Facing the decision to get braces can be daunting. You’re excited about your future dazzling smile, but you have a whirlpool of questions about the journey to get there.
To help you, we’ve compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions about braces and the orthodontic experience. Remember, we’re here with you every step of the way!
General Questions about Braces
Why should I consider getting braces?
Apart from the cosmetic benefits of a straight smile, braces can help prevent dental issues like gum disease, tooth decay, and even jaw problems. A proper bite can also improve speech and chewing.
How will I know if I need braces?
An orthodontic consultation is the best way to determine this. Signs of dental issues include crowded teeth, gaps between teeth, overbite, underbite, and discomfort while chewing or speaking.
At what age should I consider braces for my child?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an initial screening at age 7. However, the actual age to begin treatment varies depending on your child’s needs.
Can adults get braces?
Absolutely! It’s never too late to improve your smile. Many adults are choosing braces to correct dental issues or for aesthetic reasons. At A Perfect Smile Orthodontics, we take great pride in creating beautiful smiles for adults, teens, and children.
Braces Types and Alternatives
Are there alternatives to traditional metal braces?
Yes! There are ceramic braces, which are tooth-colored and less noticeable, and clear aligners like Invisalign, which are virtually invisible. At A Perfect Smile Orthodontics, we offer traditional metal braces, clear braces, Invisalign, and a wide range of other options.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a type of clear aligner. It consists of a series of transparent, removable trays tailored to fit your teeth. They gently shift your teeth into place and are almost invisible, making them a popular choice. We offer Invisalign and Invisalign Teen at our office. Read more about Invisalign treatment here.
What’s the difference between Invisalign and other braces?
The major difference is aesthetics and flexibility. Invisalign aligners are clear and removable, allowing for easier cleaning and the freedom to eat without restrictions. Traditional braces, on the other hand, are fixed and can be more visible — but may be more effective for complex dental issues.
Questions about the Braces Experience
Are braces painful?
Initially, you might feel some discomfort or pressure when the braces are first installed or adjusted. However, this discomfort usually subsides after a few days. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help ease any initial soreness.
How long will I need to wear braces?
The duration varies from person to person. Typically, braces are worn for 1-3 years, but this can be shorter or longer depending on the complexity of the case.
Do rubber bands on braces have a purpose?
Yes, orthodontic rubber bands or elastics help correct the alignment of the bite and jaw position. They apply additional force to move teeth in the desired direction.
How often will I need to see the orthodontist?
Generally, you’ll need adjustments every 4-6 weeks. Regular check-ups ensure everything is moving as planned.
Will I have to wear a mouthguard with braces while playing sports?
It’s highly recommended. A mouthguard will protect your braces and your mouth from potential injury during physical activity.
Will braces interfere with playing musical instruments?
There might be a short adjustment period, especially for instruments that require mouth positioning, like the flute, clarinet, or trumpet. With practice, many adapt and continue to play as they did before getting braces.
Do braces cause white spots on teeth?
White spots can develop on teeth when there’s a buildup of plaque around braces. Proper oral hygiene, including regular brushing and flossing, can prevent this. If white spots do appear, there are treatments available to reduce their appearance.
What happens after the braces come off?
Once your teeth are perfectly aligned, you’ll likely need to wear a retainer. This ensures your teeth don’t shift back to their original positions.
Care of Braces
How should I care for my braces?
Maintain good oral hygiene! Brush after every meal, floss daily using tools designed for braces, and attend all your orthodontist appointments.
How often should I brush and floss with braces?
Ideally, brush after every meal to ensure food particles don’t get trapped. Flossing daily, or even more frequently, is also recommended. Special flossers designed for braces can make the process easier.
What foods should be avoided with braces?
Sticky, hard, or chewy foods can damage your braces. Avoid things like caramel, hard candies, popcorn, and nuts. It’s also a good idea to cut foods like apples or carrots into smaller pieces.
What should I do if a bracket breaks or a wire comes loose?
If a bracket breaks or a wire becomes loose, contact your orthodontist as soon as possible. In the meantime, use orthodontic wax to cover any sharp edges to protect your mouth.
Can I whiten my teeth while wearing braces?
It’s generally recommended to wait until after your braces are removed to pursue teeth whitening. This ensures even whitening since the area under the brackets won’t be exposed to the whitening agent.
Should I continue to see my dentist while I have braces?
Absolutely! It’s crucial to maintain your regular dental check-ups every 6 months or as recommended by your dentist. While orthodontists focus on aligning your teeth, your dentist ensures your overall oral health is optimal.
Why is it important to see my dentist during orthodontic treatment?
Braces can make it challenging to clean every nook and cranny of your teeth, leading to plaque accumulation. Regular dental cleanings and check-ups ensure your teeth remain healthy and free from cavities and gum disease while you’re working towards that perfect smile.
Questions about the Orthodontist and Clinic
What qualifications does the orthodontist have?
All orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are orthodontists. An orthodontist undergoes additional years of specialized training after dental school. Dr. Taylor is a board-certified orthodontist with over 15 years of experience. You can learn more about Dr. Taylor here.
Do you offer initial consultations, and are they free?
Yes, we believe in informed decisions! We offer a free initial consultation to assess your needs and answer any questions you may have.
What technologies and methods does your clinic use?
We pride ourselves on being at the forefront of orthodontic care. Dr. Taylor uses the most advanced technology available, like digital X-ray technology, 3D imaging, and more. Because Dr. Taylor is a Board Certified Orthodontist, he stays up-to-date on the latest technology and can therefore pass it on to his patients.
Is your clinic family-friendly?
Absolutely! We believe orthodontic treatment is a family affair. Parents and family members are invited to every private consultation because this provides every member of the family an opportunity to ask questions regarding the type and duration of treatment, as well as other important information. Plus, our 25-seat HD movie theater in reception and flat-screen TVs throughout our practice make every visit fun and relaxing.
What are your clinic hours?
Our clinic operates from 9 AM to 6 PM, Monday through Saturday. We pride ourselves on being the only Orthodontist in McAllen to offer free orthodontics consultations six days a week — including Saturdays!
How does the clinic handle sterilization and cleanliness?
Patient safety is our top priority. We adhere to strict sterilization protocols and use state-of-the-art equipment to ensure a hygienic environment. All tools are sterilized after every use, and treatment areas are thoroughly cleaned.
Financing and Insurance
How much do braces cost?
Cost varies based on the type of braces and the duration of treatment. It’s best to discuss this with your orthodontist, who can provide a tailored estimate. For more information, please read our page on the cost of braces.
What are your payment options, including insurance?
To help you achieve the gorgeous, healthy smile you deserve, we offer several affordable payment options at Our McAllen, Texas clinic. We also have an insurance specialist on staff who can check your insurance benefits if applicable.
Our mission is to provide exceptional, affordable orthodontic treatment to anyone in the RGV who needs it.
Come in for a Free Consultation
Now that we’ve answered the most frequently asked questions about braces, it’s time to take that step toward achieving the smile you’ve always wanted!
It starts with a free, no-obligation consultation with our Board-Certified Orthodontist, Dr. David Taylor.
Your consultation begins with a thorough examination and a precise assessment of your oral health. We then take the time to explain your treatment options, answer your questions, and make sure you’re comfortable with your care.
Get Started Now!
Call us at 956.630.6166, or complete the form below.
If you’ve got more questions or are ready to embark on your orthodontic journey, call our office to set up an appointment for your free consultation. We’re excited to be a part of your transformative journey!