122 thoughts on “Answered Questions Page5

  1. I recently got a gold chain with a bracket on my impacted tooth but I realized that when i tilt my head i feel something move in my gum. How do I know if my chain has un-bonded? is there a way to check without X-Rays? Thank You.

    1. Hello,

      Sometimes cuspids will become impacted and not erupt into the mouth. The orthodontist will ask an oral surgeon to place a bracket on the cuspid and attached to the bracket a metal chain. The orthodontist uses the chain to place pressure on the cuspid to help it erupt. During the oral surgery procedure, the field stays very wet and the bonding of the cuspid is very hard to do. The adhesive is weak if the tooth gets wet right before the placement of the bracket. So sometimes the bracket is not bonded well to the cuspid and it comes off.

      If the bonding fails, as the orthodontist pulls on the cuspid, the loose bracket and chain slowly come through the gum tissue without the cuspid. If this happens, the oral surgeon will redo the procedure and reattach the bracket and chain. The only way to check before the bracket comes through the gum tissue is with a radiograph. Even with a radiograph, it may not show the detachment.

      You mentioned that you feel something move in your gums when you tilt your head. There is no space around the bracket and chain. When the gum tissue heals around the bracket and chain, it holds the chain secure and nothing is loose even if the bracket is detached.

      Tell your orthodontist your symptoms. Upon examination, they will describe what is going on.

      Thanks for the question.

  2. I have braces, and im new to them and i woke up this morning and saw that i have some kind of black outline or some kind of black stuff all around my brackets… and i cant take it off..i tried to see if it would come off by using tooth picks. and i noticed the black stuff would get on the tooth pick. But it still wont come off… What is it?

    1. Hi,

      Good question. It should be food stain. Something you have eaten. If your toothbrush doesn’t remove it, try an electric toothbrush. In some cases, the adhesive right beside the bracket is not smoothe and can hold food. If it doesn’t come off, show it to your orthodontist at your next visit.

      Thanks for them question.

  3. I just got my braces off 1 and a half week ago, but my front teeth do not look straight. One of my front tooth is more pushed forward than the other teeth. As a result, my orthodontist bent the wire of my retainer a little bit so my front tooth can rotate. What does she mean by rotating? If it rotates on one side (left) does that mean the right side is not going to be aligned with the tooth on the right side?

    Sorry I have another question. When I look at the mirror, my teeth seem perfectly fine, but when I take pictures of my teeth, I can obviously see that one of the front teeth is slightly more forward than the other teeth. How come?

    Thank You

    1. Hi Grace,

      Your teeth try to relapse right after your braces are removed so your incisors have done so. You can get rapid movement in a short period of time. This is called relapse. Your teeth are moving because natural forces have taken over and they are not in harmony. Your orthodontist will adjust your retainer and your teeth by removing a little bit of enamel between your teeth. This is called interproximal reduction. Eventually, over a series of retention appointments, your orthodontist will get your incisors back into position.

      Thanks for the questions.

  4. If I had braces, got them off, wore the retainers non-stop for a few months, didn’t wear it for a year, tried to go back to it and my teeth shifted just enough that the retainer doesn’t fit perfectly anymore, (and the retainers are the clear type), if I keep wearing them will my teeth shift back to fit in the retainer perfectly, or not move, or move incorrectly, or am I damaging the retainer? They didn’t move drastically and are still straight but not as straight as before.

    1. Hello,

      The retainers should move the teeth almost back to where they were before you stopped wearing them. To create more stability, see your orthodontist for interproximal reduction. That is where a little bit of enamel is removed between the teeth to create a little space.

      Thanks fir the question.

    1. Hi Mica,

      It depends on how well you wear your elastics and how far the teeth need to move. In some cases patients wear elastics over a year to correct a Class II malocclusion. Wearing the elastics as your orthodontist has instructed will produce the quickest results.

      Thanks for the question.

  5. I got a gold chain put on my tooth in my gum and it has started to become more maroon than gold, do you know what could have happened ? thank you

    1. Dear Chelsea,

      The gold chain is not actual gold and they usually change in color over a period of time. I know it is unpleasant to see. It changes color due to acidic liquids you are drinking. It is nothing to worry about.

      Thanks for the questions.

