It’s no fun having crooked teeth or a misaligned bite. Ensuring that your teeth are healthy and strong is an important part of maintaining overall good physical health. While this usually means visiting one of our dentists regularly and paying attention to any changes that you notice in your mouth or your jaw, sometimes it means having different kinds of procedures or treatments.
Not all of these are bad, of course, and some are quite common – common enough that many individuals have also experienced them. Braces, for example, are one of the most common orthodontic treatments around, and many individuals get them. Fortunately, we here at Water's Edge Dental provide braces treatment to restore your smile. However, first, there are a few things you should know.
What’s the procedure?
Dr. Geoffrey Herzog will ask you questions about your health, do a clinical exam, take impressions of your teeth, take photos of your face and teeth, and order X-rays of the mouth and head. We use this information to draw up a specialized treatment plan. If braces are the right choice, Dr. Geoffrey Herzog will prescribe an appliance made just for you.
After the braces are installed, you will need to see Dr. Geoffrey Herzog at least once a month for him to ensure the braces are exerting pressure on your teeth. Dr. Geoffrey Herzog will also adjust the wires, bands, or springs, of the braces to put more pressure on the teeth.
How long do I need to wear braces?
Most patients usually wear braces for 1 to 3 years, but this varies. Once the braces are removed, most patients have to wear a retainer frequently for 6 months, then only at night for multiple years.
Does age affect the effects of braces?
Because the procedure for moving teeth with braces is the same for all ages, the benefits of orthodontic treatments are available to both children and adults. A key difference between treating adults and treating children is that some corrections in adults may need more than just braces and their treatments can take longer since adult bones are finished growing.
Do braces hurt?
One of the most common questions that we hear from prospective patients is about the aftereffects of the braces. You might wonder if they hurt, for example, and if you will mind wearing them. Braces are not meant to be painful, and most of the time you will adjust to wearing them quickly. When they are tightened, of course, you might experience some discomfort at first while your teeth adjust, but this is fleeting and not long-lasting. Most patients can continue about their daily lives, even immediately after having their braces tightened.
Braces also shouldn't be inherently uncomfortable to wear. It might take you a while to fully adjust to wearing them, of course, but this adjustment process is usually a quick one. You might not ever feel like the braces are "natural", but most patients do become accustomed to their presence and are not bothered by them.
Can I play sports while I’m wearing braces?
Yes, you can play any sport with braces. However, if you’re playing sports where you run the risk of getting hit in the mouth, you will need to wear a mouthguard specifically designed for you. The mouthguard is made of durable plastic and fits over the braces to protect soft tissue.
What happens after the braces are taken off?
Once the braces are finally removed, we will thoroughly clean your teeth. Dr. Geoffrey Herzog may need to take another set of X-rays and bite impressions to see how effectively the braces straightened your teeth and to see if any wisdom teeth have emerged. If they have, we may need to pull them to keep your newly shifted teeth from changing position.
We will also fit you with a retainer, which is a custom-made appliance that maintains tooth position after the removal of braces. Your newly-straightened teeth are not completely set in their new position until your gums, muscles, and bones adapt to the change. Teeth also can shift after long durations, furthering the need for a retainer.
How much will braces cost?
Braces usually cost around $5,000, but this can vary (for example, it can cost less in some rural locations). Check to see if your insurance provider will cover part of the treatment, as many do.
What else should I know about braces?
When it comes to braces, make sure that you pay attention to your oral health. You might have food stuck in the braces, for example, that can begin to breakdown and cause an unpleasant odor or taste. You must carefully brush your teeth and floss them, and check your braces for any signs lingering food debris. This process isn't a difficult one, nor is it particularly time-consuming, but it is probably worth mentioning.
For more information about dental braces and how they can help you, contact Water's Edge Dental today at (208) 391-8554.