Braces FAQ

While it’s certainly true that most people are familiar with traditional braces as a concept, it’s still entirely possible to have questions about how they work, or about what type of experience you can expect while wearing them. With that in mind, here are comprehensive answers to some of the most common questions that people have. If you’d like to discuss any particular one with someone in a bit more detail, please don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and call our office today.

Are There Any Alternatives to Braces?

Dental technology has come a long way over the years to the point where there are now viable alternatives to traditional braces. Perhaps the most famous of these is Invisalign – a series of clear plastic aligners that gently move the teeth into the desired position over time.

Rather than using a series of metal brackets and wires as is true with braces, Invisalign simply uses clear plastic trays. Every few weeks you swap out one set of trays for another, thus achieving the same result in a much different way.

Both techniques bring with them their fair share of advantages, however, so it’s always important to discuss things further with your dental professional to make the best decision possible with regards to your health.

What’s the Best Age to Get Braces?

While it’s true that braces are commonly associated with kids and young adults, there really is no “best age” to get braces. It may be easier to treat certain types of issues while you’re young and your jaw and mouth are still developing, but just because you’re older doesn’t mean that traditional braces are off the table. Far from it – a statistically large portion of braces-wearers is actually adults, for example.

How Long Do People Have to Wear Braces?

The answer to this question is going to be heavily impacted by the patient you’re talking about. Some types of issues take longer to correct than others, meaning that someone who is only concerned about the spacing of their teeth will probably have a shorter treatment than someone also tackling jaw or bite-related problems.

Having said that, most people can expect to wear braces for about two years on average.

Are Braces Really Necessary?

In a word – yes. Not only does everyone deserve to get the self-esteem boost that comes with having that perfect smile they’ve always seen for themselves, but the types of issues that braces are designed to address can happen at literally any point during your life. Both of these things all but confirm that braces are always a step that is worth taking in terms of your health.

Do Braces Do Anything Other Than Improve My Smile?

Absolutely! When most people think about braces, they think about patients who are trying to correct issues like crooked teeth, crowded mouths, spacing that is too large between teeth, and other similar problems.

But braces are also great for improving bite-related issues, too, like an underbite or overbite. Proper oral health is also essential for combating certain problems that could develop later on in life, like high blood pressure or even heart disease.

Do Braces Hurt?

Most patients find that braces don’t hurt in the strictest sense of the term, but they will probably take some getting used to. This is because once treatment begins, a series of brackets are attached to each of your teeth that are themselves connected via a wire. The strength of that wire is what pulls the teeth into the desired position over time.

By design, a certain amount of friction is necessary to shift your teeth over treatment – which means that some people may find some initial discomfort, though they’ll likely get used to it quickly.

How Much Do Braces Cost?

This is another answer that will depend on the patient, as the length of treatment will obviously impact the price you’re expected to pay. The area of the country you live in will also play a role, among others.

Generally speaking, most people can expect to pay a few thousand dollars for their treatment. But don’t worry – your dental professional likely has a wide range of different payment plans and similar financing options that you can explore depending on your needs.

Am I Too Old For Braces?

Again – you are absolutely never too old to get traditional braces and don’t let anyone tell you differently. If you have dental-related issues that you’re trying to correct, it’s absolutely possible to do so using traditional braces. Your dental professional will go over all of this with you in more detail during your initial consultation.

How Long Will I Have to Wear Braces?

The total length of treatment is going to be heavily impacted by the specific types of issues you’re trying to correct in the first place. But in most cases, your average patient can expect to wear braces for approximately two years, give or take.

Do I Need to See My General Dentist While Wearing Braces?

You should absolutely continue to see your general dentist while wearing braces and in fact, he or she will probably be closely coordinating with your orthodontist for the duration. This is because certain types of health-related issues can absolutely impact the success of your treatment.

So to guarantee the safest experience possible – and not to mention, the most effective one – you’ll still want to go to your general dentist and this person will likely be in close communication with your orthodontist.

What is Limited Treatment?

As the name suggests, limited treatment when it comes to braces is one that is focused exclusively on the aesthetic side of your mouth. If you aren’t necessarily concerned about an overbite, an underbite, or some similar type of issue and just want to correct the visual look of your smile, limited treatment is absolutely something you can explore. With a limited treatment plan, you can address a specific issue in just a few months. You’ll obviously want to talk things over in more detail with Dr. VanLue to make sure that you’re an ideal candidate.