  6. I recently went in to have my Damon braces adjusted, and my orthodontist decided to reposition 4 of my brackets. The process of taking the brackets off was probably the most painful dental procedure I’ve ever been through, and I’ve had 2 root canals! It felt like he was trying to pull my teeth out with the brackets… Everyone I’ve asked has said it shouldn’t hurt that badly. Do you have any ideas as to why it was so painful? I’m dreading the day when I have to have them all taken off – any suggestions? Please, and thank you!

    1. Hi Joyce,

      I’ve removed self ligating brackets before and they are a little harder to remove but you shouldn’t be in severe pain upon removal. When I remove a bracket, I bend it to peal it off the tooth and it cannot be reused. The pain is produced when the tooth is torqued.

      Self-ligating brackets are bulkier and harder to bend to peal it off the tooth. Talk to your orthodontist and see if they can bend the bracket in such a way to avoid excessive torque of your tooth. That would reduce your pain upon debonding.

      Thanks for the question.

  7. Hello.
    Last Friday, I got a new archwire put on my bottom teeth, after having a powerchain removed, to create space to fix a twisted tooth. I’ve noticed that my wire feels loose in the back, in the space before my molar. The other side feels tight, but my left side of the wire feels loose, when I touch it with my finger. Is this normal?

    Thank you

    1. Dear Robert,

      If the wire is still attached to the molar, then it is ok. When we have a small wire spanning a space between two teeth, it can move a little bit when you push it with your finger. If the wire is loose from the molar bracket, then you need to see your orthodontist and get it reattached.

      Thanks for the question.

  8. My Daughter just had her braces put in about 4 days ago the ones on the bottom seem like they have shifted down a bit towards her gumline is that normal?

    1. Hi Nicole,

      Yes, that is ok. Since the brackets are placed by hand, a bracket can be off a little causing it to be out of align. To correct this, the orthodontist may reposition the bracket or place a bend in the wire. If it’s the latter, it will be some time before bends are placed in the wires.

      Thanks for the question.

  9. Hi doc, I am in self ligating orthodontic braces and will be travelling abroad and won’t be back at least for a year. I still have 2 large gaps from the 2 molar teeth that have been extracted to align my teeth. My dentist want my braces to be removed however i want to continue its treatment cause of the two large gaps. What options can you suggest Thank You!

    1. Hi Glen,

      Patients move all the time. The American Association of Orthodontists have a directory of orthodontists that is world wide. The directory has all the contact information. You could email the orthodontist ahead of time to sort out the details. You can find someone to continue your treatment for the next year. It may take a little time and effort on your part, but it is possible to continue with your treatment. I’ve had patients do the exact same thing.

      Thanks for the question.

  10. I have had my braces on for the better part of 8 years. I am now 23 years old and will be getting my braces off in 2 and a half weeks. I have two questions:

    1) I have a TERRIBLE gag reflex and my orthodontist uses the wire retainers. Is there a way to mold the top retainer to look similar to a bottom one (so it doesn’t go so far back on the roof of my mouth?)

    2) According to the dental assistant in the office, my teeth have begun decalcifying along the gumline (I’ve brushed my teeth as instructed, so I assume it’s just because I’ve had these braces on so long). I’ve heard dental bonding could help with this (cosmetically). Is this true? I just don’t want multicolored teeth after these come off.

    1. Hi Britt,

      1. Yes, the upper retainer can be made like the lower retainer into a “horse shoe” shape. My patients with hyper gag reflexes likes this modified style and tolerates it better.

      2. Yes. Decalicifaction white spots can be fixed by dental bonding. The family dentist will remove the soft white spot with a high speed handpiece and then restore the cavity with a resin that is colored like your tooth. You may want to use Colgate’s Prevident 5000 toothpaste available from your dentist by prescription. This toothpaste will lessen some of the white spots.

      Thanks for the questions.

  11. Hello,
    I’ve had my braces on for just over a year now and the thought of getting a cavity under neither my braces makes me quite nervous! I don’t think I have one but I have a few questions that could help but that thought a ease:

    1.Can you feel if you have one under your braces? Does it hurt like a regular cavity?
    2. Would your orthodontist know if you have one underneath and if so are they easily fixed?
    3. What are some was to maximize my protection against cavities? I am using a sulca brush and an underwire brush along with my normal brushing and rinsing pattern.

    4. Do you have any suggestions on what type of tooth paste or mouth wash to use. I normally use Colgate Total during the day and then Crest ProHealth nighttime before bed. For mouth was I normally use Listereen TotalCare.


