Thinking about getting orthodontic treatment?

Starting an orthodontic treatment plan is an exciting process, but it can leave you with more questions than answers—especially if you’ve never had your teeth straightened before.

Here are 9 questions Brocks Gap Dental Group’s orthodontist often hears during consultations with new patients.

1. Does braces or Invisalign hurt?

Getting braces or Invisalign isn’t a painful process. As treatment begins and your braces or Invisalign aligners are placed, it’s normal to have some discomfort for the first few days. This soreness is due to the shifting process starting on your teeth. With each appointment, when wires are adjusted or new aligners are placed, you might feel a little uncomfortable for the first day or two afterwards.

Your orthodontist will provide you with special relief wax (if you have braces) and may also recommend taking an over-the-counter pain medication, such as Advil, to help you stay as comfortable as possible.

2. How much does Invisalign cost compared to braces?

Invisalign is often more affordable than patients realize, however, it does tend to be slightly more expensive than traditional metal braces. The differences in pricing aren’t usually significant and many patients find that the advantages of clear aligners and faster treatment time make Invisalign worth spending the extra.

The costs of traditional braces vs Invisalign varies so the only way to get an accurate estimate of what you will pay is to see our orthodontist for an in-person consultation.

3. Can I chew gum with braces or Invisalign?

Chewing gum has generally been a no-no with braces or Invisalign as there is a risk of damaging the wires or brackets. However, on some occasions, your orthodontist may give you the OK to chew a small piece of sugar-free gum after meals if you have metal braces. The reason for this is that the ADA supports sugar-free gum as a way to reduce bad bacteria and tooth decay.

It’s important to ask your orthodontist for clarification about whether it’s safe for you to chew sugar-free gum as not every individual’s treatment plan allows it.

4. How long will it take to straighten my teeth?

The amount of time treatment takes to get your desired results is based on a number of different factors. Generally, metal braces take longer to straighten teeth, with the average treatment plan taking anywhere from one to three years. Invisalign straightens teeth faster, usually within 12 to 18 months. In very mild cases it may be possible to correct small gaps and slight crowding in as little as six months with Invisalign.

5. What happens after my braces are taken off?

Finally getting your braces off is a wonderful feeling, but it’s important to take aftercare seriously in order to keep your newly straightened teeth looking great. The process of maintaining your results is referred to as orthodontic retention and usually involves the use of a retainer. We will be able to advise you on how often you need to wear your retainer to keep your teeth looking great.

6. Am I too old to get orthodontic treatment?

Even though most orthodontic patients are children and teens, it doesn’t mean that adults can’t benefit from straightening their teeth later in life. There’s no age limit on when someone can get braces or Invisalign—our orthodontic team even treats seniors who have decided to straighten their teeth. Many of our adult patients prefer Invisalign due to the fast treatment time and nearly invisible clear aligners.

7. How do I take care of my teeth while I have braces?

Caring for your teeth while you have braces and Invisalign is easy once you adopt some new habits. You’ll want to continue a normal regimen of brushing twice daily and flossing once a day. Eating a nutritious diet low in sugar is also very important. If you have Invisalign, you’ll simply remove your aligners before eating or brushing. If you have regular braces you should steer clear of very crunchy, chewy, and sticky foods.

Our team will give every orthodontic patient advice and detailed information on how to care for their braces or aligners at home.

8. Is my child/teen old enough to get Invisalign?

Metal braces are the popular option for kids and teens, but they aren’t the only choice. It’s normal for kids to feel self-conscious about metal braces, especially teenagers who are more concerned about their appearance. Invisalign can be a great alternative to metal braces for kids as young as 12 years of age.

Our orthodontist will be able to help determine if your child or teen is a candidate for Invisalign. In many cases, they will be able to receive Invisalign, but for severe misalignment, gapping, or crowding, metal braces may be the only option.

9. Can I still get braces if I have other dental work like crowns?

Adults are often curious if they can still get braces even if they’ve had restorative or cosmetic dental work. The answer is usually yes in the case of crowns and veneers. Dental implants can be trickier to work around, but our orthodontist will be able to figure out a plan that will help you straighten the surrounding teeth.

It’s important to note that if you’re interested in braces as well as implants, veneers, or other cosmetic or restorative work, it’s generally best to get the braces first. Have a conversation with our orthodontic team and let them know your future plans so they can be incorporated into your treatment plan.

Come visit our orthodontist and learn more about straightening your smile.

Brocks Gap Dental Group is dedicated to providing comprehensive dental care to families and individuals in the Hoover, AL, area. Our enthusiastic orthodontic team is passionate about helping our patients transform their smiles and is always eager to answer any questions about teeth straightening.

To schedule a consultation with our orthodontist, you can either give us a call or use our online Request an Appointment form. If you’re also interested in pediatric, family, or general dental care, be sure to let us know and we can set up additional preventive care appointments.