Frequently Asked Questions about Braces
1. Why do people need braces?
There are many reasons one person may need braces: crowded teeth, missing teeth, extra teeth, jaws not growing right, bad overbite, open bite and the list continues. Not everyone needs braces if they go early enough to the orthodontists and have their teeth checked out.
2. What is the best age for braces?
There is NO best age for braces as all ages can be treated. However, the best time to be seen by an orthodontist is around 7 years old. At 7, any jaw growth problems can easily be corrected.
3. What is Phase I Treatment?
It means that if a problem exists (such as a bad overbite or a lot of crowding of teeth) treatment can or will be started as early as 7 or 8 to correct the problem. Most of the time, Phase I Treatment can save the patient from extraction of good permanent teeth, headgear or major jaw surgery.
4. What is Phase II Treatment?
Phase II Treatment is treatment with “braces”. Patients who have had Phase I Treatment to take care of a major problem (severe overbite or crowding) may need some type of Phase II Treatment with braces to detail their bite. However, not everyone needs Phase II Treatment. For someone who does not have Phase I Treatment but needs braces, they go directly to Phase II Treatment (that is, treatment with full braces).
5. How do braces work?
Braces work by putting light forces on teeth through special wires. Orthodontists also use special rubber bands to bring teeth into the right position. Treatment takes some time because teeth move slowly (only 1mm a month or less) into the right position.
6. Does it hurt to put braces on?
No, the braces are put on with special cement. However, in the beginning, teeth may become a little sore once they start moving.
7. How long does it take to put braces on?
The appointment to put the braces on is 1½ hours but to actually cement the braces in place will take approximately 10-15 minutes.
8. How long does treatment take?
Depending on the severity of a case, it could take as little as 6 weeks or up to 20-24 months for complete treatment. Once treatment is started, a patient would be seen every 8-12 weeks depending on their needs.
9. Do you talk funny with braces?
Just like anything new, it takes about a week to get used to the feeling. Most people adjust very well and have no problems.
10. Can you play sports with braces?
Yes, but with much care. You may need a mouth-guard to prevent injury and damage to the braces, your teeth and gums. We will gladly provide one for you.
11.Can I eat anything with braces?
No. There are some restrictions. We ask that you avoid sticky or hard foods (such as caramel, sticky gum, candy, popcorn, etc.). A little extra care with what you eat can go a long way and can prevent braces from breaking or becoming loose.
12.Can you get a “shock” if braces are touched with something metal (fork, spoon, etc.)?
13.Can the braces set off alarms in stores or airports?
No, the metal is stainless steel and does not set off alarms.
14. What are rubber bands and why do people need them?
Rubber bands bring the teeth together to make them fit perfectly. Most people need them at the end of treatment for a couple of months.
15. What are retainers and who needs them?
After treatment is finished, retainers are given to hold the teeth in position until they become used to their new “home”. All patients need retainers and Dr. Cochran will instruct you to wear them according to your personalized needs.