    1. Hi,

      When we place the bracket on your tooth, we make sure that the adhesive flows around the bracket so that there are no spaces under the bracket. Therefore, a cavity cannot form under the brackets but around the bracket in plain sight. The adhesive we use also leaks out flouride and helps prevent cavities from forming.

      The best way to keep from getting cavities is to brush and floss very well. You can also use an electric toothbrush in conjunction with a manual toothbrush. When brushing make sure that you tip the bristles so that they clean under the wire. That is where the majority of plaque will accumulate.

      Basically all over the counter toothpastes are the same. In addition, your fluoride rinse before bedtime is a good habit to do. You are doing the right things to lessen cavities and your orthodontist will warn you if white spots are developing.

      Thanks for the questions.

  12. i have a retainer with a finger spring to close a gap in my front two upper teeth. will the finger spring be removed once the gap close. The spring is in between my teeth and it kinda bothers me.

    1. Hi Nick,

      If the fingersprings are removed, your gap will show up again. Your orthodontist may place a lingual fixed retainer behind the two teeth and then you won’t need to wear your removable fingerspring retainer anymore. A fixed lingual retainer is a wire that is bonded to the backside of the two teeth. This wire keeps the gap closed.

      Thanks for the question.

      1. also I didn’t mention that i had braces before and these are new retainers. Also doesn’t the wire that are in front of the teeth stop them from moving?

    1. Hi Seburne,

      I am assuming that your orthodontist told you to wear your elastic rubber bands full time. Orthodontists use certain forces with rubber bands to move whole segments of teeth. If you are told to wear the elastics full time, then do so. If you don’t, your teeth will not move like the orthodontist wants them to and you will be ask to wear them longer. Sometimes part time wear will delay having the braces removed. So wear your elastics as instructed and you will see positive changes in your bite.

      Thanks for the question.

  13. I’ve had braces for about two weeks, and on the same day a brace way in the back fell off and i called and they said since the wire didn’t go all the way back it was okay. Today, another brace in the bottom fell off but the wire doesn’t reach that one either. The wire also popped off when i was eating cut apples. Everybody says my orthodontist is a bad one or really cheap with cheap materials. I have not been fully eating what i am suppose to but i am not eating really bad either. Should the braces be coming off so easily?

    1. Hi Tania,

      Bonded brackets can come off for a variety of reasons. Sometimes the patient’s enamel is very weak or very hard and the adhesive doesn’t work well. Or, the patient’s malocclusion comes together in such a way that it knocks the brackets off. Also, patients that produce a lot of saliva while the braces are being placed can have weaker bonded brackets because the bonding requires a dry field to work properly. I would not worry about the brackets coming off and, by the way, there are no companies that supply cheap materials. In the United States, all dental products are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

      Every patient is different. Some will have brackets come off in certain areas. Some will not. If a patient of mine has brackets coming off in the same area, I will switch to a band that is more durable and will not come off easily.

      Thanks for the questions.

  14. Hi! I have been wearing 2 elastics on each side of my braces for 4 months. They said I have a 3mm overbite, and I was just wondering, how long does it take your mouth to move 3mm? Thanks!

    1. Dear Amber,

      There are too many variables to answer your question. Some of the variables are angulation of teeth, spacing if any, number of teeth present, age of patient, size of teeth, amount of elastic usage, direction of elastic force, amount of force and potential growth of the child to name a few. Therefore, an exact number of months is difficult to ascertain for a certain amount of tooth movement with elastics.

      Some patients have to wear elastics for many months to get the movement required. The best thing that you can do is to wear your elastics as instructed by your orthodontist. That will give you the best chance for a positive result.

      Thanks for the question.

  15. I got my braces off in 2011. I would often brake brackets and I had a metal contraption for my over bite which i broke twice. When I got everything off, at first I wore my retainers (both hawley) 24/7 and then only at night. I was stupid and broke the hard plastic on my bottom retainer once and then I got a new one. I then broke one of the hooks (the thing with the ball at the end) on my orthodontist cut off my other hook. There are still little hooks on both sides but my retainer won’t stay in! It pops out of place. Since it won’t stay in, I don’t wear it at night. Only the bottom one. I’m embarrassed to confront my orthodontist about this since I broke else. One of my front teeth has moved forward from not wearing the retainer so long. My parents noticed that and aren’t going to pay for braces again. Can I just get a new retainer and will it correct my teeth again or will I have to get braces to correct a small change? Will getting a new retainer take awhile to get used to? Will it hurt too? Because my top one hurts when I put it in.My parents are so mad at me and I feel my ortho is too πŸ™ Thank You!

