If your teenager could benefit from braces, you likely have questions about the way the process works. At Wilson Ortho, we work with our patients and their parents to choose the best treatment plan for their unique bite and dental issues. There can be several options available. Often braces are applied after all of the adult or permanent teeth have fully come in, making the teenage years a good time to start. Most patients have lost all of their baby teeth, and their permanent teeth are present.

We like to take the time to walk our patients through the entire process from start to finish. Patients feel more comfortable when they know exactly what to expect from the process. During your free initial consultation, we examine and take images of your teeth. We also use an Itero scan to show you exact images of what your teeth look like today and what they will look like after successful treatment is completed.

How Long Will I Wear Braces?

Every mouth is different. Teens typically need to wear braces for 18-24 months. We can typically give you a good estimate of the time frame to complete your therapy on the initial visit, though there may be some minor variables. For instance, if your teen breaks braces and brackets, it can slow the process slightly.

The time frame depends on the type of alignment issues that need to be addressed. It’s also important that teens maintain their regular appointments to ensure that their treatment stays on schedule.

What Foods Will I Have to Avoid When Getting Braces?

Braces are not painful to apply, but some teens find that their teeth may be sore or more sensitive right after they’ve been put on. We recommend eating soft foods if your mouth is sore to avoid discomfort from extra chewing. Once you get used to wearing your braces, you can go back to eating most foods.

There are some things you should avoid eating permanently because they can cause damage to your braces or brackets. There are some foods you should avoid if at all possible. Sugary drinks and foods are not good for teeth in general. When you wear braces, it can be more difficult to brush and clean your teeth properly, so we do recommend that you limit sweet treats. Hard foods, like nuts and pretzels, can damage brackets and wires. Like gum and taffy, some candies can get stuck in brackets, are difficult to clean out of braces, and can damage the brackets. We recommend that you avoid these foods during the time that you are wearing braces.

How Do I Care for My Teeth While Wearing Braces?

Caring for your teeth with braces can take some patience to learn and do well. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll find cleaning your teeth with braces to be as easy as it was without them. It’s important to brush thoroughly because the brackets are attached to the front of your teeth. Once they are removed, that space on your teeth will be as clean as the day they were applied. If you develop staining in the months after your braces were applied, it can leave a noticeable mark. Not brushing your teeth well during this time can also leave you susceptible to decay and cavities.

At Wilson Ortho, we take some time to show you the proper way to brush thoroughly and floss with braces. It’s also essential for you to maintain your regular cleanings and visits for adjustments.

How Do I Protect My Mouth When Playing Sports with Braces?

For teens who play sports, a mouthguard can be designed and worn to protect their teeth and braces. Depending on the type of sport, a mouthguard may be advisable for teens, even without braces. Be sure to choose a mouthguard that is labeled as “for braces” so no damage will be done to your braces.

Some accidents and injuries can’t be avoided, no matter how careful you are. Mouthguards can give you a little extra protection during the games and practices.

How Much Do Braces Cost?

Every patient is different and it is important to create a plan that is just right for you. The cost of your treatment will depend on this custom treatment plan and will vary depending on the length of time and complexity. We can tell you the exact amount once we have seen you for your initial exam and consultation. We offer an array of payment options, family and professional discounts, and flexible financing. It is our goal to remove any and all barriers so you can achieve a beautiful healthy smile.