You will likely be told you need braces at an annual checkup with your dentist. You may be referred to an orthodontist as their primary focus is the preventing and correcting of misaligned teeth and jaws.
At your initial appointment, your teeth and jawline will be checked to figure out what corrective action needs to be taken and to develop a treatment plan. This consultation is the perfect time to prepare to ask any and all questions, such as the ones below, so that you may fully understand what is involved in getting braces.
Why do I need braces?
There are many reasons why people need braces. The most common reason is overcrowding of the teeth, especially the bottom. The next reason is when the front teeth, both lower and bottom, don’t come together when the mouth is closed. Braces are most commonly prescribed to children, but more than a million adults in North American have braces according to the American Association of Orthodontists.
How much does it cost and will insurance cover my braces?
The average price is $5,000 for placing braces on both the lower and upper teeth. If you have dental insurance, read your policy carefully as there are variations to how much insurance will cover. Most dentist offices will have a monthly payment plan that you may participate in to pay your balance once insurance pays their part.
What changes do I have to make when wearing braces?
You might not be able to eat some of your favorite foods if they will get stuck or can damage the wires that are on your braces. You will want to avoid items such as hard candy, pretzels, nuts, gummi bears, etc. Your dentist or orthodontist will give you a list of foods to avoid.
How often do I come to the office for appointments?
You will need to have your braces adjusted approximately every 6 weeks. These appointments are usually quick as the orthodontist will only be replacing rubber bands that are wrapped around each of the braces and the wire. These little rubber bands come in a variety of colors. Your teeth will likely be sore for a few days after these appointments.
Why do people wear retainers after having their braces taken off?
After spending several months or years wearing braces, you must wear a retainer so that your teeth can stay in the same position you just spent months moving them to! When you first get your braces off, you will need to wear a retainer both day and night for approximately 6 months but after this, many just wear their retainers while sleeping each night.
Always take the time to tell your provider about any discomfort you may be experiencing and continue to ask questions at any time during your appointments.