    1. Dear Emily,

      Your orthodontist is not upset with you. They are there to help. They may suggest a new spring retainer or a hawley retainer with finger springs to move your teeth back into position. You want to see your orthodontist soon because once your teeth have moved too far, the retainers may not work as well. If you can wear your retainers full time, do so. They can begin to correct your teeth that have moved. It will hurt for a while but, just like braces, only for a couple of days.

      Thanks for the questions.

  16. Hi!

    I began my orthodontic treatment on Dec 19/12 and so have had my braces on for almost 4 months now. Originally my orthodontist said that my treatment time would most likely be 18 months but could take 20 months. My biggest issue was my misaligned bite on one side (the other side is/was near perfect) as well as my upper left lateral incisor being pushed back. On the day that my braces were put on, turbos were placed on my upper molars and a spring/coil was put in place to push my teeth to allow movement of my upper left lateral incisor. At my next appointment the orthodontist installed a longer coil to allow more movement of my teeth. At my most recent appointment last week he said my teeth had moved an amazing amount and that he hasn’t expected my tooth to come forward so quickly. He told me that at my next appointment I will likely be getting elastics. Does this possibly mean my treatment time will be shorter? I’m 27 years old, not sure if that makes any sort of a differnce but thought I would add. Thank you!

    1. Hi Mandy,

      Estimating treatment time is just an educated guess. Normal estimates is 18 to 24 months and longer with adults. Treatment is completed when certain criteria is achieved. With some adults, teeth do not move quickly. It sounds like your orthodontist is happy with the movement that has occurred therefore that is a good sign. The further into treatment, the more accurate an estimate that braces will be removed can occur.

      Thanks for the question.

  17. My jaw has been cracking and has been very painful for about 1/2 a year now .my dentist gave me a retainer and that just made it worse, so i stopped wearing it 8 weeks ago.In the past 2 weeks its giving me headaches,is more painful and has started cracking a couple of times when i open and close my mouth. (it used to just crack once when opening my mouth)Im waiting to see an Orthodontist but im on a waiting list and it could take up to a year to get an appointment , and i’m afraid im making it worse.sometimes it just starts hurting for no reason….. Any advice???? πŸ™‚

    1. Darcy,

      Some of the symptoms of temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJD) are headaches, popping/clicking of the joint and pain. It sounds like you have TMJD.

      Most of TMJD patients grind or clench their teeth together. Pay attention to what you are doing with your teeth. You should maintain 1-2 mm of space between the teeth when you are at rest. Your teeth shouldn’t touch all the time. If you are doing this, separate your upper and lower teeth. Don’t clench.

      Avoid foods that you have to chew a lot. Don’t chew gum. Overworking the TM joint increases muscle tension which causes the symptoms. Massage the muscles around the joint to relax them. Tension in the muscle is what is giving you headaches and the popping.

      You may need a hard acrylic maxillary splint to releave muscle tension. Your family dentist, orthodontist or oral surgeon can make one for you. The splint can be used either during the day or night depending on when you think you are grinding or clenching. Also, don’t sleep face down, that can place a lot of pressure on the TM joints.

      If the TM joint is diagnosed with physical changes, an oral surgeon may do surgery on the joint itself. This procedure is considered when the patient’s symptoms are severe and there are irreversable structural changes to the joint.

      I hope that helps. Thanks for the question.

  18. I got my braces on about 2 years ago, and I just read your article about no chewing gum with braces. I always chewed gum, untill I reads this article, and I was wondering if there is anything I should do. Thank you for your time.

    1. Hi Ana,

      A lot of people make their experience with braces harder and longer by chewing gum. Chewing gum bends the wires and could break brackets. If you have stopped, good job! Now your treatment will progress faster. You should tell your orthodontist that you have stopped and it will make them very happy.

      Thanks for the question.

  19. Hi! I’ve had my braces off since a year and a half and im getting them off 5 months from now, my teeth are pretty much straight and im wearing rubber bands but i still have a small gap in between my front teeth like from far you could not see it but when you look closely and when i run my tongue through it i feel it. sometimes little food gets stuck in between, will my front teeth completely close by the time i get them off?

