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Frequently Asked Questions

What foods can I eat?

The orthodontic appliances you will be wearing are not indestructible. The list of “foods to avoid” includes: anything chewy or hard such as gum, caramel, taffy, pizza crust, hard pretzels, ice, hard rolls, biting into uncut apples and carrots, peanut brittle, candied apples, etc. Also do not chew on pens, pencils or other hard object. Basically, anything hard, sticky, or chewy can cause unnecessary breakage and prolong your treatment.

What about decay or cavities with braces?

Your teeth may decay underneath orthodontic bands or brackets if proper care is not taken. At each appointment, we make certain that your appliances are tight. However, if you notice a loose band or bracket, call us as soon as possible so we can set up a repair appointment. A more frequent problem, but one that can be easily prevented, is decalcification or white spots on the teeth. This may occur on areas of a tooth adjacent to the band or bracket if you do not brush your teeth thoroughly. Appliances do not cause decay or decalcification---not maintaining
good oral hygiene may. It is up to you to prevent these problems. If you expect your teeth to look great when the braces are removed, you must be extra careful with what you eat and
how you brush.

Do I need to see my general dentist?

Our patients are expected to visit their general dentist every 6 months for their routine check-ups. Some patients may want to see their dentist more frequently. The fees for orthodontic treatment do not include any treatment in other dental offices such as cleanings, x-rays, restorations or extractions.


Will it be painful?

Your teeth will usually feel sore for one to five days after most orthodontic appointments. It helps to avoid hard foods or vigorous chewing until the soreness is gone. If you feel uncomfortable, take whatever you normally do for discomfort (Advil, Tylenol, Motrin, etc.). Because of the tooth movement, your teeth may be temporarily sensitive to heat and cold. It is usually temporary and seldom due to decay.

Do I need a sports mouth guard?

All of our patients are urged to wear mouth guards during sports participation. We can provide one mouth guard during treatment. Mouth guards must fit properly. If they fit too tight it might prohibit tooth movement or cause broken appliances.

What if I play a musical instrument?

Generally orthodontic treatment does not interfere with you playing an instrument. At first, the appliances may irritate your lips, but with time, the soreness and irritation should not be a problem.