the need for extration during your treatment planning visit.
Can people still see traces of the brackets on my teeth after treatment?
When your orthodontist takes your glued on brackets off, you will still have traces of glue on the surfaces of your teeth. He removes them with special polishers. But, it doesn't hurt - and then there will be no sign of the brackets!
How long does orthodontic treatment take?
Brackets or rather fixed braces, can often be the more effective and faster route to straight teeth. But how long you need to wear your braces totally depends on the alignment of your teeth. Your orthodontist will also give you tips on the fastest way to end your treatment. But no fear: Brace time goes by faster than you think! And if your braces are getting at you, just remember how great your teeth will look after the treatment. So, it's still worth holding out for a while, isn't it?
What do you mean by temporary implants?
In some cases of treatment (such as tooth gaps or an open bite) the orthodontist fits an anchor screw into your mouth. Fitting these tiny screws doesn't usually hurt at all. Here temporary means provisional. That is to say, you only need wear the implant for a certain period.
I have a stud in my tongue. Will this interfere with orthodontic treatment?
Exercise caution. Tongue-piercing jewelry may contribute to breakage of appliances and to tooth and gum damage from contact with the stud.
Your orthodontist will be glad to answer these and many other questions.