Life with Braces


Oral hygiene is more important than ever. Retainers, braces, wires and bands can trap food, which can lead to plaque build-up, tooth decay or even gum disease. Every time you eat you need to remember to brush your teeth. Flossing at least once a day is a must!


Even though you will be seeing your orthodontist regularly, it is still important to see your dentist every 6 months. Keeping your appointments is essential to ensuring your treatment stays on track. If one of your appliances breaks, give our office a call so that we can schedule an appointment to get everything fixed so that your progress is not slowed down. In the first few days your teeth and gums maybe a little sore, so we recommend sticking to a soft food diet until the soreness is gone. Your diet won’t change too much while you are in braces, for that reason we’ll go over the foods you should avoid while in braces:

Foods to Avoid:

  • Sticky foods – caramels, toffee, tootsie rolls, gummy bears and starburst candies
  • Chewy Foods – bagels, licorice, rolls, beef jerky
  • Hard Foods – ice, hard candy, pretzels, crusty breads and peanut brittle
There are several foods that will be difficult for you to bite into while you wearing your braces, such as corn on the cob and apples (and similar fruits). This doesn’t mean you can’t eat them, you will just have to change the way you eat them. While you are in braces can be the perfect time to break the habit of biting your fingernails or chewing on pens or pencils. These habits can cause damage to your brackets or wires.

Eating and Drinking with Invisalign®:

Unlike traditional metal braces, with Invisalign® your diet will not be affected because you will simply remove your aligners during mealtime, this would apply to drinking as well. The only time you can leave your aligners in is while you drink water.


Q: What is Orthodontics?

A: Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. The technical term for these problems is “malocclusion,” which means “bad bite.” The practice of orthodontics requires professional skill in the design, application and control of corrective appliances, such as braces, to bring teeth, lips and jaws into proper alignment and to achieve facial balance.

Q: When should my child see the orthodontist?

A: Children and adults can both benefit from orthodontics because healthy teeth can be moved at almost any age. Because monitoring growth and development is crucial to managing some orthodontic problems well, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children have an orthodontic screening no later than age 7. Some orthodontic problems may be easier to correct if treated early. Waiting until all the permanent teeth have come in, or until facial growth is nearly complete, may make correction of some problems more difficult. An orthodontic evaluation at any age is advisable if a parent, family dentist or the patient’s physician has noted a problem.

Q: Is it ever too late for braces?

A: A surprising percentage of our patients are adults. In fact, 25% of all orthodontic patients are adults. Health, happiness, and self-esteem are vitally important to adults. No patient is “too old” to wear braces!

Q: What do braces feel like?

A: Most people have some discomfort after their braces are first put on or when adjusted during treatment. After the braces are on, teeth may become sore and may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. Patients can usually manage this discomfort well with whatever pain medication they might commonly take for a headache. The orthodontist will advise patients or their parents what, if any, pain relievers to take. The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. Overall, orthodontic discomfort is short-lived and easily managed.

Q: How long does treatment last?

A: Treatment time obviously depends on each patient’s specific orthodontic problem. In general, treatment times range from 12 to 30 months. The “average” time frame a person is in braces is approximately 22 months.

Q: Can you play sports with braces?

A: Yes. We recommend a mouth guard for all sports.

Q: How much does treatment cost?

A: The actual cost of treatment depends on several factors, including the severity of your problem and the treatment approach selected.

Q: Do you accept insurance?

A: We accept assignment of most insurance if you have a “PPO” plan and will be glad to file claims for you. We are “preferred provider” for Delta Dental Premier and United Condordia. Your “PPO” policy will pay your benefit to out of network providers and you will normally find that the orthodontic benefit is the same. We do not accept “DMO” policies. If your plan is a “DMO” you are required to see a doctor shown a list provided by your insurance company.

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