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Braces 101: Your Guide to Orthodontic Treatments

Approximately 4 million Americans wear braces at any one time, making them one of the most common orthodontic treatments in the US. Braces correct crowded, crooked, or misaligned teeth and fix bite alignment issues, such as an overbite, crossbite, underbite, or malocclusion.

The ideal age to get braces is between 12 and 15; however, depending on the specific condition, adults can also get them.  These dental tools gradually straighten and align teeth, restoring a normal bite for patients.

At Perla Dental, we strive to give our patients a beautiful, healthy, and confident smile with braces. We utilize the latest techniques and technology to improve your smile in less time with greater comfort and stunning results that last a lifetime. Schedule an appointment or just walk into the Perla Dental office that offers orthodontics nearest you.

If you’re considering orthodontic treatment with braces, here’s a guide on everything you should know before starting this process.

  • Benefits of braces
  • Process of getting braces
  • Types of braces
  • Cost of braces
  • Difference between a palate expander and braces
  • Addressing occasional pain after getting braces
  • What to eat after getting braces

Benefits of Braces

  1. Enhance your smile and appearance
  2. Prevent tooth decay and gum diseases
  3. Make it easier to brush and floss teeth and maintain better oral hygiene
  4. Reduce grinding and clenching of teeth as well as bone erosion
  5. Reduce speech impairments
  6. Minimize damage caused by protruding teeth and overbites

The Process of Getting Braces

A braces treatment plan at Perla Dental begins with an initial consultation with an orthodontic dentist to examine a patient’s teeth and jaw structure to comprehensively assess their specific condition.

During an initial consultation, our braces doctors will develop a customized treatment plan based on their findings. They will then review the treatment plan with a patient in detail, including how long the plan will take and pricing.

When a patient decides to begin treatment, an appointment will be scheduled for the braces to be put on their teeth. Once braces have been put on, regular monthly follow-ups are scheduled with our braces doctors to assess the patient’s progress and to tighten the braces.

At the conclusion of treatment, the final process involves removing the braces from the teeth permanently and taking a mold of the mouth/teeth to create a custom retainer to ensure teeth do not move. Once the retainer is made, it should be worn for 6-12 months (as prescribed by your orthodontic specialist).

The duration of the treatment plan depends on how extensive a patient’s case is, although the typical treatment plans range from 6 months to 2 years.

Types of Braces: Orthodontic Treatments

Types of Braces

There are different types of orthodontic braces available today, such as:

  • Traditional metal braces: The most common type of braces that are made from metal and use wires, bands, and brackets to re-align teeth. There are restrictions on what you should eat and drink to ensure brackets and wiring do not break.
  • Clear aligners: Invisible, removable plastic aligners are less visible on the teeth than traditional braces making them a more popular choice for adults. As they are removable, there are no restrictions on what you can eat and drink, making them easier to maintain. 
  • Orthodontic appliances: A variety of orthodontic appliances can be uses during the course of treatment, and can include palate expanders for overcrowded teeth, fixed or removable retainers, positioners, twin block appliances, separators, and headgear.

How Much Do Braces Cost?

The cost of braces varies based on the complexity and length of a patient’s treatment plan. Traditional metal braces are usually less expensive than clear aligners and vary in cost based on the specific provider.

Most insurance plans do not cover braces treatments unless they are addressing significant jaw alignment issues which can cause further damage, such as bone erosion.

At Perla Dental, we make braces treatments easy and affordable with in-house financing options based on your budget and credit level. We also partner with other finance providers who can create a flexible and easy payment plan for you.

What is the Difference Between a Palate Expander & Braces?

Palate expanders are primarily used to take corrective action and not for cosmetic purposes. Unlike braces that are used mainly for teeth straightening, palate expanders have several other uses in orthodontic treatments, like:

  • Creating more space in the upper jaw for better alignment and spacing of teeth
  • Fixing overbites and crossbites
  • Helping correct malocclusion and overcrowding of teeth
  • Helping eliminate the habit of mouth breathing

Dealing with Occasional Pain from Braces

Pain is something to expect at some point during an orthodontic treatment. If you are experiencing pain, which feels like pressure on the teeth, gums, and or jaw, it means that the braces are doing their work and that the teeth are getting aligned.

Your orthodontist will recommend eating frozen foods to help numb the pain on days when braces are tightened and might recommend mild painkillers and topical analgesics to help lessen pain and discomfort.

All pain and discomfort should be gone within 2-3 days of tightening or adjusting braces, although let your braces doctor know if pain persists longer than that.

What to Eat with Braces?

For the duration of an orthodontic treatment, here are the types of food you should avoid with traditional braces:

  • Hard foods (like meat on bones or nuts)
  • Hard candy (any kind)
  • Sticky foods (such as caramel or gum)
  • Acidic drinks (a few days after traditional braces are put on teeth)

After most meals or even a snack, try to maintain a simple schedule of brushing and flossing to avoid deposits on the teeth or on the braces.

Begin Your Braces Treatment at Perla Dental

Looking for a trusted provider of orthodontics in the Metroplex? Perla Dental operates offices throughout DFW with state-of-the-art facilities and a team of qualified and experienced orthodontist dentists who provide affordable, effective orthodontic treatments.

Schedule your initial consultation at our Desoto, Farmers Branch, Terrell, or Scotts Dental Group – Fort Worth offices today!

We offer in-house financing programs to fit your budget and credit level and we partner with providers such as Sunbit Financing, CareCredit, and LendingClub to provide a payment plan that works best for you.