7 Common Questions Parents have about Braces

Wondering whether or not your child needs braces, how to know when the time is right for orthodontic treatment and what, if any, the dietary restrictions are? Here are 7 common questions I hear from parents along with some useful information about braces.

1. Is wearing braces painful?

Modern orthodontic treatment should not hurt. With the advent of low-force orthodontics, custom brackets and archwires, soreness and pain should be minimal.

2. Will my child require any other dental procedures to wear braces?

If your child has severe crowding, the best orthodontic option may include tooth extractions. Even though this sounds scary, if not treated early, some of our extraction cases turn into Orthognathic surgery cases as adults.

3. Are braces worth the investment?

Orthodontic treatment is a lifelong investment in your child’s dental health. Straighter teeth not only look and function better, but they’re also easier to keep clean. Cleaner teeth lead to less cavities, less cavities lead to less fillings. And not only that, teeth that are aligned correctly don’t fracture as frequently, which can lead to fewer crowns and implants.

4. What about straightening teeth using clear aligners? Are they effective?

Clear aligners are a great treatment alternative that many of our adult patients prefer due to the better esthetics. This treatment will only be able to straighten a patient’s smile. Word to the wise: severe “bad bites” or other major changes cannot be accomplished using this treatment, and it’s also sometimes as expensive as traditional, comprehensive braces.

5. Why do some of my childrens’ classmates already have braces?

Timing is all about doing what’s best for the child Some kids have teeth that are too big for their jaws and vice versa. When a dentist catches these changes early, they typically recommend braces at an earlier age because, as a child grows, these malocclusions can be corrected with better results, just by harnessing that child’s growth. Treating “bad bites” or malocclusions early on, decreases the probability of extractions, surgery and expensive treatment in the future.

6. Can my child eat sticky food while in Orthodontic treatment?

I typically recommend that during active treatment, our patients avoid eating things like gum, caramels and candy. I also advise our Ortho kids to stay away from really hard foods like carrots and bagels. This is really important because sticky and hard foods have a tendency to cause brackets to fall off the teeth, causing an increase in the amount of treatment time.

7. Are there any symptoms I should watch out?

I recommend you call our office right away if a front tooth bracket falls off, your child has severe pain or discomfort with any Orthodontic Appliance, or a wire is poking your child anywhere in the mouth.