    1. Hi,

      Due to the shape of some of your teeth, the teeth are touching but not completely from top to bottom on the sides of the teeth. This makes it look like there are spaces. In some of those cases, a little bit of enamel can be removed so that the teeth will fit together better. This procedure is called interproximal enamel reduction. Talk to your orthodontist now about the spaces that you see and not right before the braces are going to be removed so that they can reduce the enamel and close the new created spaces.

      Thanks for the question.

  20. You might have already answered a question like this, but I’m sorry to ask it again. Is a palatal expander really necessary? I have had braces for about a week, and on that Friday they inserted a palatal expander too. It is very uncomfortable, because I cannot eat ( since everything gets stuck ) and I cannot talk ( I can’t say “can’t” the letter ” E ” and many other words and syllables). I expected it to be fine after a few days; they told me that I would get used to it after 1 week. However, it’s been about 4-5 days, and yet I still cannot talk properly. The molar band on my upper right is scratching/peeling my cheek flesh, and the inside wire on my upper teeth scrapes then cuts my tongue. I will go to the dentist soon to see what they can do about it, but I do not trust them that well anyways and I would like to hear your opinion on the situation. The reason I want to know if it is necessary is because I would like it off, but I still want to keep the braces on. I have an overbite, my two upper teeth were beginning to overlap, and so were my two lower teeth. A lot of my other teeth are normal, however. I thought that overbites could be fixed with elastics? But, if I did not wear the expander, would the braces still straighten my teeth? Thank you for your time πŸ™‚

    1. Hi,

      An orthodontist uses a palatal expander to widen the upper jaw and create space. We widen the jaw to correct crossbites, crowding and sometimes to correct overbites. As we widen the upper jaw, we can create space and bring the upper front teeth back so I’d say the palatal expander is necessary. You will get past the not talking properly and difficulty in swallowing. You’ll need to get the wire adjusted as well as the rough molar band. Hang in there. Palatal expanders do have a purpose and a large benefit in orthodontic treatment. They are usually in place for about 4 months.

      Thanks for the question.

  21. Im supposed to be getting my braces off today & my mom talked to the people at my orthodontist office and they told her i was supposed to chew lots & lots of gum before my impression is done today. But i read online that youre not supposed to chew gum because it messes up the wires & i was also told this when i first got my braces put on. So im confused now… Am i supposed to be chewing gum until i go in for my impression to be made or is this just a scam that my orthodontist is trying to run so i will have to come back more and owe them more money?

    1. LaKeena,

      I don’t know why an orthodontist would say chew lots and lots of gum. Makes absolutely no sense to me. I stand behind my article. Don’t chew gum.

      Thanks for the question.

  22. Hello,
    I just got on my braces and a transpalatal bar, the bar is very uncomfortable and I can not pronounce most syllables correctly, including “c/k” and “g”. I also am having a VERY hard time swallowing, I was wondering how long it takes to get use to this bar and if I will get it off before my braces, my braces are expected to be on for about 15 months.

    1. Hi,

      It will probably take about a week to get over the transpalatal bar. Usually a transpalatal bar is used while spaces are being closed. Once the spaces are closed, it can be removed. You will notice a groove showing up on the top of your tongue from the transpalatal bar. This is normal and will go away when it is removed.

      Thanks for the questions.

  23. Hello, so I have a question. I had my braces for 2 years and my teeth were pretty straight. I had an event coming up so I decided to take them off myself at home. But now I have an issue, some of my bottom teeth are going crooked because I never got a retainer from my orthodontist for stopping the treatment. I was wondering if I could have my braces put back on, as for the fact that I still have my braces. So is it possible that I can without having to repay?

    1. Hi,

      You can call your orthodontist and find out their office policy about your situation. In my opinion, when you removed your braces, you discontinued treatment and the orthodontist does not have any obligation to continue your treatment.

      Thanks for the question.

  24. How do you know I need braces? Do you get braces for a reason, like if your teeth or growing side ways? Does it hurt when you get braces?

    Thank you for your time.

    1. Hi,

      Your orthodontist does an examination and has certain criteria that they use to measure your occlusion. If you have certain problems, then we recommend using braces. Rotations of teeth, crossbites, deep bites, crowding and how the teeth come together are some conditions that makes an orthodontist recommend treatment.

