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10 Common Questions About Braces from Your Orthodontist in Broomfield

June 5, 2018

Braces can play a crucial role in overall oral health. Their benefits expand much beyond cosmetic changes, allowing a person to feel confident and avoid health issues down the road. There are many common questions about having braces to help you better understand their importance. Explore the top 10 common questions about braces from your orthodontist in Broomfield.

What’s the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist?

Dentists focus on overall oral health. They will handle your routine cleanings/preventative care and assist with issues such as filling cavities, performing root canals, installing crowns or bridges, finding solutions for certain temporomandibular (TMJ) disorders or handling tooth decay or damage. Orthodontists specialize in the alignment of the teeth and jaw. This can include crooked teeth, correction of an over or under bite or other types of TMJ disorders. You can research and speak with your dentist about when to see an orthodontist in Broomfield.

How do braces work?

Braces are used to correct misaligned teeth and/or fix malocclusion, also known as a poor bite. After assessing a person’s individual situation, an orthodontist will come up with a customized plan using braces. Braces work because there is an added pressure there, tailored to a person’s situation, to help properly align the teeth and/or jaw to where they need to be. To accomplish this, when using traditional braces, an orthodontist will use brackets that are placed on the teeth that are held in place by bands. Next, the teeth with move into place using a wire. For bite issues, elastics are commonly used to help modify the position. When having braces installed, it is crucial a person understands the ins and outs of taking care of your braces. This will keep them nice and white when removed—as well as residue-free.

Do we really need to wear braces if we don’t care about cosmetic changes?

Absolutely! Braces so more than just solve cosmetic issues. When teeth are misaligned, it is more difficult to clean, leading to serious issues later in life such as tooth decay or gum disease. Why? A person may not be able to properly clean certain areas or get to them using floss. It also helps with jaw issues that also can lead to long-term issues. For others, because of their jaw or teeth alignment issues, it may be hard to speak or chew properly. By wearing braces, these problems can be corrected.

What types of braces are available?

Metal braces were a popular type of braces used for decades and are still used today. With metal braces, a patient will come in based on a schedule from their orthodontist to have the braces tightened which would have the teeth and/or jaw move into a specific place. Today, in addition to traditional braces, there are also self-litigating braces which reduce the number of times a person has to come in for tightening. These types of braces are also made of a translucent ceramic construction, which is closer to the color of one’s tooth. For those looking for an option without brackets, Invisalign® is available. Invisalign can be used for correcting many types of improper alignment of the teeth. It works through a series of clear, removable aligners that a person will change out based on a schedule from their orthodontist. They need to stay in place for at least 22 hours per day and can be removed for eating and drinking or to brush.

What are the different phases of braces?

There are two types of phases for braces: Phase I and Phase II. Phase I treatment is referred to as “interceptive treatment.” It occurs in children before all of their adult teeth are in place to help take a proactive approach to resolving issues. This is used for issues such as allowing enough room for adult teeth to grow, in or jaw issues. Phase II treatment occurs when all adult teeth have grown in.

Do braces hurt?

When getting traditional braces, the actual process of installing them is not painful. Once they are on, or when using Invisalign, the movement of the teeth and/or jaw can cause one to feel some pain or soreness. This is all temporary for great long-term gains. The teeth/jaw will be the sorest after the braces are readjusted or new Invisalign sets are put in. Eating soft foods and taking over-the-counter pain medication as prescribed by your orthodontist will help with the soreness. Wax can be placed on certain areas to help avoid sores in the mouth.

Is there anything a person can’t eat while having braces?

It is beneficial to avoid eating or drinking anything acidic while you have traditional braces. This will help reduce any pain when it comes to sores in the mouth. Avoid eating chewy or hard candy or foods, as well as anything you physically bite into.

How long does a person need to wear braces?

Each individual situation varies. On average, most people wear braces one to two years.

What are the age ranges for people who can get braces?

Anyone, of almost any age, can get braces! In some children, they can begin Phase I treatment as young as six, depending on the situation. Adults of any age can also get braces. There is no limit.

What happens once braces are removed?

The exciting day will come when it is time to remove one’s braces and see the end result. Depending on the situation, it can take about an hour to have them removed. The orthodontist will remove each of the brackets and be sure to remove the glue that held them onto the teeth. To help keep your teeth in their new position, the orthodontist will provide you with a retainer. Wear the retainer based on their required instructions, and it will hold your teeth in their new position.

For an orthodontist and team that will help you or your child every step of the way through correcting crooked teeth or malocclusion—trust the team at Prentice Orthodontics. The team, under Dr. Ricarda Prentice, is experienced with children, teens, and adults. We will help you correct issues and give you straight teeth that are comfortable and pain-free. Call us today at 303-468-7722 for your free consultation.