What to Expect During Treatment

Once braces are placed and instructions are given to the patient, subsequent visits are scheduled every 4-7 weeks depending upon the stage of treatment. Most of these adjustment visits are quite short lasting 10-15 minutes. For children, they are usually scheduled after school hours or on Saturdays for convenience and minimal interruption of activities

As previously mentioned, the placement of braces and subsequent adjustments are painless. However, some temporary soreness of the teeth can occur usually within a few hours to a day afterwards. This is usually mild and lasts for 2-4 days. Taking over the counter analgesics such as Motrin or Advil works best for this. Wax can be used for rough spots until the mouth can adapt to the new braces. Occasionally, patients with a higher level of dental sensitivity may experience more than average discomfort. Often, the best remedy for this is the assurance that the discomfort is still normal and quite temporary. Stronger, prescription analgesics can be used but are rarely necessary. Remember, if problems or questions arise during treatment, the doctor (or covering doctor) can be reached 24 hours a day by calling the main office telephone.

At certain times during treatment, patients may be asked to wear removable elastics or rubber bands that hook from the top to the bottom braces. They are often needed to align the top to the bottom dental arches and create an ideal bite. Sometimes they take a little practice to place properly but in a day or two, everybody gets the hang of it!

Once treatment is complete (the average time is 18-24 months), the braces are painlessly removed and the teeth polished. Retainers are then fit to maintain the result. They are critically important to the stability of the teeth after braces. The lower retainer is usually fixed or glued to the back of the front teeth and stays in several years. It is easy to clean and cannot be seen. The upper retainer is removable and worn at night for as long as possible. It is also comfortable and easy to clean.

Follow up retainer appointments are every 3-4 months and are all included in the treatment fee.