      Does it hurt when braces are placed? No. It does not hurt. We clean your teeth, dry them and apply adhesive to hold the braces on your teeth. It is very simple and easy to do.

      Thanks for the questions.

    1. Yes, you can have pink braces. Read my article called, “What colors do braces come in?” After braces are placed, they hurt for about 3 to 5 days. You can only chew soft foods because your teeth are sore.

      Thanks for the questions.

  25. Hi,

    I would like to know if hawley retainers can cause sensitive molars due to the constant rubbing of metal wire thats securing it.
    I am experiencing discomfort when brushing my teeth specifically on one of my molars where the wire seems to be really near/touching my gum. I’ve been wearing my retainer for about a year now. should I change my retainer?
    thank you for your time.

    1. Hi Gen,

      Usually a hawley retainer will not cause your molar to be sensitive. Your retainer wires need to be checked and adjusted but I don’t think you need a new retainer. To reduce the molar sensitivity, you may need to use a desensitizing toothpaste for a while. Sensitivity can be due for a variety of reasons and sometimes it’s from brushing your teeth too hard causing toothbrush abrasion. Have your orthodontist check your retainer.

      Thanks for the question.

  26. Hi,

    I just wanted to ask if I could get braces even though I have an under-bite. I don’t really want Orthodontic surgery and it is really expensive but I do want and need braces as it is difficult to speak fluently and clearly.

    Thank you,

    1. Hi,

      Yes, you can use braces to align the teeth better and yet not correct the under-bite. Your orthodontist can give you a better understanding of what can be accomplished without surgery.

      Thanks for the question.

  27. My braces were taken off today and when they took off the bands on my back teeth it tasted really gross and smelled weird. I’ve brushed 3 times since then, and the smell/taste remains. Is this normal?

    My gums are kind of puffy too. Does this have anything to do with it or is it normal as well?

    1. Hi Brandy,

      Congratulations! Your braces are off πŸ™‚ It is normal for the bands to have a bad smell and the gums to be puffy. The bad smell and taste upon band removal is from bacteria and food that was around the band. It will go away.

      Your gums will go down quickly if you massage them with your toothbrush and floss often. Don’t worry about your gums if they bleed. Just keep at it and they will slowly return to normal size. Now, wear the retainers as instructed and show off your nice smile.

      Thanks for the questions.

  28. My white spot tooth lesions are not from my braces. They were there when the
    tooth emerged? Will the high dose flouride toothpaste still help?
    Will Icon help and is this long lasting?

    1. Hi,

      When a tooth erupts with a white spot, it could be fluorosis or a Turner’s Tooth. Rx strength toothpaste will not work. Icon, may help. Usually the best treatment is for your family dentist, if it’s just a couple of white spots, to do a resin filling to replace the white spot with tooth matching composite material. Fluorosis or tooth mottling can be severe or mild. Google fluorosis and Turner’s tooth to learn about them. I hope that helps.

      Thanks for the question.

  29. Hi,

    I’m going to have my braces in a couple of weeks and my spacers are scheduled for next week.
    I have quite a few questions regarding the treatment and I still need to check with my Ortho too.
    1. The treatment time mentioned in my case is +/- 15-18 months with either Invisalign or regular braces
    Q: Does Damon braces work quicker and reduce the treatment time?
    If I go with the Damon(Self ligating brackets, with less discomfort) what is the technical name of those brackest to ask for?
    Is it a painful process to take them off?

    2. My Ortho told me that they’ll be doing the metal bands on the molars and so they scheduled for spacers next week (I have absolutely no space between the molars). The reason why they are going with metal bands is, they are stronger and don’t come off like the other molar brackets.
    I have a concern about the metal bands as there are more chances of food getting stuck in those bands and hard to clean, also I guess they are painful too.
    Q: Shall I request for the latest molar brackets or is it purely their choice.
    If the food gets stuck, does Waterpik help clean it everytime along with brushing?

    3. Next week, I need to decide on the braces. But my Ortho is saying there is no major advantage with Damons, and they are steering me towards regular braces which are $500 less. The reason why I want to go with Damons is, as I heard they are less painful and takes less time in treatment – Please let me know the Pros and cons.

    4. Once the decision has been made what all do I need to know from my Ortho.
    Q: Can I ask them like how my teeth will look like after the treatment.
    Complete Treatment Plan and any other things that I need to know?

