Braces FAQ

What is the best age for a consultation?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic consultation at age 7. By this age, several permanent teeth should have erupted.

Beginning at age 7, Dr. Viechnicki evaluates:

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Difficulty chewing or biting
  • Mouth breathing
  • Sucking the thumb or fingers, or other oral habits
  • Crowded, misplaced or blocked-out teeth
  • Jaws that shift, make sounds, protrude or are recessed
  • Speech difficulty
  • Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth
  • Protruding teeth
  • Teeth that meet in an abnormal way or don’t meet at all
  • Facial imbalance or asymmetry (features out of proportion to the rest of the face)
  • Grinding or clenching of teeth
  • Inability to comfortably close lips
  • How long does it take to straighten teeth with braces?

Braces start to straighten teeth right away. Usually, teeth start to look straighter within 2 months. When braces are placed by an orthodontist, the front teeth are usually straight within 6 months.

Braces are usually on for a total of 2 years because they do more than just straighten teeth.

What types of braces do you use?

Parents bring their children to us because of our expertise in braces for teeth. We can help straighten teeth with a variety of comfortable braces:

Is there an alternative to braces?

Yes, Invisalign is a great alternative to braces for adults. Invisalign is a series of clear plastic aligners that gradually straighten your teeth over time.

Do braces hurt?

Old-fashioned braces used to hurt patients.

Fortunately, we use modern braces that are much more comfortable. It is common to have slight discomfort when chewing for the first few days.

The feeling you get as your teeth start to move is related to the biology of how a tooth moves.

Dr. Viechnicki teaches a 12-part postdoctoral course on the Biology of Tooth Movement. He uses his knowledge to make braces comfortable and safe for our patients.

Can I eat with braces?

Yes! And you won’t be stuck eating soup for 2 years.

During the first few days of braces, we recommend softer foods because they are more comfortable to eat.

After the initial discomfort passes, you can eat almost anything you want. We recommend that you cut your food thoroughly and chew gently.

Some of our patients have found that hard, sticky and chewy foods are more likely to break their braces. Hard foods, like peanuts, can snap braces off of teeth. Sticky and chewy foods, like caramel, can get stuck and pull braces off of teeth.

Braces patients avoid hard, sticky and chewy foods because they don’t want to break their braces.

Can I play sports if I have braces?

Of course! We recommend wearing a mouthguard for sports like football, baseball, basketball and soccer.

Some sports are tough on braces. There is a chance that braces will break if you get hit in the face during boxing or contact karate.

How will I know how to take care of my braces?

Glad you asked! We have a 7 part series on exactly how to take care of your new braces!