Braces FAQ pt.2

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Other than making teeth look good, are braces really necessarily?
Some people may get braces for mostly cosmetic reasons but there are also a number of health benefits to straighter teeth. Straight teeth are easier to clean well, which reduces tooth decay and gingivitis. Correcting the bite also fixes many structural problems, which can reduce jaw pain and make chewing less painful.
No. They may not be exactly enjoyable, but they’re less noticeable, less painful, and more efficient than you remember. You can now get clear brackets or Invisalign for a less noticeable look, and even “traditional” metal brackets are much smaller than in the past. New heat-activated wires move teeth with constant, more gradual pressure, so each adjustment hurts less and teeth realign more quickly. Computer technology in orthodontics has also improved greatly, giving us “smart” wires and brackets that move teeth faster and more efficiently.
No. Braces can be uncomfortable or even painful at first, and may hurt for a couple days after each monthly adjustment. But after a few months, patients hardly notice their braces at all.
During your first consultation, it’s important to thoroughly interview the orthodontist to determine whether he or she is a good fit, and to know what to expect during the process.

A few questions you should be sure to ask are:

  • What’s the scope of the plan? When is the best time in my child’s life for treatment? What exactly needs to be done? How frequent will the visits be? What are my options? How long will the entire process take?
  • What are your office hours? (Many orthodontists keep bankers’ hours, which means that working parents have to skip work and kids have to be taken out of school.)
  • How does the office work to emphasize good oral care at home?
  • How long have you been in practice?
  • How much will this cost? How is my treatment cost determined? Does your quote include all costs from beginning to end? Are there additional fees during the treatment? What follow-up care, such as retainers, is included after the braces are removed? What insurance plans do you accept?
  • Do you provide references from past patients?

To download a list of these questions to take with you, click here.

Orthodontist in San Diego CA
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