Are you ready to straighten your smile, or do you have a child that needs orthodontic treatment? If so, you know that a lot of questions go along with braces and other orthodontic solutions. Here are some answers to the most common questions we receive about orthodontics. For more information specific to your case, consult with your dentist or orthodontist.
When is the time right for my child to get braces?
The answer to this depends on a number of factors. In most cases, it is wisest to wait until a child has developed all of his or her adult teeth before undergoing any orthodontic treatment. However, there are rare cases where young children require early orthodontic intervention. The only way to know when the time is right for your child is to work closely with your family dentist and orthodontist.
How much do braces cost?
Most individuals spend between $4,000 to $10,000 on braces and other orthodontic treatment. If this seems steep to you, you can look into orthodontic dental insurance or orthodontics financing to help offset the cost.
What about invisible braces?
Invisalign® invisible braces are a good solution for many teens and adults who wish to straighten their teeth without the hassle and appearance of traditional braces. They take about the same amount of time to straighten smiles as do traditional braces, and the cost is roughly the same. However, Invisalign® only works for people who don't have extreme orthodontic needs. To know is Invisalign® is right for you, schedule a consultation with your orthodontist.
What foods should I avoid while wearing braces?
As a general rule, any food that is particularly hard, chewy, or sticky is not a good idea to eat with braces. The brackets of braces can easily break and wires can be bent when a person eats the wrong foods. For a comprehensive list of foods to avoid, as well as a list of what foods are particularly good for your teeth, talk with your dentist or orthodontist.
What type of braces should I get?
In many cases, people prefer clear ceramic braces to traditional metal braces for aesthetic reasons. However, ceramic braces are not a good fit for people who need extensive repositioning or who have very small teeth. Other patients may be well-served by invisible braces by Invisalign®, or with Damon brackets. Do the research and work with your dentist or orthodontist to find out which type of braces is best for you.
I have crooked teeth but don't want to put the time into braces. Is there another option?
For patients who have slightly crooked teeth or gaps, porcelain veneers can often act as "instant orthodontics". Veneers are thin shells of porcelain that are fitted to the fronts of teeth to mask imperfections like chips, stains, and even crookedness and gaps. While veneers are not a good solution for people who need extensive straightening or repositioning, they are a much faster and more comfortable option for many patients.