Frequently Asked Questions

At what age should orthodontic treatment occur?

Orthodontic treatment can be started at any age. Many orthodontic problems are easier to correct at an early age before jaw growth has slowed. Early treatment may mean that a patient can avoid extraction of permanent teeth and jaw surgery.

What is Stage 1 and Stage 2 Treatment?

Stage 1, or early interceptive treatment, is limited orthodontic treatment (expander or partial braces) before all of the permanent teeth have erupted. Such treatment may occur between the ages of four and eight. This treatment is sometimes recommended to make more space for developing teeth, correction of crossbites, over bites, under bites, or harmful oral habits. Stage 2 treatment is also called comprehensive treatment, because it involves full braces when all of the permanent teeth have erupted, usually between the ages of 10-13.

How long does orthodontic treatment take?

Treatment times vary on a case-by-case basis, but the average duration is 18-24 months. Actual treatment time can be affected by rate of growth and severity of the correction necessary. Treatment length is also dependent upon patient compliance. Maintaining good oral hygiene and keeping regular appointments are important in keeping treatment time on schedule.

Do braces hurt?

The placement of bands and brackets on your teeth does not hurt. Once your braces are placed and connected with the arch wires, you may feel some soreness of your teeth for one to four days. Your lips and checks may need one to two weeks to get used to the braces on your teeth.

Will braces interfere with playing sports?

No. It is recommended, however, that patients protect their smiles by wearing a mouthguard while participating in any sporting activity. Dr. Hunter will provide the appropriate type of mouthguard that will allow treatment to proceed without interference.

Will braces interfere with playing musical instruments?

No. However, there may be an initial period of adjustment. Brace covers can be provided to prevent discomfort.

What should I do if a wire breaks?

Please call the office at 248-449-1677 and we can advise you. In most cases, you can wait until your next follow up appointment for repair. If the wire is irritating, gently bend it away from your teeth with a pencil eraser. You can also cover the exposed wire with dental wax (available at our office or at most pharmacies) or wet cotton.

What can't I eat while wearing braces?

You should avoid the following foods during treatment:

For delicious recipes and a series of cookbooks for people with braces, visit the Discovery Box.

Removable appliances, retainers and clear aligners should be removed and stored in a safe place before eating.

Should I see my general dentist while I have braces?

Yes, you should continue to see your general dentist every 3-6 months for cleanings and dental checkups.

Where can I get more information about braces?

Visit the American Association of Orthodontists' website www.mylifemysmile.org for history, myths & facts, treatment options, kids' gallery, recipes and more!

Caring for Children and Adults Since 1991