Frequently Asked Questions

Does orthodontic treatment hurt?

Orthodontic appliances impart pressure to the teeth which can make the teeth sore. A patient should expect that the teeth will be sore for a short period of time after orthodontic appliances have been placed or adjusted. This type of discomfort may be relieved by over the counter pain reliever, the same kind one might take if they had a headache.

How long do I have to wear orthodontic appliances?

Typically, orthodontic treatment takes anywhere from 1-3 years. However, each patient is different. The orthodontist will give an estimate about how long treatment will be. If you maintain your appliances and your teeth well, you may be able to get your braces off sooner.

Do I have to wear retainers after orthodontic appliances?

Yes! Retainers help to hold the teeth in position after the appliances have been removed.

Will I have to wear headgear?

Headgear is seldom necessary. However, when required, it is only worn at home and while sleeping.

Can I still play sports or a musical instrument?

Sure! It may take a few days to get used to the braces, but you should be able to keep doing the things you like. A mouthguard is recommended if you play any contact sports like hockey, soccer, basketball, football, and wrestling.

Will braces stain my teeth?

Braces don’t stain teeth. But you can get stains if you don’t take care of your teeth. So be sure to brush after every meal and see your dentist for regular cleanings.

Do I have to get teeth pulled?

Sometimes teeth need to be extracted to create space or to correct for poor jaw position. We try as much as possible not to extract teeth. However, if extractions are necessary, the doctor will extract as few as possible and explain when and why it is necessary to do so.

Can't I just get a retainer?

Retainers don’t work the same way braces do. Braces move teeth while retainers are best for holding teeth in a firm position after braces have been removed.

Can I get my teeth cleaned with braces on?

Yes. Your hygienist can clean your teeth with braces on. You should maintain regular appointments with your general dentist at least twice a year.