When your parents were kids, braces were a lot different. These days, braces are much more comfortable and better looking. Some braces are even invisible (go ahead, ask us all about it). Check out our FAQ below to learn more about braces, and always feel free to ask your Old Metairie Orthodontics team any questions you have when we see you for your appointment!
Am I the right age to get braces?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that you see an orthodontist by age 7, but braces work to straighten smiles at any age! Even if you still have all your baby teeth, we may decide to start you early with braces, but if we all agree we can wait a few years, we will follow your growth and development until the time is just right. If we do decide to get started early on your treatment, you might get to be the first one in your class to have braces!
Can I still play sports with braces? Can I play an instrument?
The answer is a big YES! Playing an instrument or a sport with braces or retainers may require some getting used to at first, but your orthodontic treatment will not stop you from participating in any of your favorite activities. If you play a contact sport, we recommend you wear a mouthguard to protect your braces and your teeth.
Are there foods I can’t eat while I have braces?
Yes. If you think a food seems like it might get stuck in your braces or damage them, you’re probably right. Once you get your braces, we will explain all the instructions to you and your parents, and that includes talking about what foods to avoid with braces and what foods are still ok to enjoy. Some of the foods on the No list include ice, hard candy, nuts, raw vegetables, apples, and all the super sticky foods like caramel, gum, and taffy. If you’re good at avoiding the No list, you probably won’t have to stop what you’re doing to rush in for an emergency appointment to fix broken or damaged braces. We know you’ve got this!
My new permanent teeth are crooked, but won’t they straighten out on their own as they grow in?
No, they will not. Your permanent teeth are bigger than your baby teeth, and for most people, after your permanent molars grow in, the space available for your other permanent teeth gets even smaller. That’s why they invented braces! Once your braces come off, we know you’ll be happy with your new, straight smile.
How long will I have braces?
This is one of the most common questions! The best way to find out how long your treatment will be is to come in and see us. Dr. Block will look at your teeth and give you a full report on what she thinks is right for you and how long she thinks you’ll have braces. Treatment time is different for everyone, but it’s safe to say that most kids have braces for a little under two years.
How often will I need to come in for appointments while I have braces?
At Old Metairie Orthodontics, we know you’re busy, so we like to schedule appointments about every five to ten weeks (or about every one to two months). If your treatment is a little different than most, we might want to see you more often, but we promise not to ask you to miss too many activities or too much school.
Do braces hurt?
Most of our patients will tell you that braces don’t hurt, although sometimes when your braces are new, or you come in for them to be adjusted, you may have a little bit of discomfort. If you’re feeling uncomfortable, go ahead and ask your parents for Advil® or Tylenol®. Most of the time, you won’t feel any soreness at all!
Will I need to brush my teeth more often with braces?
Food does tend to get caught in braces, so you should brush your teeth at least three times a day to keep your mouth healthy and clean. A good tip for extra clean teeth and braces is to floss daily too — this will help get in between your braces where your toothbrush can’t reach. Your Old Metairie Orthodontics team will show you the best way to brush and floss once your braces are on.
Can I go to school the day I receive my braces?
Yes. At Old Metairie Orthodontics, we are good at what we do, so it won’t take very long for you to get back to school to show off your new braces! Don’t forget to ask us about the cool colors we can give you for the ligatures and ties that are used with your braces — and you can change the colors at every adjustment.
Can I get invisible braces or Invisalign®?
This is a great question to ask Dr. Block at your first appointment. The doctor will be able to look at your mouth and let you know if you’re a candidate for either clear braces or Invisalign. Clear braces, which are also called ceramic braces, are popular with teens because they are made of clear materials and close to invisible — but because of the extra care involved, clear braces are not usually recommended for younger kids. Invisalign is a type of clear aligner that is removable and allows you to eat the foods you love without worrying about harming the brackets and wires of traditional braces. Invisalign might be an excellent choice if you’re a teen. Dr. Block will let you and your parents know if either of these orthodontic treatments is right for you.