The following information is provided by the American Association of Orthodontists.
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.
I don't want braces that show. What are my options?
In some cases, braces may be bonded behind the teeth (lingual braces). Some of today's wires are made of "space age" materials that exert a steady, gentle pressure on the teeth, so that the tooth-moving process may be faster and more comfortable for patients. A type of clear orthodontic wire is currently in an experimental stage. Another option may be the use of a series of plastic tray aligners instead of traditional braces to correct some problems.
My teeth have been crooked for many years – why should I have orthodontic treatment now?
It's never too late! Healthy teeth can be moved at any age. Orthodontic treatment can restore good function. And teeth that work better usually look better, too. A healthy, beautiful smile can improve self-esteem, no matter the age.
Can I afford orthodontic treatment?
Most orthodontists have a variety of convenient payment plans. Many dental insurance plans now include orthodontic benefits.
Do teeth with braces need special care?
Yes. Patients with braces must be careful to avoid hard, sticky, chewy and crunchy foods, or hard objects, such as pens, pencils or fingernails. Keeping the teeth and braces clean requires more precision and time, and must be done every day if the teeth and gums are to be healthy during and after orthodontic treatment. Clean, healthy teeth move more quickly.
How may I distinguish an orthodontist from a dentist?
Find an orthodontist near you that uses 3M™ Braces. Orthodontists included in this search are American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) members. AAO membership is the best way to confirm a doctor's status as an orthodontist because the AAO only accepts orthodontists for membership.
Can my child play sports while wearing braces?
Yes. But wearing a protective mouth guard is advised while riding a bike, skating, or playing any contact sports, whether organized sports or a neighborhood game. Your orthodontist can recommend a specific mouth guard.
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.
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.