Traditional Braces FAQ
Are you considering orthodontics in the Philadelphia, PA, area? Knowing what to anticipate throughout the treatment process can help you enjoy a smooth and successful experience. Here, Dr. Kellyn Hodges will answer some of the most common questions about braces below.
How long does treatment typically take?
Because each patient has a unique set of orthodontic needs, treatment times can vary substantially for every individual. On average, most patients can achieve their desired results in about 22 months or less. However, if you have severe misalignment, treatment could take longer.
Can adults have braces?
Absolutely! Braces are not just for kids anymore. Candidates for adult orthodontics must have healthy supporting bone and are free from extensive tooth decay and periodontal disease. If these issues are present, your doctor will recommend restorative treatments to prepare you for braces.
The frequency of your appointments will be determined by your specific, unique needs.
How do I know if my child needs braces?
Even if a child's teeth appear straight, there could be a number of hidden alignment issues affecting bite function and oral health. Therefore, the best way to determine if your child needs braces is to schedule a visit with an orthodontist. As specialists, orthodontists have additional education and training in their chosen field. When you choose Kellyn Hodges Orthodontics, rest assured you will be receiving the highest level of care possible.
Do braces hurt?
Any time the teeth are moved, some discomfort is typical. Therefore, patients generally feel some soreness when the braces are first applied and when they are adjusted. Fortunately, these side effects are temporary and fade away within a few days. In the meantime, any tenderness can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers.
How often will I need to come to the office?
The frequency of your appointments will be determined by your specific, unique needs. In most cases, visits will be scheduled every five to 10 weeks. If you require more frequent monitoring, appointments will be planned accordingly.
Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?
Patients who wear traditional braces will need to steer clear of certain foods while undergoing treatment. This includes crunchy foods such as ice, hard candy, and peanut brittle, as well as sticky foods such as caramel and taffy.
How long will I need to wear the retainer after braces?
To maintain the results of treatment, it is crucial to wear a retainer until your bite stabilizes. This is especially important during the first month after your braces come off, as the risk of relapse is extremely high at this time. For the first year or two, your doctor may recommend wearing your retainer every night. After this point, you may be able to reduce your wear to a few times a week. It is important that you follow all guidelines set forth by your doctor so you enjoy your new smile for many years to come.
What are the alternatives to braces?
Patients who do not wish to wear traditional metal braces may benefit from alternative treatment. At our practice, we offer:
- Invisalign®: Compared to traditional braces, Invisalign is virtually undetectable, offering a discreet orthodontic solution. The teeth are shifted using a series of removable thermoplastic aligners.
- Fast acting adult braces (FAAB): Naturally occurring misalignment can happen gradually over time. Patients who have minor orthodontic issues due to chewing, wear and tear, and other environmental factors can benefit from FAAB, which can help restore a smile to its original brilliance.
- Wilckodontics®: This accelerated treatment option can straighten the teeth almost immediately using a combination of orthodontics and dental surgery. Due to the nature of Wilckodontics, individuals will require a seven to 10 day recovery period.
- “Retainers only” treatment: While severe malocclusion requires conventional orthodontic treatment, minor cases of misalignment can be addressed with retainers. This allows patients to avoid metal brackets and wires and straighten their teeth discreetly.
Learn More about Your Options Today
To learn more about traditional braces or any of the other treatment options offered at our practice, schedule a visit today. Contact Kellyn Hodges Orthodontics online or by calling one of our three office locations.