Frequently Asked Questions
So many questions come to mind when considering orthodontia, like “how much do braces cost?” Our priority is to be here for you, so please don’t hesitate to contact or visit us with your questions. For your convenience, we’ve brainstormed a few ourselves. We hope these help answer some of the questions you might have!
Simply call our practice! Our front desk staff will be happy to help schedule your next appointment at your convenience. If you are a new patient or have been referred to our practice, please let us know and we will provide you with all of the information you need.
Playing an instrument or a contact sport may require some adjustment when you first get your braces, but wearing braces will not stop you from participating in any of your school activities. If you play a contact sport, it is recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your braces or appliance.
Yes! In fact, it’s even more important that patients receiving orthodontic treatment visit their dentist regularly. With braces, food may be caught in places that your toothbrush can’t reach. This causes bacteria to build up that can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Your dentist will work closely with your orthodontist to make sure that your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.
With braces, you should brush your teeth at least three times a day to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy and clean. Brushing regularly will help remove any food that may be caught between the braces. You should also floss daily to get in between your braces where your brush isn’t able to reach. Your orthodontist can show you how to properly brush and floss once your braces are placed.
Braces do not often hurt though you may feel a small amount of discomfort for a couple days as your teeth, gums, cheeks, and mouth get used to your new braces.
The amount of time spent in braces will vary depending on the individual patient, because every smile responds differently to treatment. Treatment times can take anywhere between six and 30 months, but most standard treatments take about 22 months.
Braces are used by your orthodontist to help you improve the look and feel of your smile. There are several different types of braces to choose from, including:
- Clear braces
- Ceramic braces
- Lingual braces
- Self-ligating braces
- Invisible braces
- Traditional metal braces
- ALWAYS remember to brush your teeth after every meal and floss at least once a day.
- Make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride, and ask your orthodontist or family dentist if you need a fluoride rinse. This will help prevent cavities!
- If you take out your retainer to eat, make sure you brush your teeth, floss, and remember to keep it safe in its container so that it does not get lost or broken.
- Keep your retainer clean, too, by brushing it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste. You may also soak it in denture cleaner as instructed by your orthodontist. Do not put your retainer in boiling water or in the dishwasher.
- During your treatment, try to avoid foods with a lot of sugar, which increases the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth, causing more plaque and possibly cavities.
- Avoid sticky and chewy foods (caramel, chewing gum, gummy bears), hard foods (hard candy, nuts, ice cubes), or any foods that could possibly get stuck in your braces (corn on the cob, soft bagels, ribs, taffy, etc.).
- Be sure to schedule your routine checkups with your family dentist. It is recommended that you continue to visit the dentist every six months.
If you want to improve the look and feel of your smile, then any age can be a great age to see the orthodontist. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist around the age of seven; however, orthodontic treatment is not exclusive to children and teens, with about one in every five orthodontic patients being over the age of 21. Whether you’re considering treatment for yourself or for a child, any time is a good time to visit the orthodontist.
An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has received two to three years of additional training and experience. Your orthodontist is able to straighten teeth, correct misaligned jaw structure, and improve the function of your smile.
Orthodontics (also referred to as dentofacial orthopedics) is a specialized form of dentistry focusing on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities.
Invisalign is generally no more expensive than traditional braces. The cost of treatment is based on the amount of adjustments needed and seriousness of each case. You can see our short pricing guide here. We also offer free consultations where you will find out your exact cost.
The cost of treatment is based on the amount of adjustments needed and seriousness of each case. You can see our short pricing guide here. We also offer free consultations where you will find out your exact cost.
After the braces have been put on, we will then ask you to carry out some simple steps to minimize any discomfort in the future. In order to limit irritation or pain we may ask you to:
- Feel for the wire ends using your fingers and tongue. If they stick out too far and will irritate your cheeks or gums, then you should notify us before leaving.
- You should schedule your next appointment before leaving our office as well. We generally schedule appointments 4 to 6 weeks after contacting us, and delaying by just a few weeks may result in some complications.
- Double-check to see if you have enough cleaning aids, plastic bands, dental wax, and any other products you will need in the coming weeks.
- If you have any questions about your hygiene habits, then please ask us before leaving. Proper care is vital during those first few weeks.
Some patients report that they feel no pain or discomfort, but minor tenderness and sensitivity is completely normal. It is also common to feel that your braces are sticking out or even irritating your lips and gums. If this is the case, then you should try placing some dental wax on the post or wires that are irritating the soft tissue. Within a short period of time, you will become used to having braces and most likely no longer notice that they are there. After the braces are initially put in, you should expect to have some discomfort within the first 8 hours. This pain will slowly dissipate over the coming week.
Not only can the braces themselves be damaged by eating certain foods, but any lingering food debris can lead to discoloration and tooth decay. Patients who eat the wrong foods, damage their braces, or harm their teeth will increase the amount of time that it takes to finish their treatment.
Chewy Foods – You should completely avoid any chewy or sticky foods while you have braces. This includes gum, chewy candy, and certain breads such as bagels.
Hard and Crunchy Foods – Hard foods that should not be eaten include nuts, popcorn, chips, and ice.
Foods You Must Bite Completely Into – Any foods that you must fully bite into such as carrots and apples could damage your braces.
