Braces FAQ

If you have braces questions, we have answers. For a more in-depth discussion of braces and your smile needs, schedule a free consultation at one of our many convenient upstate locations.

The process is painless and takes less than an hour. We’ll polish your teeth and paint on a solution that gently roughens the surface. Then, we’ll apply a conditioner to each tooth before sticking on the brackets, which have a special glue on them, so they stay put throughout treatment. When they’re in place, we’ll slide your archwires through the brackets. If you opt for lingual braces, all of this will take place behind your teeth. Either way, we’ll wrap up by telling you how to care for your braces and what to expect.

You’re never too old to have a smile you’re proud of! We’ve been seeing more and more adult braces patients at our offices. Adults tend to be really great candidates for esthetic options like Incognito™ braces and clear braces. If braces really aren’t your thing, Carolina Oaks is also a leading provider of Invisalign in many locations around the upstate. Having straight teeth will improve your oral health, thereby boosting your overall health and your confidence.

Contact one of our many convenient upstate locations to schedule a free consultation.

  • Brush your teeth in the morning, before bed and after every meal and floss at least once a day.
  • Use toothpaste with fluoride in it and ask Dr. Buddy or your family dentist if you need a fluoride rinse. This will help prevent cavities.
  • Try to avoid foods and drinks with lots of sugar (or at least enjoy sweets in moderation). The sugar increases the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth, causing more plaque and possibly cavities.
  • Don’t eat sticky and chewy foods (caramel, chewing gum, gummy bears), hard foods (hard candy, ice cubes, nuts) or foods that could get stuck in your braces and damage them (corn on the cob, bagels, ribs, taffy, etc.).
  • Be sure to schedule your routine checkups with your family dentist. It’s recommended you see your dentist every six months.

Braces don’t hurt and you should never feel serious pain. However, your teeth might be a little sensitive when you first get them on and after adjustments. This will go away in a few days. Your gums, cheeks and lips may be irritated while your mouth acclimates to your new appliance. This will subside quickly as well. See our detailed braces emergencies page for comfort tips.

The cost of braces will depend on several different factors, including how complex your case is and which type of braces you choose. We’ll go over all of the costs at your consultation and you’ll never have to worry about any hidden fees. We strive to make braces affordable for all of our patients. We’ll work with you to create a payment plan that fits your budget. We also accept all major insurance plans and credit cards. We’ll verify your eligibility with your insurance company and file claims on your behalf.

The frequency of your visits will depend on your needs. In general, most patients visit us for adjustments between every four and eight weeks.

Yes! In fact, it’s even more important than ever for you to visit your dentist regularly. Since food and plaque can get trapped in the brackets and wires, bacteria may build up, ultimately leading to cavities and gum disease. We recommend seeing your family dentist every six months throughout your orthodontic treatment.

Every patient’s smile responds differently to treatment, so the duration varies by individual. Braces treatment can take anywhere between six and 30 months but most standard treatments are finished in about 22 months.

You can still play and sing your heart out with braces! While it might take a little adjustment period to get used to playing a sport or an instrument while wearing braces, once you’re acclimated, it won’t affect your performance. You will want to protect your braces and your smile by wearing a mouthguard when playing sports.

Getting your braces taken off is just as painless as getting them put on. After we congratulate you, we will use special tools to gently remove the brackets and wires. We’ll get rid of any lingering adhesive and polish your teeth. Finally, we’ll let you admire your new grin in the mirror (take as long as you want!).

Braces tend to trap food and plaque so you’ll want to be even more diligent with your oral hygiene routine to prevent cavities and gum disease. Brush your teeth at least three times a day, preferably after every meal, to keep your teeth, gums and mouth healthy and sparkling clean. Floss once a day to get the areas your toothbrush can’t reach. Don’t worry, we’ll show you how to do it when we put your braces on.