Traditional orthodontic braces shift teeth using brackets that are adhered semi-permanently to a patient's teeth and connected by wire of varying strengths and thicknesses. This type of orthodontic treatment is suitable for patients of all ages. So whether you're the parent of a teen with a crooked smile, or you yourself are looking for adult braces to correct overcrowding, or otherwise imperfect teeth, Dr. Kneib is available to discuss family orthodontics and the options available for you in Erie, PA.
While the term "family orthodontics" means that age is not a factor in deciding whether or not to get braces, there are other variables to consider such as cost and extent of treatment required for a patient. That is why it is important to schedule a consultation prior to committing either to adult or teen braces. During a consultation, your doctor will examine your smile and help determine the best course of action based on your unique situation and needs.
For more information on orthodontic braces, and in preparation for your first appointment, check out the Kneib blog! We've broken down the specs on traditional dental braces as well as popular aligner options to help you feel empowered and confident taking these first steps towards a perfect smile. When you're ready, give us a call.
What foods should I avoid while wearing orthodontic braces?
You can eat just about anything, but there are some exceptions. At Complete Family Dental Care, we feel that getting used to braces also usually means making a few adjustments in your eating habits. This is because some food might damage your braces or cause problems for your teeth. Here's a list of items to avoid (or some ways they can still be enjoyed with caution):
How do I brush my teeth with braces?
Brush between wires and gums to loosen any food particles. There are special toothbrushes for this, check with us for recommendations.
Start on the outside of your upper teeth, positioning the bristles at a 45 degree angle, toward the gum. Brush two to three teeth at a time using a circular motion, about ten strokes.
You may also want to use a water oral hygiene device that helps to remove food particles the toothbrush may not reach. It is used in addition to brushing and flossing, not as a substitute.
While wearing braces, be sure to schedule regular dental exams every three to six months for cleanings to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
How often do I need to brush with dental braces?
Preferably brush within five minutes after you eat anything, whether you're snacking or after a meal. Brushing away cavity-causing bacteria helps keep your teeth cavity-free.
Carry a travel toothbrush in a backpack, purse, or briefcase to always have on hand for brushing away from home.
How much do orthodontic braces cost?
The average cost of braces is typically around $5,000 though the out-of-pocket costs individuals are required to cover often vary greatly. The final cost of your braces will depend on your age, what type of insurance coverage you have, what type of braces you choose, and how long you have them.
How often do braces need to be adjusted?
Traditional braces need to be adjusted (tightened) every three to ten weeks. Generally, patients visit the dentist to have braces adjusted either monthly or bi-monthly to keep things simple. It takes about three weeks for braces to move teeth in any amount, so appointments should never be less than 21 days apart.
How long do traditional braces take to straighten teeth?
While it depends on the individual patient, the average amount of time a person has braces is one to two years (12 to 24 months). This process can be slightly longer or shorter. Though braces are one of the slower options when it comes to straightening teeth, keep in mind that it is also one of the most affordable.
Are braces covered by insurance?
Some dental insurance plans do provide at least partial coverage for orthodontic braces for patients under the age of 19. If a health insurance provider does not cover braces, you may consider purchasing additional orthodontic coverage. Additionally, there are a variety of financial assistance options available to help cover the cost of braces.
What is a good age to get braces?
The availability of teen and adult braces are proof that there is no "right" age to get orthodontic work done. That said, dental professionals often recommend that the earlier a patient is able to get braces, the better, as the skull and jaw are more conductive to straightening at a younger age.