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Frequently asked questions regarding braces

Why do I need to wear braces?
Healthy teeth are the reflection of your overall health, that is why it’s important to take good care of them. Besides the fact that teeth have a huge impact on one’s appearance, they also have a crucial functional role. Misaligned teeth and an incorrect position of the lower jaw against the upper one could lead not only to speech issues, but could also negatively affect the chewing function. The aim of an orthodontic treatment is to solve these problems. An excessive and inappropriate pressure on the upper and lower jaws could be the cause for serious consequences, such as headaches, tension in the neck area and others.

What are the causes of an incorrect bite and why does it happen?
Perfectly aligned teeth can be rarely seen in real life. There are very few people that can be proud of having a natural straight smile. Malocclusion is usually an inherited condition, which means that it is a feature that is transmitted from one generation to another. But an incorrect bite can also occur as a result of various bad habits, such as a prolonged use of pacifiers and bottles, thumb sucking in early childhood and others.

What is the ideal age for starting an orthodontic treatment?
It is best to begin an orthodontic treatment during the period of active growth and development of the teeth and jaws, which is around the age of 10-15 years. But at the same time, you should be aware that occlusion problems could start developing at any time, thus an orthodontic treatment can be indicated at any age.

I’ve had misaligned teeth for a long time. Why did the orthodontist decide to start the treatment at this point?
It is never late to start any kind of treatment, specially a dental one. Healthy teeth are able to move and constantly change their position, thus one's bite can surely change throughout life. Not only an orthodontic treatment is the perfect solution for misaligned teeth, but it is also a method of prevention of caries and other unpleasant issues.

Is the orthodontic treatment painful?
The process of fixing the braces and wire on the teeth is absolutely painless. You could have some unusual and slightly unpleasant feelings during the first days of wearing braces, but they will quickly fade away as you get used to them.

Are my eating habits going to change after getting braces put on?
It is obviously necessary to include some adjustments in the diet of a patient that is wearing braces, but there are no radical changes. It is required to avoid hard and sticky foods, as well as products containing an excessive amount of sugar, as they could be harmful for your teeth and braces.

Can I practice sports while wearing braces?
Sports have never been harmful to anyone. Braces themselves are not a contraindication for physical activities, although you should avoid fighting sports. Additional protection may be required when riding a bike, rollerblading or skateboarding. Your orthodontist can provide you with further information regarding this subject.

What kind of difficulties can occur while taking care of your braces?
No major issues should occur, as there are no difficult steps to follow. There are all basic, but crucial ones. It could obviously be a bit frustrating in the beginning to brush your teeth after each meal, but it is something you can easily get used to. Otherwise, what is the point of perfectly aligned teeth that are not in good condition? That is why it is worth the effort.

How long will is take to straighten my teeth? Will the treatment last a long time?
The duration of an orthodontic treatment depends on the individual features of each patient, such as the stage of the disease, the complexity of the existing orthodontic problem and other related disorders. The average duration of an orthodontic treatment is usually no longer than 3 years, but modern technologies and appliances are nowadays offering the possibility of shortening the length of the treatment even more. Nevertheless, it is important to understand that the treatment itself is not over when the braces have been taken off.

What is the probability of a successful orthodontic treatment?
Braces are fixed appliances that are used to effectively treat orthodontic issues and straighten misaligned teeth. The length of an orthodontic treatment depends on each particular case. It is possible to shorten its duration if only the patient will follow his doctor's exact recommendations. The time you'll have to wear braces will pass really fast and you will quickly get used to them. Although if you begin to feel slightly uncomfortable at some point, just imagine the way your teeth are going to look after completing your treatment.

How does it feel to wear braces?
Some patients might have unusual feelings that last for only a couple of days after getting their braces put on. In some cases, the teeth might become more sensitive than before and minor pain is possible, although these feelings are temporary. If required, your orthodontist could give you some medication in order to block these sensations.

Braces are really visible on the teeth. Are there any alternatives to them?
Braces are not always fixed on the buccal (external) surface of the teeth, but they could be cemented to the lingual (internal) surface of the teeth as well. There are also some other appliances that could be used instead of braces, however it is mandatory to discuss all the existing possibilities with your orthodontist.

Are braces going to be an obstacle for wind instruments singers?
If you are a professional wind instrument singer, then you will obviously need a certain amount of time in order to get used to your the newly fixed appliances on your teeth. But the more you practice, the faster you will get accustomed to your new condition.

In case I have a piercing on my tongue, will it somehow negatively influence the outcome of my orthodontic treatment?
You will have to get rid of the piercing in case you have firmly decided to complete an orthodontic treatment. It could harm both your natural teeth and braces. The piercing could also cause major gingival trauma.

You are always welcome to ask your orthodontist any questions during the treatment, as he is the only person who is able to give you the right recommendations and pieces of advice.