Life with Braces
DOING YOUR PART
A successful orthodontic treatment and a healthy and beautiful smile is the result of a team effort among you, Dr. Chung, and your family dentist.
As the patient, you play the key part. It's up to you to ensure that your treatment plan ends in success. Most importantly, you must keep your teeth clean and maintain good dental hygiene while you're wearing braces.
Proper dental care will take a little extra time and effort but the results are well worth it, and will help you enjoy the best possible smile from your orthodontic treatment.
EATING WITH BRACES
What is orthodontics?Orthodontics (also referred to as dentofacial orthopedics) is a specialized form of dentistry focusing on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment treatment of problems associated with the alignment and function of the teeth, face, and jaws. When most people think about orthodontics they think about braces, but it encompasses so much more!
Who is an orthodontist?An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has received two to three years of additional training and experience. Dr. Chung is able to straighten teeth, correct misaligned jaw structure, and improve the function of your smile :) Learn more about Dr. Chung here >
What's the best age to visit the orthodontist?If you want to improve the look and feel of your smile, then any age can be a great time to see an 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. About one in every five orthodontic patients is over the age of 21. Whether you’re considering treatment for yourself or for a child, any age is a good time to visit the orthodontist.
What are braces?Braces are used by an orthodontist to help you improve the look and feel of your smile. There are several different types of braces to choose from, including: Metal braces Clear (Ceramic) braces Invisalign® Self-ligating braces
How can I take care of my teeth if I’m wearing braces or a retainer?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 Dr. Chung or your 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 the retainer 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 our office. 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, and can cause more plaque and potential 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 I get braces, how long do I have to wear them?"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 from six to 30 months, but most standard treatments take about 22 months.
Do braces hurt?Braces do not often hurt, though you may feel a small amount of discomfort for a couple of days as your teeth, gums, cheeks, and mouth get used to your new braces.
Do I need to brush my teeth more often if I have 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.
If I have braces, do I still need dental checkups every six months?"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 your toothbrush can’t reach. This causes bacteria to build up that can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Dr. Chung will work closely with your dentist to make sure your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.
Will my braces interfere with my school activities like sports, playing an instrument, or singing?"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.
Do you offer payment plans?Yes! The cost of your orthodontic treatment will vary, depending on your individual needs and treatment plan. Our staff will discuss the cost of your treatment and each available payment plan option with you, so you can make the best choice for yourself and your smile. We will work with you to create a payment plan that fits your budget, and you will know what to expect before beginning treatment.
Do you take my insurance?Our practice accepts most major credit cards and insurance plans. If you have insurance that covers any portion of your orthodontic treatment, our skilled Insurance Coordinator is available to help you with insurance claims and paperwork. Don't hesitate let us know if you have any questions about your insurance coverage!