Braces FAQs

How does orthodontic treatment work?

Braces use steady gentle pressure to gradually move teeth into their proper positions.  The brackets that are placed on your teeth and the archwire that connects them are the main components.   When the archwire is placed into the brackets, it tries to return to its original shape.  As it does so, it applies pressure to move your teeth to their new, more ideal positions.

Invisalign uses steady gentle pressure to gradually move teeth with a series of clear removable aligners.   Instead of an archwire that is used with metal braces, each aligner is slightly different to move the teeth to their new, more ideal positions.

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Does orthodontic treatment hurt?

With metal braces, the placement of bands and brackets on your teeth does not hurt.   Once your braces are placed and connected with the archwires you may feel some soreness of your teeth for a few days.   Your lips and cheeks may need one to two weeks to get use to the braces being on your teeth.  There may be a little discomfort after adjustments.

With Invisalign, the placement of the attachment and the aligners do not hurt.   Once you place the aligners on your teeth, you may feel some soreness of you teeth for a few days.    Because Invisalign is a smooth aligner, there is nothing for your lips and cheeks to get use to.   As you switch to a new aligner, there may be some discomfort.   

Taking Tylenol or Advil according to manufacturers directions can be taken to remedy any discomfort that you may experience with either metal braces or Invisalign.

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Why do I need braces if my teeth are straight but my bite is off?

Orthodontic treatment is for much more than just pretty teeth. A good, healthy bite may help eliminate other health problems in later years such as jaw pain, popping and clicking and/or headaches. It may also help save teeth from wearing down due to clenching and/or grinding.

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Do I continue to see my dentist for regular visits during orthodontic treatment?

Yes, you will be asked to continue seeing your general dentist for cleanings and exams at least twice a year.

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How long is full orthodontic treatment?

Treatment generally last 18-24 months.