Susan Baloul, DMD, MS, DScD, a dual-trained specialist in orthodontics and periodontics at Elegant Orthodontics offers answers to the most common braces FAQs from people living in Boston, Brookline, Norwood and Framingham, MA either considering braces or already undergoing orthodontic treatment.

What Are Braces?

Braces are a well-known and effective orthodontic treatment used to correct any issue related to the position and function of the teeth. This treatment uses brackets made of metal or ceramic material along with rubber elastics and metal wires to shift teeth into a straighter, aligned position.

Why Do I Need Braces?

Braces are recommended by dentists and orthodontists to correct teeth that are crooked, crowded, or spread apart with gaps. They also correct protruding teeth, misaligned bites and malfunctioning jaws. If you have any of these issues, you may need braces.

How Long Are Braces Worn?

Each patient’s treatment plan with braces is different based on the purpose of wearing braces, the type of braces and how long the treatment takes. Most patients wear braces from a year for mild corrections to a few years for more severe issues.

How Do Braces Work?

Braces involve affixing metal or ceramic brackets on the front of the teeth then threading a thin wire through the tracks then anchoring them to the back teeth. Elastics are wrapped around the brackets to fasten the wires to the brackets. Every few weeks throughout the course of treatment, the wires are slightly tightened to apply a constant pressure on the teeth gently moving them into the correct position. Once complete, the braces are removed, and a retainer is worn to help them maintain their position.

How Old Are People When They Get Braces?

Braces are worn by children, teenagers and adults alike. Each treatment is based on the age of the patient. The American Association of Orthodontics recommends children see an orthodontist at seven years old to evaluate any potential problems. It is common for younger children to receive orthodontic treatments in a two-step process. Braces are most commonly worn by teenagers; however, adults often wear braces to straighten their teeth. They may not have worn as a teenager or their teeth have shifted even though braces were previously worn.

What Do I Do to Care for My Braces?

Caring for your braces and teeth is very important when wearing braces. First and foremost, we recommend you avoid foods that are chewy or sticky, or that have small pieces that may get caught in the wires. Additionally, it is imperative you maintain good oral hygiene throughout the treatment process to prevent tooth decay. Part of your treatment plan is seeing your dentist regularly for cleanings and check-ups.

Do Braces Hurt?

Braces do not hurt when worn; however, there may be discomfort during the first couple of days following their application and each appointment to tighten them. It is important to maintain good oral hygiene to prevent other oral issues such as tooth decay when wearing braces.

How Much Do Braces Cost?

The cost of braces varies based on the type of braces, how long the treatment takes and the extent of the problems requiring braces. We discuss the cost as well as payment and financing options during a consultation. We also work with patients to determine if their dental insurance provides any coverage for braces.

If you live in Boston, Norwood, Brookline or Framingham, MA or a nearby city, and have other questions about braces, please contact us to set up an appointment with Susan Baloul, DMD, MS, DScD, a dual-certified specialist in orthodontics and periodontics at Elegant Orthodontics.