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Information Adults Should Know About Orthodontic Treatment

13 Common Questions Adults Ask About Braces And Invisalign

1. If I have braces or Invisalign, do I still need dental checkups every six months?

Yes! In fact, with braces, it’s even more important that patients receiving orthodontic treatment visit their dentist regularly. During orthodontic treatment, food may be caught in places that your toothbrush cannot reach. This causes bacteria to build up that can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Your dentist will work closely with your orthodontist to make sure that your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces or Invisalign.

2. Can I still play sports with braces? What about instruments?

Playing an instrument or a contact sport may require some adjustment when you first get your braces, but wearing braces will not stop you from participating in any of your activities. If you play a contact sport, it is recommended that you wear a mouth guard to protect your braces and your teeth. If you need help finding a mouth guard that works with braces, ask one of our Stryker team members for a good place to buy one.

3. Are there foods I cannot eat while in braces?

Yes. Once treatment begins, we will explain the complete instructions and talk about the list of foods to avoid with braces. Some of those foods include: ice, hard candy, raw vegetables and all sticky foods (i.e. caramel and taffy). You can avoid most emergency appointments to repair broken or damaged braces by carefully following this list. If you are using Invisalign Aligners, you should remove your aligners before eating or drinking.

4. Is there a chance my teeth will straighten out naturally?

No, they will not. The space available for the front teeth does not increase as you grow. In most people, after the permanent molars erupt, the space available for the front teeth decreases with age.

5. How long will it take to complete orthodontic treatment?

Treatment time obviously depends on each patient’s specific orthodontic problem. In general, treatment times range from 12 to 30 months. The “average” time frame a person is in treatment is approximately 22 months.

6. How often will I have appointments?

Appointments are scheduled according to each patient’s needs. Most patients will be seen every five to 10 weeks. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly.

7. Do braces hurt?

Generally, braces do not “hurt.” After certain visits, your mouth may be sore for a few days. In these situations, pain medications such as Advil or Tylenol will ease the discomfort. However, after most visits, patients do not feel any soreness at all!

8. Do I need to brush my teeth more often with braces?

During orthodontic treatment, you should brush your teeth at least three times a day to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy and clean. Brushing regularly will help remove any food that may be caught between the braces. You should also floss daily to get in between your braces where your brush isn’t able to reach. We can show you how to properly brush and floss once your braces are placed.

9. Is it too late to get orthodontic treatment if I am already an adult?

A surprising percentage of our patients are adults. In fact, 25% of all orthodontic patients are adults. Health, happiness and self-esteem are vitally important to adults. No patient is “too old” to get orthodontic treatment!

10. Is it required that my dentist schedules an appointment for me or refers me to an orthodontist?

No, it is not. Many of our patients are referred by their family dentist, yet many other patients take the initiative to schedule an examination themselves.

11. Can I wear braces or Invisalign if I have crowns or missing teeth?

Yes. A tooth with a crown will move just like a tooth without one. When teeth are missing, orthodontic treatment will aid in the alignment of the remaining teeth.

12. What will I learn from my initial exam?

There are five essential questions that we will cover during the initial examination:

13. How much will braces cost? Are financing options available?

It is impossible to give an exact cost for braces or Invisalign and treatment until we have examined your smile. The last thing you should have to do is spend time worrying about how to pay for your orthodontic treatment. We are happy to provide you with several flexible payment-plan options, including zero interest, that will help you get the treatment that’s needed, without busting your budget.

Still have questions?

To read more general orthodontic treatment questions, click here.
To read orthodontic treatment questions typically asked by parents, children, and teens, click here.



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Come Visit One Of Our 3 Convenient
Orthodontic Offices In Missouri!
Lebanon Orthodontic Office
590 Lynn St. (North Highway 5)
Lebanon, MO 65536
Monday through Friday, 8:00a - 5:00p

417.532.9532


Waynesville Orthodontic Office
100 Lafayette Cir.
Waynesville, MO 65583
Monday through Friday, 8:00a - 5:00p

573.774.5187


Camdenton Orthodontic Office
293 E. Hwy. 54, Suite 102
Camdenton, MO 65020
Monday through Friday, 8:00a - 5:00p

573.525.5141


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