Braces FAQ’s

Braces FAQ’s

The following are general questions we get asked by our patients.

How do we get started?

Call our office we will set you up for an initial examination. Dr. Staples will review your medical history, evaluate the dental problem and explain what treatment may be necessary. Next, we will then assist you with your financial questions. This first visit usually takes about 30 minutes and, most times, orthodontic records can also be done as well.

What are impressions?

Impressions of the teeth are taken to enable us to make a model of the teeth, either for diagnosis or to construct an orthodontic appliance. Impressions are taken by filling a well-fitted plastic tray with a pasty substance called alginate, which looks like frosting and is about the consistency of peanut butter. We offer a variety of flavorings for the alginate, so it tastes good. Once the tray is filled, it is then placed in the mouth for about a minute until the alginate starts to set like Jell-O. When the tray is then removed and you look at it, you can see dents or "impressions" of all your teeth. Later, this impression will be filled with Plaster of Paris, and when it hardens, we will have constructed an exact model of your teeth.

What types of braces are available?

Our practice uses the latest in Mini Silver, Clear Porcelain and Gold braces. And of course we have colors for our braces that can be changed each month. Should you prefer to not have braces at all, we have clear aligners available, like Invisalign. Our office also offers the new self-ligating brackets, like the Damon system. Braces differ from one another in a lot of ways. How they attach to the teeth varies. Most of them attach on the cheek side of the teeth, while some attach on the tongue side. These are called “lingual” braces. Braces can look really different. Some braces are clear, nearly invisible, while others are made of stainless steel and may or may not have colored elastics around them. All braces are designed to enable the orthodontist to move teeth in three dimensions. The mechanics or techniques used for moving teeth vary as well. Feel free to ask us about Dr. Staples’ approach to orthodontic treatment.

Are braces the only option?

Not always. Clear aligner therapy, like the Invisalign system, is always available for you. This treatment therapy involves a sequence of clear plastic "aligners" which are designed and manufactured by computer aided technology. These aligners are removable, but best of all, they are completely invisible in the mouth. Another option to move teeth is to use a simple retainer. This type of appliance, however, is only good for minor tooth movement.

How often will I have appointments?

Appointments are scheduled according to the needs of each patient. Most appointments are scheduled approximately every four to six weeks. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments as needed.

Does it hurt when you put the braces on or take them off?

It does not hurt to have the braces placed, so don’t worry. We use a method called direct bonding that maximizes patient comfort and minimizes chair time for the procedure. At the end of treatment, we use a special instrument to gently remove the braces and almost all of our patients report no discomfort at all.

Can I wear colors on my braces?

Yes. On our traditional braces, you will be able to wear any color you like. However, on self-ligating brackets, we do not use any colors. These colors are actually elastic ties, or o-rings that are used to attach the arch-wire to the brackets and they are usually changed at each visit. We offer a kaleidoscope of colors and allow our patients to select as many different colors as they would like. So, when the Super Bowl comes, or you have a tough soccer match next weekend, you will be able to pick your colors and wear them with pride! And for those of you that require a more discreet look, we do have silver or clear ties.

Will braces make my teeth hurt?

Generally speaking, some soreness is to be expected. However, many of our patients report very little soreness or nothing at all. After certain visits though, the teeth may be a little sensitive to biting pressure, but that quickly goes away. In these situations, pain medication such as Tylenol will ease any discomfort. Dr. Staples has found that by using the new high tech orthodontic wire systems, patients are more comfortable today than they have ever been.

Will braces interfere with playing musical instruments?

Yes, a little, in the beginning, until you adapt. After the initial adjustment period, you will be fine. Dr. Staples recommends that for those patients that have a large overjet (protruding upper front teeth), they should try and stay away from reed instruments such as the clarinet or saxophone. The best choice for these patients is a brass instrument, the oboe, flute or maybe something in the percussion section :)

If two people with braces kiss each other, could they lock braces?

This question is often asked in a joking manner, but Dr. Staples did see a news report long ago with a picture of two people with braces that were lip-locked. It really should not be a concern though, because the chances are next to impossible for this to happen. Kissing is not something that has to be given up to have a healthy bite and a nice smile.

What are clear braces? Are they more expensive?

The clear braces Dr. Staples uses are of the highest quality porcelain material. They are just as effective as metal braces, but less visible. To look their best, these brackets need to be cleaned frequently and your diet may need to be adjusted to eliminate staining foods. There is an additional charge for porcelain braces and occasionally treatment with them does take longer.

What are “lingual” braces?

Lingual braces are braces placed on the inside of the teeth so they are not visible. Dr. Staples feels that lingual braces are not as effective as conventional braces and they are very hard on the tongue. For these reasons, we do not offer them. We do offer clear brackets, which are almost "invisible."

What are recycled braces?

These are braces that we absolutely do not use. They are re-manufactured braces that have already been worn at least once before. They have been recycled have been altered from their original condition and will not produce the exact results that new ones will provide. Dr. Staples only wants to use the best orthodontic appliances for his patients.

Is it harder to clean your teeth if you are wearing braces?

Yes. It is normally more difficult to take care of your teeth because the braces are harder to clean around. We are committed to helping you take care of your teeth and will show you exactly how to clean around your braces at the appointment when we bond your braces. With proper technique, cleaning takes only a few minutes several times each day.

Will I be able to floss my teeth after the braces are put on?

Yes. We will you teach you how to floss your teeth properly while wearing braces. Flossing is absolutely necessary to have clean teeth, and clean teeth make your orthodontic treatment go faster.

Do I need still need to see my family dentist while in braces?

Yes! Regular checkups with your family dentist are very important while in braces. Your family dentist will still need to clean your teeth and watch over your general dental health.

Aren’t people with braces teased a lot?

In this day and age, more people than ever before are wearing braces. Our patients include many adults with professional careers and children of all ages. They are generally very well accepted and don't feel that there is the stigma associated with them as there once was. In many classrooms today, there are as many children with braces as not.

What is a retainer?

A retainer is a device that is fitted to your teeth to hold them in their newly corrected position after your braces are removed. Dr. Staples uses three different types, depending on the patient’s needs. One is called an Invisible Retainer, which is made of a clear plastic that covers all of the teeth. Another type is called a Hawley Retainer, which has a plastic inside portion and a wire that goes on the outside of the teeth. The third type is called a Permanent/Cemented Retainer, which is simply a wire that is bonded onto the inside portion of the front teeth. For more information click here. We generally have our patients wear their retainers full time for 12 months after the braces have been removed, then every night for an additional six to twelve months. After that time, our patients are instructed to wear the retainer 2 or 3 nights a week for as long as they want their teeth to remain as perfect as they were when their braces were removed.

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