Braces FAQs

Braces FAQs

Below are some of the most common braces FAQs. If you’ve got a question we have not answered, feel free to call our office. Our staff is happy to help and answer any questions you may have. (773) 481-2200

The Top Braces FAQs

How do braces move your teeth?

It’s important to know that your teeth are suspended inside your gum and bones. They are not fused into your bone.

The teeth are surrounded by the periodontal ligament (PDL). This is what enables your teeth to be moved.

Braces use gentle force in one direction. This force compresses the PDL on one side and stretches it on the other.

On the side that is compressed, the bone reabsorbs. On the side that is being compressed, the bone grows. So actually, your teeth move as a product of simultaneous bone loss and creation.

This can seem complicated and confusing. Actually it’s a very simple natural phenomenon that is well explained in this video.

What can you eat with braces?

A good rule of thumb when it comes to braces is that you can eat any food that is soft. It’s also a good idea to cut your food up into small pieces so that you avoid damaging your braces by biting through big chunks of food.

More importantly, you need to know WHAT YOU CAN’T EAT WITH BRACES.

  • Chewy foods: bagels, hard rolls, licorice
  • Crunchy foods: popcorn, ice
  • Sticky foods: caramels, gum
  • Hard foods: nuts, hard pretzels
  • Sugary food: candy
  • Foods you have to bite into: corn on the cob, apples, carrots

You’ll be able to enjoy all of your favorite foods once your braces are off. But for the duration of the time you are wearing braces, it’s important to not eat foods that can damage your braces.

What do braces cost?

The cost of braces can vary greatly depending on your individual treatment plan.

Here at ABC Dental we offer a free braces consultation. This consultation enables the Dr to examine your teeth and mouth, understand your goals, and come up with an personalized treatment plan and cost.

Why are braces so expensive?

Braces can seem to be expensive. However, once you’ve had braces, as long as you follow the Dr’s care instructions, your new smile should last a lifetime.

Braces can give you a new smile and bite. And as long as you follow your post-braces care plan properly, the investment you make in braces can last for your entire life. This means that the investment you make in braces spread out over decades can amount to pennies a day.

How long does it take to get braces off?

On average, most orthodontic patients wear their braces for 2 years – some treatment can be as short as 12 months, some as long as 3+ years. It all depends on the individual case.

Invisalign VS. metal braces, which is faster?

Both Invisalign and metal braces serve the same purpose – to move your teeth. Braces however, can work to correct your bite and jaw alignment; whereas, Invisalign cannot.

That being said, on average metal braces take 24 months. Invisalign takes anywhere from 6 to 18 months. However, Invisalign is only appropriate in cases where you are not looking to correct your jaw or bite, and your teeth are not severely misaligned.

Additionally Invisalign trays are removable. So people can take them out to eat and drink. Since this is the case, the duration of treatment depends on how many hours a day the trays are worn. In order to make the best of your time using Invisalign, it’s recommended that you wear the trasy 20-22 hours a day, everyday until treatment is completed.

What are power chains?

The name can sound scary. But power chains are a part of the majority of orthodontic cases.

Power chains are a connected series of ligatures. They can be either elastic or metal. And they’re used as part of your orthodontic treatment to move your teeth and, if necessary, your jaw alignment.

How long do you wear a retainer after braces?

It’s important to remember that wearing your retainers is a part of your orthodontic treatment.

Retainers help stabilize your teeth after braces – and retain their new alignment.

It’s recommended that you wear your retainer full time for anywhere from 4-12 months following the removal of your braces. After that time, you will need to wear it at night in definitely.

What is the best toothbrush for braces?

It’s extremely important that you have good dental hygiene at all times, but especially so while you’re wearing braces.

That being said, we’ve found that both electric and manual toothbrushes work to brush your teeth with braces. Of course, the electric requires less work.

What really matters when brushing your teeth with braces is that you make sure to brush all the surfaces of the teeth around the braces themselves – above and below the braces.

Additionally, we recommend that you consider using a water pick to clean between your teeth, since flossing with braces can be very difficult.

Why do braces hurt?

Braces hurt because they are actively moving your teeth.

They can also hurt if the brackets and wires themselves come into contact with your cheeks. Eventually after a few weeks most people grow less sensitive in their mouth’s inner tissues.

We recommend that our patients take any painkillers before their initial and adjustment appointments. It’s easier to prevent the adjustment pain, than stop it once it’s begun.

How do you know if you need braces?

This is a very common question that depends on the structure of your mouth and teeth – and what your smile goals are. Therefore we recommend that you schedule a complimentary consultation with either our dentist or orthodontist. Once they examine your mouth and have a conversation with you, they’ll be able to recommend if braces can help you achieve your smile goals.

Who puts your braces on?

The answer to this question may seem obvious, but it’s not. Both dentists and orthodontists can provide braces. However, an orthodontist has gone to school and done additional clinical hours specifically focused on braces.

Here at ABC Dental, we’ve gone a step further. Our on staff orthodontist is board certified. This means that he has completed additional training and evaluation to show his commitment to delivering a higher standard of care than a non-board-certified orthodontist.

What is a good age for my child to get braces?

The orthodontics association recommends that every child see an orthodontist for an evaluation at the age of 7 or 8. At that appointment, the orthodontist will recommend a personalized treatment plan and time for your child. You can read more about our pediatric orthodontics here.

Can adults get braces?

The short answer is yes. We treat both children and adults for braces.

Adults can explore either metal braces of invisalign. Again, we offer a free initial consultation to help you plan your smile goals.