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Braces 101

Millions of people get braces every year, but just as many people have questions about braces. At Monarch Dental, we’ve got your answers. We know that orthodontic treatments like braces can be intimidating, but the more you know about braces and what to expect, the better and more effective your treatment will be.

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Are braces right for me?

Braces–like all orthodontic treatments–use constant, gentle pressure to slowly move teeth and jaws into better alignment. Crowded, crooked, or misaligned teeth can not only affect how you feel about your smile, but they can also affect how your mouth and jaw function. If you have alignment problems like an open bite, overbite, or underbite, or if your teeth are improperly spaced, braces can help improve both your confidence and your oral health. 

To find out if braces are right for you, schedule a no-obligation consultation with an orthodontist at a Monarch Dental office near you.*

*Orthodontic services may not be available at all locations. Check with your nearest office for more information on your options for orthodontic care.

Will braces hurt?

While braces can cause some moderate discomfort, especially after they are first put on and after adjustments, they should not be painful. Soreness and sensitivity can typically be managed with over-the-counter pain medication and will subside as you get used to wearing braces. 

Can I brush and floss with braces?

You absolutely can and should brush and floss with braces! While it may be a bit more challenging and time-consuming, regular brushing and flossing are imperative to ensure that your teeth remain healthy. Plaque and tartar can not only accumulate on your teeth while wearing braces but can also accumulate on the brackets. This will leave unsightly discoloration and build up once the braces are removed and you may find yourself disappointed with the results. When your braces are put on, an orthodontic hygienist will show you how to effectively brush and floss with your new braces. 

How long do I have to keep my braces on?

How long you have to keep your braces largely depends on your particular dental needs. The average time that patients wear braces is between 1 and 2 years but more severe issues may require treatment that lasts a bit longer. Before starting treatment, your Monarch Dental orthodontist will develop a customized treatment plan for you, which will include an estimated treatment time, and discuss this with you.

What kind of braces will I get?

When it comes to types of braces, you’ve got a few options. Your Monarch Dental orthodontist will discuss these with you and make a recommendation best suited to your needs.

The most common types of braces are:

  • Traditional metal braces, which consist of metal brackets and wires adhered to the front of the teeth.
  • Ceramic braces, which are similar to metal braces except the brackets are made of a tooth-colored ceramic. These are generally more discreet. 
  • Self-ligating braces, which feature an archwire that slides between brackets, eliminating the need for rubber bands and reducing the number of appointments to the orthodontist’s office. 
  • Lingual braces, which are metal or ceramic braces that are placed on the backside of the teeth, rather than the front. 

How much do braces cost?

The price of braces depends on the severity of your issues, the options you select for treatment, and the amount of time you wear them. Some insurance providers assist with orthodontic costs but you should still expect to pay some expenses out-of-pocket. Many orthodontic patients rely on financing options and payment plans to make braces more affordable. Be sure to discuss your financial options with our team at Monarch Dental. 

What if I break my braces?

Braces have multiple components, and they can sustain damage.

Here are some common types of damage with braces as well as what you can do to manage it until you can see an orthodontist:

  • Loose brackets. Use dental wax to temporarily secure the loose bracket back in place. This should protect against cuts and will help prevent the bracket from sustaining further damage. 
  • Broken wires. Push the wire toward the teeth or bracket using something soft like a pencil eraser or a cotton swab. Avoid cutting the wires. You can also use dental wax to cap the end of the wire so it doesn’t cause damage to the gums or lips.
  • Loose bands. Loose bands will have to be replaced. Keep the band if possible and schedule the soonest available appointment with your Monarch Dental orthodontist. 

If you have damaged or broken braces, call Monarch Dental as soon as possible. Many of our locations offer orthodontic services, as well as same-day or even emergency appointments, so you can get the care you need no matter where you are.

Should I avoid certain foods when I have braces?

Yes, there are foods that you will need to avoid while you have braces because they can cause damage to the appliances.

You’ll want to limit or entirely avoid the following foods while you have braces:

  • Popcorn
  • Candy
  • Corn on the cob
  • Ice
  • Apples
  • Gum
  • Sticky foods
  • Crunchy foods
  • Sugary foods

Will my lifestyle change with braces?

Braces will not keep you from doing the things you love. You should consider a mouthguard if you are an athlete or participate in activities with physical contact, to protect your appliances from damage and your mouth from injury, but your braces will otherwise not interfere with your day-to-day life. 

Discover Your Best Smile at Monarch Dental

From braces to routine cleanings, Monarch Dental and orthodontics offers comprehensive care to address the dental needs of everyone in the family. With flexible hours, convenient locations, and a variety of payment and financing options, we make it easy and affordable to achieve the healthy, confident smile you deserve. Find the Monarch Dental location nearest you and schedule an appointment today!