Answers to Common Questions About Orthodontics (Part 3)

As with any new situation, if you or your child are planning to get braces you probably have a lot of questions. In the past few orthodontic blogs we have answered some common questions about orthodontic treatments, and about the rubber bands that some people need to wear with their braces. In this article, we are going to provide answers to a few more questions such as whether you can play sports or certain musical instruments with braces, if your braces will set off metal detectors, and what happens if you have to move midway through treatment.



Are braces necessary, or are they just for looks?


Some people choose to get braces to straighten their smile, which is a great reason and will often help improve self-image and increase confidence. However, if your dentist or orthodontist recommends them, it is not just to achieve a beautiful smile. A properly aligned bite and teeth are the primary reasons for braces. Crooked teeth can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, TMJ, headaches, and earaches. Good alignment allows you to more easily clean all areas of your teeth, lowering the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. It also helps with chewing, minimizes abnormal wear of tooth enamel, and can eliminate jaw, head, and ear pain caused by poor alignment.


Braces may also improve your health in other ways. Poor alignment can be the root cause of breathing problems, teeth grinding, and speech impediments. Orthodontic treatment can lessen and even cure these problems.


Can I get braces if I’m missing a tooth?


Of course! The success of your treatment will depend on your circumstances and treatment goals but, in many cases, orthodontic treatment will be recommended if you have missing teeth. Children who lose baby teeth from trauma or dental issues, before the permanent tooth is ready to come in, will often need spacers and possibly braces to make room for adult teeth.


As an adult, missing permanent teeth can cause unnecessary strain and wear on your remaining teeth and jaw joint, and the gap allows your teeth to shift, changing your bite and possibly causing bone loss in your jaw. Orthodontic treatment can eliminate these unnecessary problems.


Can I get braces if I have a crown on a tooth?


Yes. We have materials specifically created to adhere brackets to a crown. Orthodontic treatment still has a high success rate if you have crowns. Every patient is unique, and some cases may take a little longer to achieve optimal results since crowns may require that teeth be shifted more slowly. We offer complimentary consultations and are happy to help you determine the level of success possible for your situation.


Is it still necessary to see a regular dentist while wearing braces?


Absolutely! In fact, it is vital to the process. Clean teeth move more easily, and your regular dentist will help you keep your teeth clean and help identify any areas that have become susceptible to cavity formation. If a cavity does form, it is important to clean and fill it as early as possible so it does not get larger and negatively impact your treatment.


How do I take care of my teeth and braces?


It is important to practice excellent oral hygiene while wearing braces since clean teeth move better, and cavities can slow the process. Food gets trapped by the brackets and wires, so it is important to brush and floss very well after every meal if possible. After you brush, look at your teeth and brush again if you still see food in your braces. If you can’t brush after a meal, rinse very well with water then brush as soon as you get an opportunity. Keep all your orthodontic and dental appointments and follow any extra instructions that you are given. If you have any questions, be sure and ask! We are happy to help you.


Finally, avoid chewing on anything hard, sticky, or crunchy. These types of foods are more likely to loosen, bend, or break the wires, or even detach a bracket. If that happens, your treatment can be impacted and cause you to wear braces for a longer time. You will also need to avoid chewing on gum, ice, and any other hard substance like pencils, pens, or fingernails. Here is a link with information on how to eat with braces and the types of foods to eat or avoid.


What should I do if a wire breaks or a bracket comes loose?


Call us to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. If the wire is bothering you, bend it back toward your tooth and cover the end with wax. If a bracket comes loose, secure the bracket in place with wax. If the bracket does come off of the wire, please save the bracket and bring it with you to your appointment so it can be reattached.


Do braces hurt?


Every person is different, but braces shouldn’t usually hurt. Some people are more sensitive than others, so everyone’s experience is different. One person may not have any discomfort, while another person may feel uncomfortable for a few days after getting braces applied or getting them tightened. If you do feel uncomfortable, we have provided some tips to help you minimize the sensation.


Can my child still play sports with braces?


Of course! Just be sure that they wear a sports mouth guard to protect their mouth and braces. We can help you determine the best option for your child. If they need rubber bands, they can take them out while wearing the mouth guard but need to be sure to remember to put the rubber bands back in as soon as the mouth guard comes out.


Can my child play wind or brass instruments with braces?


It may take a bit of time to adjust to playing with braces but, after a little practice, braces should not interfere with their ability to play. Covering the braces with wax for a few days should help the adjustment go more smoothly.


Will braces set off metal detectors?


No. The tiny amount of metal in braces will not set off metal detectors. In fact, they were specifically designed to be small and lightweight for comfort and to allow people wearing them to easily pass through security checks.


What if we move before braces come off?


If your circumstances change during your treatment and you need to move away from us or from another location to our town, your treatment can be transferred. We will work with you and your other orthodontist to ensure that the transfer goes as seamlessly as possible so you can still achieve your new, beautiful, healthy smile.


If you have any additional questions that we haven’t answered in this series, we would love to hear from you! We do offer complimentary consultations and would be happy to discuss any questions specific to your individual treatment needs. If anyone in your family is considering orthodontic treatment, call us at (480) 759-1119 or click here to schedule your complimentary consultation and start the process of creating a healthy, beautiful smile!



Call us at (480) 759-1119



At Jungle Roots Children’s Dentistry & Orthodontics, we strive to provide the highest comprehensive pediatric and orthodontic dental care in a unique, fun-filled environment staffed by a team of caring, energetic professionals. We believe the establishment of a “dental home” at an early age is the key to a lifetime of positive visits to the dentist. Ahwatukee, Phoenix



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