At Downtown Orthodontics, we get lots of questions about what to expect when you have braces. Here are the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions. If you have more questions, please feel free to give us a call.
Will the braces hurt my teeth?
Most patients will feel some discomfort for two to three days after each visit. A patient may take some form of pain medication, but this is not often required.
How often does a patient with braces brush their teeth?
We strongly suggest that all patients brush after each meal (breakfast, lunch and supper) and before going to bed, for a total of four times per day.
Can I eat anything I want while wearing braces?
We do have a list of foods that all patients who wear braces should avoid. These foods fall into three categories: hard foods like nuts, crunchy foods like taco shells, and sticky foods like gum. If eaten, all three types of foods can damage the braces.
Do I still need to see my dentist even though I have braces on my teeth?
We do recommend that all patients continue to see their dentist for regular check-ups, even while wearing their braces.
Can adults wear braces? What if I have missing teeth or crowns?
Almost everyone is a candidate for orthodontic treatment – you are never too old. Braces can be placed on crowns, and the spaces left behind by missing teeth can be closed or prepared to accept a replacement tooth after the completion of orthodontic treatment.
What should I do if something happens to my braces?
If you have any difficulties, it is important to call the office immediately so that we may make an appointment to fix whatever has broken, or eliminate whatever may be hurting you.
How long will I wear braces?
A typical treatment with braces on all of the teeth will require approximately 18 months.
How often are visits while wearing braces?
A person will need a visit approximately once every eight weeks. The visits may become more frequent near the end of the treatment. Each visit will last about 15 minutes.
How much do braces cost?
A typical treatment with complete braces will have a fee of approximately $6,000. Many types of treatments exist though, and each will have its own fee.
What is an Orthodontic Specialist? Why should I see a specialist?
Orthodontic specialists attend three additional years of full-time education, following the completion of dental school, often obtaining a Master’s degree. Orthodontists see patients for braces and related treatments exclusively. The teeth and sometimes entire facial structures are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment. The training and experience obtained by an Orthodontic Specialist enables them to provide personalized, professional treatment. If you are uncertain whether you have seen an Orthodontic Specialist, just ask!
Will I need to have teeth removed?
We must evaluate each patient before making this decision, but very few patients require the removal of teeth for orthodontic treatment. Modern orthodontic treatments and materials allow us to correct many problems without removing any teeth!
What can I expect at the first visit?
Upon your arrival, we will ask you to complete a health history form for the patient. Following this, Dr. Tkach will perform an examination of the patient, and spend some time discussing the patient’s bite difficulties, and the treatment solutions. At the conclusion of the visit, you will receive a letter outlining the topics of this discussion, including the type of bite problems present, the treatment solutions, how long the treatment will require, and the cost. The entire visit will take approximately 20-30 minutes.
Do I need a referral to see the orthodontist?
A referral is not necessary. Your dentist may refer you to see an orthodontist, but you may choose to make the appointment yourself.
Will I need retainers?
All patients need retainers following the removal of their braces. Patients at Downtown Orthodontics wear night-only retainers, so the last day you have your braces is the last day anyone will see anything on your teeth!
At what age should my child see the orthodontist?
A child may have an orthodontic visit at almost any age if their dentist sees a problem, but most children should have a visit around age seven.
I went for a second opinion, and the treatment suggested was quite different. What should I do?
You must be comfortable with the explanation of the orthodontic problem, and the explanation of the treatment required. Ask questions! If explained properly, the treatment should make perfect sense to you.