How Do I Know If I Need Braces?
If you think you may be a good candidate for braces, it is a good idea to schedule a complimentary consultation to speak with of our one of our orthodontists. Our team will recommend the proper type of orthodontic treatment for your situation. Some common problems that may require braces are:
- The top front teeth protrude
- The top front teeth cover more than 25% of the bottom front teeth when the back teeth are biting together
- The top front teeth fit behind the bottom front teeth
- A weak chin or a prominent chin
- A space exists between the top and bottom front teeth with the back teeth biting together
- Crowded, overlapped, misplaced teeth, or extra teeth
- Some teeth don’t meet at all
- Baby teeth falling out too early or very late
- The centers of the top and bottom front teeth don’t line up
- Often biting the cheek or roof of the mouth
- Finger sucking or tongue sucking habit continues after 6 years of age
- Difficulty chewing or biting with teeth that don’t meet evenly on both sides
- Teeth wearing unevenly
- Jaws that shift off-center when the teeth bite together
- Excessive spaces between teeth that persist after the top permanent canine teeth appear
How Long Will I Need To Wear Braces?
This is a very common question that we receive, but the answer differs for each patient. For example, some patients need extensive orthodontic treatment to correct dramatic misalignments, while others may only require some minor straightening.
Another factor in treatment length is the frequency of checkups and personal dental care. If you diligently take care of your braces and make all of your orthodontic appointments, you are likely to need braces treatment for a shorter amount of time.
Most patients can expect to wear their braces for a period between six months and two years.
What Foods Will I Need To Avoid With Braces?
If you have fixed ceramic or metal braces in place, you will want to avoid certain types of food to ensure your treatment progresses as smoothly as possible. It’s best to avoid foods that are:
- Hardened: Snacks like hard candy, nuts, and popcorn kernels can cause wires and brackets to break.
- Sticky: To keep your braces in good shape, you will also want to avoid foods that can become stuck to the appliance. These foods include taffy, caramel, marshmallow, and other sticky treats.
- Chewy: You should also avoid tough foods that need to be torn with your teeth, including licorice, jerky, pizza crust, and tough meats.
As a rule of thumb, avoid eating foods you’re not sure about, or ask a member of our team.
How Do I Care For My Teeth With Braces?
Faithfully following the cleaning regimen set out by our team and your regular dentist offers the best way to care for your teeth while you have braces. Carefully brushing and flossing and getting those hard-to-reach areas is key. Our team can show you some different tools and tricks to ensure that you’re able to easily clean around the brackets and wires. Also, it’s important that you attend your regular visits to our office so our team can help keep tabs on how your treatment is progressing.
How Do I Protect My Mouth When Playing Sports With Braces?
How to protect braces during sports activities is a common question asked by many of our younger and teenage patients. If you wear braces and play sports, be sure to ask one of our orthodontists about using a mouthguard. These specialized retainers are designed to protect your mouth and braces from damage.