Frequently Asked Questions

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Is it required that my family dentist schedule my appointment with the orthodontist?

No, it is not. Many of our patients are referred by their family dentist, yet many other patients take the initiative to schedule an examination themselves.

Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?

Removing teeth is sometimes required to achieve the best orthodontic result. Straight teeth and a balanced facial profile are the goals of orthodontics. However, because new technology has provided advanced orthodontic solutions, removing teeth is not always necessary for orthodontic treatment.

How long will it take to complete treatment?

Treatment time depends on each patient's specific orthodontic problem. In general, treatment times range from 12 to 30 months. The "average" time frame a person is in braces is approximately 18-24 months.

How often will I have appointments?

Appointments are scheduled according to each patient's needs. Most patients in braces will be seen every 5 to 8 weeks. If specific situations require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly.

Common Problems

What is an overbite?

The upper front teeth extend too far out over the lower front teeth, sometimes causing the lower front teeth to bite into the roof of the mouth. Problems often associated with an overbite include a "gummy" smile, protruding lips, and excessive wear on teeth.

What is an open bite?

Proper chewing is affected by this type of misalignment, in which the upper and lower front teeth do not meet when the mouth is closed. Open Bite may be caused by several bad oral habits, such as tongue thrusting or thumb sucking. An early evaluation and intervention are essential in correcting an open bite.

What is an underbite?

An underbite is characterized by the lower jaw extending too far out, causing the lower front teeth to sit in front of the upper front teeth.

What is a crossbite?

This misalignment occurs when the upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth, which may cause tooth stratification and misaligned jaw growth. To close the mouth, patients usually move their lower jaw forward or to the side when closing. This incorrect bite results in an improper use of the lower jaws and sometimes brings about facial asymmetry.


What should I do with poking metal wires, brackets, or other components of my braces?

Do not try to remove or reposition any poking part of your braces. Get a small amount of orthodontic wax, roll it to make a small rounded piece, then stick it to the part responsible for your discomfort. If it still makes you uncomfortable, call our office, and we'll see what needs to be done.

What should I do with lip and cheeks irritations?

Although irritation isn’t unusual, it can be both frustrating and painful. People with mouth sores during orthodontic treatment may gain relief by applying a small amount of topical anesthetic (such as Orabase or Ora-Gel) directly to the sore area using a cotton swab.

What should I do if I accidentally swallowed a piece of my orthodontic appliance?

If you’ve swallowed a piece of an appliance such as a bracket or a band, have someone shine a flashlight into your mouth and throat. If the piece can’t be seen and you’re experiencing excessive coughing or having trouble breathing, it’s possible it was aspirated or breathed into your lungs. Immediately go to the nearest emergency room.

If you’re not having trouble breathing, chances are the appliance will pass through your digestive system without causing a medical issue. Even so, call our office to inform us of the swallowed piece to get it replaced.

What to do with loose brackets?

Even though the adhesive which is used to glue the brackets to your teeth is strong, they can still snap off due to chewing hard food or biting something. If a bracket pops out but sticks to the wire, call our office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Rogers or Dr. Hamby to reattach your brackets.

Brushing & Flossing

How often should I brush my teeth while wearing braces?

It is advisable to brush your teeth at least twice a day while wearing braces. In addition, gargle with water or mouthwash after meals to dislodge any food particles trapped between your teeth and braces.

Can I use water floss while wearing braces?

Absolutely! Flossing may be extra challenging while wearing braces, so having a water flosser may be a convenient way to clean in between your teeth and brackets. You may also want to try a floss threader to hold regular floss tapes for easy use.

Should I brush the brackets too?

Yes. Plaque and food particles may accumulate on your brackets which can slow down the movement of your teeth or even cause other dental problems like tooth decay and gum disease. Don't forget to keep your teeth and braces clean for a more efficient orthodontic treatment.

Diet & Sports

Are there any foods I can’t eat while wearing braces?

You shouldn't eat sticky, hard, and chewy foods like nuts, chewing gum, toffee, and much more while wearing braces, as these can loosen the components of your braces and damage the wires.

Are there any foods I can’t eat while wearing clear aligners?

There are no food restrictions since you can remove your clear aligners before eating and drinking. However, don't forget to drink or gargle water before putting back your aligners to prevent teeth from being submerged in food or acidic beverages, which may cause damage to teeth.

Can I still play sports while wearing braces?

Yes, you can continue to play sports as usual. We recommend using an orthodontic mouthguard to protect the mouth from injury when playing contact sports.

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