Braces are the most common orthodontic treatment. Many people will need braces at some point in their lifetime, from adolescents to adults. If you or your child needs braces, you probably have some questions about what to expect. Here are the answers to the most commonly asked questions about braces.
1. Do metal braces work faster?
Metal braces are capable of exerting more force on the teeth than clear aligners, but the treatment is not necessarily any shorter. The length of braces treatment depends on the extent of the orthodontic corrections you need and how well you follow your orthodontist’s instructions when it comes to wearing rubber bands.
2. How long do metal braces take?
You can expect to wear metal braces for anywhere from 1-3 years. Braces treatment for children and adolescents is often shorter than adult treatment.
3. What do metal braces do?
Metal braces shift the teeth into proper alignment using a series of metal brackets, wires, rubber bands, and other orthodontic appliances. Braces also correct bite misalignment so that your upper teeth meet together properly with your lower teeth when chewing.
4. What is the best age for metal braces?
The average age for metal braces is between 10 and 14. At this time, braces can take advantage of the growth spurts that occur during the adolescent years, making it easier to shift the teeth for more efficient treatment.
5. Are metal braces painful?
You may experience some discomfort during your braces treatment because your teeth are being shifted out of their usual position and your mouth is not used to the foreign objects. The most discomfort occurs in the first few days after getting your braces put on. Then you may experience 24-48 hours of discomfort after each adjustment.
6. How do you brush your teeth with metal braces?
Brushing your teeth with metal braces requires some different tools and techniques. It is important to focus on the area between your brackets and your gums. Turn your brush at an angle and move it from the gums toward your brackets. You can also use smaller, round brushes to clean carefully around your brackets.
7. Does insurance cover braces?
If your dental insurance includes coverage for orthodontic care, braces are typically included. In most cases each person or dependent covered under your plan will receive a lump sum toward braces once in their lifetime. It rarely covers the entire cost, so you will most likely still have a balance to pay out of pocket.
8. Do I need to have teeth pulled before braces?
Your orthodontist may recommend having some primary or permanent teeth extracted before beginning orthodontic care. It depends on your individual needs, but severe crowding is often the reason for having teeth removed.
9. Do braces damage your teeth?
Metal braces are safe for your teeth. The brackets are attached to the front side of your teeth using orthodontic bonding material that is removed completely when treatment is complete without damaging your tooth enamel.
Learn More About Braces From Dr. Suzanne Stock
Still have more questions about orthodontic treatment? Dr. Stock provides a wide range of orthodontic services, including braces, in Iowa City, IA. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about orthodontics.
Contact us today to learn more and schedule a free consultation.