Are you currently dealing with jaw pain or misaligned teeth? Maybe you struggle with teeth clenching or have sensitivity when eating. There are multiple reasons people today require braces.

The thought of going down the road of orthodontic treatment might seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. 4 million people in the U.S. each year go down a similar road for receiving treatment with braces!

Before starting your own journey, here are a few questions to ask your local orthodontist. Being prepared can help alleviate any worries you might have before starting treatment. Let’s start with a common first question.

What Treatment Options Do I Have?

Treatment with braces can sometimes take years before your teeth are properly aligned. To that end, you’ll want to ask your orthodontist what treatment options are available to you. Several types of braces exist today, including:

  • Ceramic braces
  • Traditional metal braces
  • Self-ligating braces
  • Lingual braces

Traditional metal braces remain the most common option used. Ceramic braces are made to match the natural color of your teeth and are glued to each tooth, similar to metal braces.

Self-ligating braces are similar to both ceramic and metal, but elastic bands are not used during treatment unlike ceramic and traditional.

Lingual braces are perhaps the most uncommon and are glued to the back of the teeth. While lingual braces are not visible, they can be more uncomfortable and generally more expensive.

Will I Have to Change What I Eat?

The immovable nature of braces makes it difficult to eat certain foods. While you may not have to drastically change what you eat, take care when it comes to eating certain foods. The pressure that comes with having braces can make your mouth sore or tender, so avoiding foods that will be painful can help make the transition easier.

Soft foods such as soup, mashed potatoes, soft fruits, and pasta are a good place to start. Certain foods that will irritate your mouth right after getting braces include foods such as:

  • Thick bread
  • Tough meats
  • Spicy foods
  • Chewy candy
  • Crunchy popcorn
  • Corn on the cob
  • Nuts
  • Pretzels or chips
  • Whole apples

Your local orthodontist will guide you through what foods to avoid and what foods you can still enjoy throughout your treatment. Your teeth will eventually adjust to having braces, and you should be able to introduce certain foods back into your diet as treatment progresses.

Will I Be Able to Remain Active?

Braces are both a time and a monetary investment. To that end, protecting your investment (and your teeth!) is important.

A good question to bring up before you start treatment is to ask your orthodontist whether you’ll still be able to participate in sports. Getting orthodontic treatment should not exclude you from being able to play sports; however, your orthodontist will likely recommend you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth during physical activity.

How Can I Maintain Good Oral Hygiene?

We know that brushing and flossing are of utmost importance to our oral health. This is doubly true when braces get brought into the equation. Braces make it all the more likely that plaque and food will more easily build up in the mouth. This is due to the wires and brackets that surround the teeth during treatment.

To that end, take proper oral hygiene steps. Your orthodontist will be able to recommend an oral care routine for you. Some ideas to follow include:

  • Brush and floss after each meal
  • Avoid foods that easily get caught in braces
  • Keep a small travel kit on hand

What Will My Insurance Cover?

As mentioned previously, braces can be a big investment. Before starting treatment, be sure to discuss options with your insurance provider. They will be able to confirm the covered cost of treatment, as well as what procedures will need to be paid for out of pocket.

Orthodontic procedure costs can vary widely. Some procedures are able to be covered with either a flexible spending account or a health savings account. Simply check with your insurance provider for insurance coverage confirmation before starting any orthodontic treatment.

Why Do I Need Braces?

This question might seem fairly straightforward, but there are many reasons a patient might require braces. While straight teeth are the first reason that comes to mind, the appearance of your teeth isn’t the only one. Other conditions that benefit from the treatment of braces include:

  • Sleep apnea
  • Teeth clenching or grinding
  • Speech impediments
  • Jaw pain
  • Difficulty with eating

Your orthodontist will be able to confirm why treatment with braces will best benefit the overall health of your teeth and jaw.

Do I Have to Have Metal Braces?

If the thought of metal brackets and wires makes you hesitant, you might want to ask if there are alternative options available for your treatment.

Custom-made mouthpieces are becoming more of a common option for treatment. Clear aligners are typically made with medical-grade plastic, making them an excellent alternative to metal braces. More severe misalignments do require traditional metal options, so check with your provider to see if aligners might work for you.

Do You Have More Questions to Ask Your Provider?

It’s normal to have additional questions to ask your local provider. Braces are a time-intensive monetary investment. It’s normal to want to be as prepared as possible before you begin.

If you’re located in the Fort Pierce area and are looking to start treatment, look no further! At Jacobus Orthodontics, we aim to provide a variety of treatment options to fit the needs of each of our patients.

Why not contact us today to get started? We’re happy to help develop a schedule that works best for you and your oral health.