Patients are often happy to hear that they can begin eating from the moment that they step out of our office, but there are some things to keep in mind. While the adhesive that we use to attach braces does cure fast, eating with braces will take some acclimation. Until you are completely comfortable eating with your new braces, you may want to stick to a diet that primarily consists of soft foods and liquids in those first few days.
Flossing after you have braces is a little more challenging than usual, but it is vital when it comes to great oral health. For most patients, waxed floss or dental tape will be ideal as unwaxed floss can fray and break. You start by carefully threading the floss through the wire, pulling it between the teeth, and then gently pushing it up towards the gum. Be careful that you are not putting too much pressure on the wire, which could cause the braces to come loose. You can then pull the floss up and down along each tooth four or five times, remove the floss, and then move on to the next set of teeth.
If you have found that it is difficult to thread the floss under the archwires, then you have two options. One option is to use a floss threader that helps you pull regular floss up between the teeth and the wire. The second option is to use pre-cut floss with a stiff end that will give you a better grip and more control over the floss.
The first step toward your improved, most beautiful smile is to contact East Texas Orthodontics and set up a consultation appointment for review of your oral situation and options for teeth straightening. As part of that appointment, Dr. Brown can answer all of your questions and determine with you if Invisalign is the right choice for your oral care.
Compared to traditional metal braces, treatment is much less restrictive. You are still able to enjoy the foods and beverages you love, as trays are removed during eating.
Dr. Brown will help you determine if Invisalign is the right option for correction of your individual smile. While we know there are other options, we consider Invisalign one of the most modern, convenient and comfortable choices for smile improvement for qualified patients.
You will soon receive your custom crafted, comfortable Invisalign trays. Aligner trays are worn for approximately 22 to 24 hours per day. They are removed for teeth brushing and other oral care. Each upper and lower tray is used for two weeks of wear, then thrown away and replaced with the next set of treatment trays. As they are worn, the trays carefully and precisely guide your teeth into a corrected position. Each tray moves your teeth further along through the treatment plan and closer to the goal for your ultimate smile.
Some of the most common issues are gapped teeth, underbite, overbite, open bite, excessively crowded teeth, crossbite, crooked teeth and protruding teeth. There may be problems associated with your teeth that are not listed here. Ask your East Texas Orthodontics provider if Invisalign is right for you and he or she can provide the right answer and treatment options.
Each custom tray is designed to be worn for 22 to 24 hours per day. Trays are removed for oral care, such as teeth brushing, flossing and tray cleaning. Trays are also removed for eating, which make the treatment as pleasurable and unchanged from regular daily life, as possible.
Through x-rays, tooth impressions and a thorough exam, East Texas Orthodontics will create an individualized treatment plan designed for you to achieve your ultimate smile in the least amount of time. We will determine how your teeth must be moved through use of the trays and can even show you a virtual depiction of expected changes you will experience during treatment. A typical expectation for adult Invisalign teeth straightening is about one year. Teens will wear them for about the same amount of time as traditional braces.
The first step in your path to a beautiful, straight smile is to select the right orthodontist for you. Dr. Brown is a caring, experienced and Invisalign-trained treatment provider ready to help you achieve your most attractive smile. Through an initial consultation, we will work with you to determine if you are a good candidate for Invisalign teeth straightening. We will also discuss costs, insurance and any concerns you may have as a candidate for Invisalign wear.
Invisalign is designed for an active lifestyle, including sports and other activities. If you must wear a mouthguard for your sport, simply remove your Invisalign tray during the activity and replace it when your mouthguard use is complete.
One of the greatest aspects of trays is that they are virtually undetectable to other people during most daily situations. Invisalign trays are definitely less visible than traditional metal braces.
A common question is whether veneers are an option to the teeth straightening provided by Invisalign. Veneers provide beautiful, white surfaces for the front of teeth. But they do not actually correct tooth positioning or gum issues. Veneers merely cover up flaws, versus actually fixing alignment issues. Veneers also require a lot of care, are expensive, involve irreversible damage to tooth surfaces and must be replaced every five to ten years. With veneers, patients are not able to enjoy things they may with Invisalign, such as red wine, coffee and other foods and beverages which stain or discolor veneers.
While going through teeth straightening, patients are also able to continue eating foods which are typically sacrificed during wear of traditional braces. Favorite foods can still be enjoyed, such as popcorn, pizza crust, bagels, nuts, apples, corn on the cob and candies which often damage metal orthodontia. There is also no embarrassment from food particles stuck on brackets and wires, which is almost unavoidable when eating with metal braces.
It is notoriously difficult for patients with braces to keep their teeth clean, but failing to create impeccable oral hygiene habits could result in some oral health issues in the future. This begins by replacing old toothbrushes with a soft-bristled toothbrush that has a small head. This will allow you to clean around the braces in a much more efficient manner. You can brush the teeth at a 45 degree angle with circular motions above and below the brackets. Patients with braces may find that they are going through toothbrushes much quicker, and you should immediately purchase a new brush once the bristles have become frayed or damaged.
If you fail to clean away all of the plaque, then you may develop permanent white scars. Continue cleaning your teeth multiple times a day, and do not skip your bi-annual checkups which should include professional cleaning. Patients that find it difficult to keep their teeth clean may want to invest in an electric toothbrush or waterpik as well.