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Will braces hurt?

Most people report that their braces caused them discomfort in the first few weeks. Your teeth and/or gums may feel sore or achy. The teeth are experiencing something new. They are not used to the pressure which results in the discomfort. Your cheeks may also experience some discomfort as the braces rub against them. The discomfort is more of an annoyance than pain. Imagine if someone sat next to you and continually poked you in the arm with their finger 24/7. It may not hurt at first, but after awhile it becomes sore and then the soreness goes away and just becomes annoying.

Typically after a few weeks the discomfort is gone or considerably diminished. There are things you can do to make it feel better. Placing dental wax on the braces can help greatly with the gum and cheek discomfort by forming a protective barrier. You can also take a pain medication like Advil for the first few days to help alleviate the discomfort.

Your braces will usually be adjusted monthly. After these appointments you may experience a little discomfort again, but this will be much less than the initial experience.

Is the cost of braces covered by my dental insurance?

This will depend on the type of dental insurance you have. Some plans do not cover orthodontics, whereas others do. Orthodontics may be only covered for children up to age 18, or may be covered for adults as well. Most plans cover a certain percentage of the braces up to a specific dollar amount.

It is important that your dental plan is in effect before you get braces. Most plans will not cover treatment that is already underway. Therefore, if your plan covers orthodontics, you will want to ensure it is in place before treatment begins. Waiting periods may also come into play. Some plans require that you have a plan for a certain period of time before they will pay. Check with your insurance provider for more information.

Is there anything else besides wax I can do to help with mouth irritation in the first few weeks?

If you have mouth sores, a warm salt water rinse can really help. You can do this several times a day to help ease the discomfort. Advil can also be used and is provided by the office if needed.

I wore a retainer when younger, but stopped in adulthood. Now, years later, my teeth have shifted. Is this normal?

Yes, this is not uncommon. With time everything changes, that includes your teeth. Many adults who wore braces as youth are in them for the second time. Wear your retainers as instructed.

My teeth are forming small gaps (during treatment) that have never been there before, is this normal?

This is absolutely normal. Your teeth are shifting during your treatment and your bite will change multiple times. These gaps that appear are just necessary stops on the journey to proper alignment. They will be fully resolved by the time your treatment is over. If you are especially concerned about a gap, please don’t hesitate to ask us. We would be more than happy to explain what is happening.

Is it really necessary that I avoid foods on the “Do Not to Eat List”?

YES!!!!!!! We give you the list of foods to avoid for good reason. Foods that should be avoided are sticky foods such as gummy bears and foods that are especially hard. Hard foods and sticky foods can cause the brackets to break or bend and can get caught in the wires. Soft foods are the best and it is important to try to avoid large mouthfuls of food. Take it slow and try to avoid the foods on the list.

Will I need to wear a retainer after my braces are off?

Yes you will. The reason is that your teeth take time to remember their new position. If you do not wear your retainer as instructed, the teeth will try to move back to their old positions. You will receive special instructions regarding how long you need to wear your retainer.

When should children have their first orthodontist appointment?

The Canadian Association of Orthodontists (CAO) recommends the child be seen by an orthodontist at age seven.

How long does treatment usually take?

It varies from person to person depending upon your case. Many people wear braces for around two years.

My braces are new and now my teeth feel loose, is this normal?

This is completely normal. The periodontal ligament is loosening up. This is the ligament that helps to hold the teeth into place, it must loosen in order for the teeth to be adjusted. Therefore, this is something most people will experience. However, they should not feel like they are falling out after a few weeks. If they continue to feel very loose after a few months, speak with us about it and we can help put your mind at ease.