Braces FAQ in Atlanta, GA
Are you or a family member thinking about getting braces? To help you through the decision-making process, board-certified orthodontists Dr. Ruchir Patel and Dr. Kal Thakkar from iClear Orthodontics, located in Alpharetta, Roswell, and Kennesaw, are here to help patients who live in the Atlanta area. Here are some answers to questions patients often ask.
What Are Braces?
Braces are a tool that orthodontists use to align teeth, bites, and jaws. Braces brackets are bonded to each individual tooth with special dental glue, and thin wires are threaded through the brackets. Every four to six weeks, adjustments are made by Dr. Patel or Dr. Thakkar to tighten the wires that guide the teeth into the right position. Rubber bands are often used to help the process along. A variety of braces colors and styles are available, ranging from discrete to fashionable. Your iClear orthodontist will review your options and help you pick the braces that work best for your smile and your lifestyle.
Who Needs Braces?
These days, people of all ages are wearing braces to improve their oral health. Children, teens, and adults are all benefiting from straighter teeth. Whether you are seven, or you are 70, straighter teeth are easier to brush and floss, which means fewer cavities, gum disease, and bone erosion. Patients who undergo treatment with braces are also less likely to experience TMJ because their bites and jaws are properly lined up.
People who need to close gaps between their teeth, space out crowded teeth or want to alleviate bite problems, such as overbite, underbite, crossbite or open bite, are all good candidates for braces. To learn more about whether braces are right for you or a family member, contact iClear Orthodontics to schedule a free consultation.
How Long Are Braces Worn?
Braces are typically worn for anywhere from one to four years depending upon the severity of malocclusion and how patients respond to treatment. Dr. Patel and Dr. Thakkar can advise you on how long treatment will take in your particular situation.
Will Braces Hurt?
Braces themselves do not hurt. However, braces work by exerting gradual pressure on the teeth to move them. Because of the pressure, some people experience minor soreness when they first get their braces and when their braces are adjusted during follow-up visits. Taking over the counter ibuprofen helps reduce symptoms and discomfort. The pressure typically goes away after a couple of days.
What is the Appropriate Age to Begin Orthodontic Treatments?
Orthodontic treatment can begin at any age. It is not uncommon to see adults in braces. If you have a child, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends orthodontic evaluation when the child is seven years old and starts getting permanent teeth. Typically around this age, orthodontic issues, such as overcrowding and bite issues, start to show up. Keep in mind that starting the process early does not necessarily mean that your child will get braces immediately. It simply means that Dr. Patel and Dr. Thakkar can identify early problems and determine the best course of treatment.
What Can Happen if Orthodontic Problems Go Untreated?
Many adults who did not get braces as children wish that they had undergone treatment. People who need orthodontic treatment have a higher risk of complications from cavities, gum disease, and bone loss.
What Are the Benefits of Wearing Braces?
Many people wonder whether the sacrifices they make while wearing braces are really worthwhile. If you ask people who have had their braces removed, the response is a resounding “yes”. Benefits of braces include:
- You will look good – Straightening your teeth improves your whole face’s symmetry. After braces, patients’ smiles tend to be broader, and their cheekbones are more prominent.
- You will smile more– When you feel good about the way your teeth look, you tend to be more confident and smile more.
- You will feel good – Straighter teeth leads to healthier teeth and bodies. When braces are removed, teeth are easier to brush and floss preventing cavities, plaque buildup, and gum disease. More importantly, preventing oral infections caused by bacteria build-up can help prevent heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and pneumonia.
Can I Play Sports With Braces?
People of all ages play sports while wearing braces, however, you will need to wear a mouth guard while you are playing. Events that happen during games can be unpredictable, and the mouth guard will prevent injury to your tongue, lips, and cheeks from your brackets and wires. Be sure to let Dr. Patel and Dr. Thakkar know what sports you play during your consultation so they can help you select the right mouth guard.
What Foods Do I Need to Avoid With My Braces?
When you get your braces put on, you will receive a list of foods to avoid during your treatment. Usually, the rule is to avoid anything that can loosen a bracket or break a wire. The list will include sticky foods, such as chewing gum and taffy, and hard foods, such as raw carrots and corn on the cob.
What If My Braces Break?
Do not worry if a bracket comes off or wire breaks, it happens. Just contact iClear Orthodontics as soon as possible and make an appointment to get your braces fixed.
What Is the Cost of Braces in Atlanta, GA?
The cost of braces treatment varies based on the severity of your malocclusion, the length of your treatment, whether any additional devices are required and other factors.
Dental insurance sometimes covers a portion or the full cost of braces, so it is important to check your policy’s coverage. If you have Flexible Spending Account dollars available through your employer, your pre-tax dollars can be applied to the cost of braces.
To give all patients access to quality orthodontic treatment, iClear Orthodontics offers many payment plans to help make braces more affordable. iClear Orthodontics offers interest-free in-house financing, which divides the total cost of treatment into reasonable monthly payments for the duration of your treatment.
Options also exist to extend payments beyond your treatment period. In addition to traditional credit cards, iClear Orthodontics accepts CareCredit® cards that extend financing up to 60 months with a reduced APR and fixed monthly payments. Customizable OrthoFi is available to design a flexible payment plan. With OrthoFi, you are able to select the down payment and ongoing monthly payment amounts.
iClear orthodontists Dr. Ruchir Patel and Dr. Kal Thakkar want to answer any additional questions you might have. If you live in the Greater Atlanta area and want more information about braces, please contact one of our offices conveniently located in Alpharetta, Roswell, and Kennesaw to schedule an appointment.