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FAQs

Can I play sports while wearing braces?
Yes, but make sure you wear a protective mouth guard.

Can I play musical instruments while wearing braces?
With practice and a period of adjustment, braces typically do not interfere with the playing of wind or brass instruments.

If my teeth have been crooked for years, why do I need orthodontic treatment now?
It’s never too late! Healthy teeth can be moved at any age. Orthodontic treatment can restore good function, and teeth that work better usually look better, too. A healthy, beautiful smile can improve self-esteem, no matter your age.

Can I afford orthodontic treatment?
Most orthodontists have a variety of convenient payment plans. Many dental insurance plans now include orthodontic benefits.

Do teeth with braces need special care?
Yes, clean, healthy teeth move more quickly. Patients with braces must be careful to avoid hard, sticky, chewy and crunchy foods, or hard objects, such as pens, pencils and fingernails. Keeping your teeth and braces clean requires more time, precision and must be done every day if the teeth and gums are to be healthy during and after orthodontic treatment.

I see ads for perfect teeth in only one or two visits to the dentist. Will that give me straight teeth?
Quick-fix veneers temporarily cover crooked teeth. Teeth straightened by an orthodontist are good for life. That’s because only orthodontists receive an extra 2-3 years of education beyond dental school to learn the proper way to align and straighten teeth.

What are my options if I don’t want braces that show?
Should your case warrant it, you might want to consider lingual braces, which feature brackets that are bonded behind the teeth. Ceramic braces are another option to lessen the visibility of braces; they blend in with the teeth for a more natural effect. Additionally, the use of a series of invisible aligner trays (invisible braces) instead of traditional braces may be used to correct some problems.

Will a stud in my tongue interfere with orthodontic treatment?
Exercise caution with tongue-piercing jewelry. It can contribute to breakage of braces appliances and to tooth and gum damage from contact with the stud as well as altering tongue posture which will alter your bite.

How may I distinguish an orthodontist from a general dentist?
Visit our Find an Orthodontist section to find AAO-member orthodontists near you. AAO membership is the best way to confirm a doctor’s status as an orthodontist because the AAO only accepts orthodontists for membership. Additionally, visit the Questions for Your Orthodontist section for questions that you can ask to help determine if you’re getting your tooth-alignment procedure from an expert.

Can my family afford braces?
We are flexible with a variety of payment plans. Your options will be presented to you during your consultation.

© American Association of Orthodontists and Braces.org, 01/17/2012