Braces FAQ in Atlanta, GA
At Patel & Womble Orthodontics, our board-certified orthodontists are here to answer any questions that you have about wearing braces. Dr. Ruchir R. Patel and Dr. Brian A. Womble make it easy to get attentive care when you need it, with both of our McDonough and Norcross locations open six days a week.
What Are Braces?
Orthodontists use braces and oral appliances to align the teeth and jaws to establish a healthy biting relationship. Traditional braces use a series of brackets and wires attached to your teeth, while clear aligners consist of removable trays that systematically guide your teeth into the correct position. Braces are adjusted every four to six weeks to progress your movement, but clear aligners are changed out every two weeks at home. Some of the types of braces that we use include ceramic braces, lingual braces, metal braces and Invisalign®.
Who Needs Braces?
Wearing braces help address issues of crowding, irregular spacing, crooked teeth, overbites, underbites and other common problems. Braces gradually move the teeth to a more appropriate position over a period of time so that these concerns can be eliminated. In just one to three years, the teeth are straightened, easier to care for and less prone to oral health complications.
Most of the time when you think of braces, treatment for children or teenagers comes to mind. Adults, however, also make excellent patients. Some of the most common concerns you may want to have your orthodontist address with treatment include:
- Overjets (“buck teeth”)
- Overbite or underbite
- Crooked, crowded, misaligned teeth
- Problematic gaps and spaces present in your teeth
How Long Are Braces Worn?
The length of your treatment will depend on the unique needs of your teeth and oral anatomy. Most people complete their orthodontic therapy in one to four years.
Will Braces Hurt?
Braces are designed to be as comfortable as possible. However, some people do experience minor discomfort when first getting braces or immediately after adjustments. Time is usually all that it takes to become more adjusted to your braces, but over-the-counter pain reliever and orthodontic wax can help relieve temporary discomfort.
What is the Appropriate Age to Begin Orthodontic Treatments?
The best age to start braces depends on the patient. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have an orthodontic evaluation by age seven, as early braces can help to correct certain needs. The treatment can also be broken up into two phases if necessary. Teenagers make up a large portion of patients, as their teeth are finally falling into place after losing their baby teeth. However, adults can also greatly benefit from the oral health benefits of straightening their teeth.
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What Can Happen if Orthodontic Problems Go Untreated?
Addressing the alignment of your teeth is more than just a superficial solution that impacts the appearance of your smile. Health problems can occur from having dental issues, such as gum disease, tooth decay, tooth loss and digestive problems.
Improving the state of your dental health reduces the risk of developing certain problems while giving you the added comfort and convenience of greater self-confidence.
What Are the Benefits of Wearing Braces?
Here are some of the most common reasons why people seek out orthodontic treatment, and how our Atlanta orthodontists can help:
- Appearance – Enjoy the ability to laugh, smile and talk without having to worry about the way your teeth look. Straighter teeth can boost your confidence, as well as your appearance. You’ll feel happy to smile again without having to hide your teeth behind your hand or keeping your lips closed.
- Gum Health – Misaligned teeth increase your risk of gum disease (periodontitis). The crowded areas house bacteria that hide in hard to reach spaces that are difficult to clean. As a result, the gums become infected and may recede.
- Improved Hygiene – Even though it is possible to floss around crowded teeth, it is much easier to do so effectively when the teeth are straight. Crowded, overlapping teeth are very difficult to clean, making them a large contributor to disease, decay, and even total tooth loss.
- TMJ / Jaw Problems – A misaligned bite adds unnecessary stress to your TMJ (jaw joint). This can lead to pain, headaches and damage to surrounding tissues around the joint.
- Worn Teeth – Having a misaligned bite causes uneven, abnormal wear to your teeth. Excessive pressure points may cause grinding (bruxism,) TMJ disorder and broken fillings or crowns.
Can I Play Sports With Braces?
Absolutely. However, we recommend that you wear a mouth guard during all sporting activities to protect your teeth, as well as your braces. We can create a custom sports mouth guard that fits comfortably over your braces – just ask!
How Do I Take Care of Braces?
During your follow-up visits, you’ll be given personalized instructions on how to care for your specific type of braces and teeth. A good rule of thumb is to brush and floss after each meal. Sticky and hard foods should be avoided to prevent damaging your braces.
What Foods Do I Need to Avoid With My Braces?
Hard, crunchy or sticky foods should be avoided, as they could cause your braces to break. Even common foods like apples or nuts could dislodge a bracket. Instead, try eating cooked or steamed fruits and vegetables that are softer to chew, or cut your food into tiny pieces. If you wear a removable aligner, you can continue to eat anything that you like as long as you take them out during meals.
What If My Braces Break?
Taking good care of your braces can help you prevent an orthodontic emergency, but if something breaks, please call our Atlanta orthodontists right away. We’ll let you know what steps should be taken next and get you into our office as quickly as possible.
What Is the Cost of Braces in Atlanta?
The cost of your braces will depend on the type of treatment that you need and how long it will take. A consultation with our specialists is the best way to find out an exact dollar amount.
Your braces may be covered by dental insurance. We can even work with you to develop a dental financing plan through OrthoFi or CareCredit® if you prefer to make monthly payments. We also accept payments in cash, check and all major credit cards.
Why Should I (Or My Child) Get Orthodontic Treatment?
A beautiful smile enhances your appearance, boosts confidence and improves self-esteem. Straight teeth are easier to care for and reduce the risk of common problems for a healthier smile in the future.
If you live in McDonough, Norcross or the Atlanta area and are interested in straightening your teeth to improve your oral health, contact the board-certified orthodontists at Patel & Womble Orthodontics today to schedule a consultation. We’re happy to answer any and all questions.