Frequently Asked Questions about Braces

Teenage boy in a blue polo shirt smiles with braces on his teeth

Braces can transform your smile and give you the confidence that you have always wanted. Getting braces can be nerve-wracking, especially if you are not sure what to expect from the process. At FreySmiles Orthodontics, we are here to help you throughout the process of orthodontic treatment and have compiled answers to some of our most frequently asked questions about braces treatment. 

How do braces work?

Dental braces are made up of wires and brackets to put pressure on your teeth, slowly moving them into a straighter position. Brackets are bonded to each tooth and archwires are used to apply pressure. The pressure put on your teeth is generally painless, but constant to move the teeth over time. Not only do your teeth straighten, but the shape of your jaw also is adjusted throughout the process, making sure that your bite and your teeth are properly aligned. 

How long do I need to wear braces?

The period of time that braces need to be worn is all dependent on how severe your issues are. Traditional metal braces typically need to be worn for 18 months to two years. Patients with more severe alignment or bite issues can expect to wear them for upward of three years. On the other hand, patients with only slightly crooked teeth or with minor bite issues could finish treatment in a year or less. 

A smile is like a snowflake, each one is different than the next. Orthodontic treatment is unique to every individual and your orthodontist will work with you on your individual treatment plan.  

How do I take care of my teeth with braces on? 

Oral hygiene while undergoing treatment is extremely important for a healthy smile. Brushing twice a day, flossing and rinsing are still important steps, but there are some extra steps that need to be added to your daily routine to care for your braces and overall oral health.

We recommend that you start your routine off with a rinse. This helps to loosen up anything that is stuck in your braces and can make the rest of your routine easier. 

Plaque can build up around your brackets, so it is important that you spend extra time brushing around the brackets to scrub away any excess plaque. 

Floss threaders will be your best friend while undergoing orthodontic treatment. Floss threaders look like little loops and were designed to be used specifically for braces to floss underneath wires and around fixed appliances. 

What can’t I eat with braces?

Generally, we recommend that patients stay away from sticky and hard crunchy foods while they have their braces. Snacks like popcorn, gummies, pretzels, and chips can cause brackets to break to damage wires. 

You should also avoid overly sugary foods, sodas, and candy. Sugar and saliva can create a sticky film that can be hard to remove with daily brushing and flossing. 

Do braces hurt?

Braces do not give you continuous pain, in fact, most patients can’t feel them most of the time!

Mild discomfort and soreness are only expected right after your wires are adjusted. This is because the wires need to be tightened to keep applying the right amount of pressure needed to straighten your teeth. This pain is temporary and should only last for a few days and should be gone within a week. If you are experiencing pain, you should call your orthodontist. 

How do I get braces at FreySmiles Orthodontics?

The orthodontists at FreySmiles Orthodontics are ready to give you the smile of your dreams. We offer free smile evaluations to see if you are a candidate for braces treatment and which course of treatment will best serve your unique smiles. Request an appointment today at any of our four orthodontic offices in Allentown, Bethlehem, Lehighton, or Schnecksville.