Braces FAQ

*Actual Patients

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Your Braces Questions Answered

Find out the answers to the questions we hear most often from our Houston and Bellaire braces patients. Or, for even more detailed answers, book your FREE consultation at Houston Orthodontic Specialists online or by calling us at (281) 752-4222 (West Houston) or (713) 667-6000 (Bellaire).

Q: What happens when I get my braces put on?

A: The procedure is painless and usually takes less than an hour. First, we’ll polish your teeth and prime the surface for the special glue we use. The doctor will stick the brackets on each individual tooth and the adhesive will ensure they stay put throughout your treatment. We’ll finish by threading your archwire through the brackets. It will be held in place with a slide mechanism if you opt for self-ligating braces or we’ll use elastics or metal ties for conventional braces. Before you go on your merry way, a team member will give you all of the information you need to care for your braces.

Q: How long does the average braces treatment take?

A: Every patient is unique and has different needs. In general, treatment will last between one and two years. If you want to speed things up, we do offer Propel®, which can make tooth movements up to twice as fast, and innovative braces systems that work more quickly than conventional braces. To get a specific number, schedule a free consultation with our Bellaire or Houston orthodontist. Once the doctor examines you and formulates a diagnosis, they can let you know what to expect.

Q: Am I too old for braces treatment?

A: No! You’re never too old to get a healthy, beautiful smile with braces. In fact, about half of our patients at Houston Orthodontic Specialists are adults and we’ve had patients up to 80-years-old. The benefits of straight teeth are more than cosmetic and braces can help improve your health and confidence. If you don’t love the idea of metal braces, just know that adults tend to be great candidates for aesthetic options, such as clear braces, lingual braces and Invisalign, all of which we offer at our practice. Schedule your free exam online or by calling our office at (281) 752-4222 (West Houston) or (713) 667-6000 (Bellaire). We’ll help you decide on a treatment that fits your lifestyle and needs.

Q: Do I still need to visit my regular dentist while wearing braces?

A: Yes. It’s actually more important than ever to see your regular dentist since brushing and flossing with braces can be challenging at first. Your dentist will make sure your teeth are cavity-free and your smile stays healthy throughout your orthodontic treatment. Typically, it’s recommended that you visit your dentist for a check-up and cleaning every six months, unless they would like to see you more often.

Q: What happens when you take my braces off?

A: Removing your braces is also pain-free and easy. Your Houston or Bellaire orthodontist will use special tools to loosen and remove the brackets and wires. They’ll scrape off any leftover adhesive, polish your teeth and let you check out your new smile in the mirror.

Q: How much do braces cost?

A: To get an estimate of how much braces cost, try out our payment calculator. We strive to make braces affordable for our patients and their families, which is why we offer several financing options and accept most insurances. We’re committed to helping you find a plan that fits your budget.

Q: Do braces hurt?

A: Braces don’t hurt and you shouldn’t feel serious pain. However, when you first get your braces put on and after they are tightened, your teeth and gums can be slightly tender. This discomfort is easily managed with an over-the-counter pain reliever like Motrin and by sticking to soft foods and cold drinks until it subsides.

Q: How often will I need to see an orthodontist during braces treatment?

A: For most treatment plans, you’ll come in for visits every 10 to 12 weeks. This can vary depending on your needs. These regular appointments are generally about 20 to 30 minutes.

Q: How many times a day should I brush my teeth when wearing braces?

A: When you’re wearing braces, you should brush your teeth in the morning, after meals and before bed for three minutes each session. If you forget your toothbrush while you’re out and about, rinse your mouth out really well after eating and brush when you get home.

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