    5. While coming to the payment, I was told that the retainers are covered in the treatment. Are there any specific things that I need to check and make sure those are all covered in the treatment?

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Hello,

      Studies have shown that self ligating brackets do not reduce treatment time and will not reduce tooth movement discomfort. This is a marketing ploy. The biology of tooth movement has always been the same. Some patient’s treatment takes less time because the teeth do not have to be moved as much.

      Metal bands are used by some orthodontists and it is their choice.

      You should ask your orthodontist about what is included in the fee and what results you should expect.

      I like electric toothbrushes in combination with regular brushing over using a waterpik.

      Thanks for the questions.

  30. Hi,

    One more questions following my previous ones:
    I do have a Tongue Thrust, and Ortho told me that I may have to go for a Speech Therapy. Also, for one of their patients, the treatment didn’t last more than 2 years becaise of Tongue thrust and they can’t do much about it.
    In my case, should I even go for an Orthodontic treatment (my front teeth are flared up and no bite issues) for straightening my teeth?
    Can Tongue Thrust be treated with Speech Therapy?
    Is it a must to use the Tongue Thrust spikes in my treatment, as my Ortho didn’t mentioned anything about this?
    Please let me know as I’m not sure whether I should invest time and money for the Orthodontic treatment having the TT.

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Hello,

      A tongue thrust is usually caused by the patient retaining an infantile swallowing pattern. The tongue comes too far foward when the patient swallows. This can be changed by using a thumb crib and braces. Once the incisors are brought back and upright, the patient will slowly change their swallowing habit.

      I believe also that speech therapy would help if you produce “s”, “t” and “d” sounds by placing your tongue too far forward.

      Thanks for the questions.

  31. Hi,
    A week ago I got twin block braces which I need to wear 24/7.My orthodontist said after the first couple of days to try eating with them,so I did.I have started to notice tiny black spots on the blocks when I brush and they will not come off… Is this because I was eating with them and is this normal?? I’m afraid my orthodontist will be ticked off with me!

    1. Hi Grace,

      Yes, the spots are food stains. The plastic we use is slightly porous and can hold food. After a while, your orthodontist can quickly polish the stains off at one of your appointments.

      Thanks for the question.

  32. I just got a powerchain on my front top teeth and the gap is already closed. But, the roof of my mouth has a huge bump from where the teeth shifted and it hurts really bad. Is the big bump on the roof of my mouth supposed to happen?

    1. Hi Morgan,

      Yes, when power chain is used to close space, the gum tissue can bunch up. While the space is kept closed, the gum tissue will slowly remodel and change so the bulging gum tissue will slowly disappear. This can take many months for it to go away.

      Thanks for the question.

  33. Hi,

    Are clear/ceramic braces going to take longer treatment time when compared with metal braces? which one would you suggest?

    1. Hello,

      Treatment time is the same for ceramics and metal braces. I prefer metal braces because ceramic braces are hard to remove.

      Thanks for the question.

  34. Dr. Thompson,
    Could you please tell me, or refer me to a website that describes the various metals that a Tongue Crib could be constructed of? Are Tongue Cribs and Palette Expanders typically made from the same material, or is dependent upon the manufacturer?

    Thank you,

    1. Dear Joe,

      Tongue cribs and palatal expanders are made of the same material, stainless steel. Orthodontic materials are regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration. You can search fda.gov for information.

      Thanks for the questions.

  35. I had an exposure and bonding surgery 3 days ago and everything is going well. The healing part is going well but the question is I had the surgery before I get my braces. I get my braces next week and I just need to know if it was wrong for me to have the surgery without having braces. Also looking in the mirror it seems like the surgeon attached the gold chain to a little tooth on top of another tooth (The tooth that was taken out was handed to me ) and I don’t know why that was. Another thing is a day before the surgery I saw my orthodontist and she made me aware that I was getting braces at my next visit but she didn’t but separators in my teeth which I have read is meant to happen. She took pictures and kept a play dough thing to take a mould of my teeth and that was it the visit over. My orthodontist is aware of the surgery as she referred me for it in the first place.

    I am probably just being paranoid and anxious but I need to be sure everything is going in the right order and braces will be placed next week. I would really appreciate your advice on this.
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Melissa,

      What you are describing is the uncovering of an impacted cuspid and a bracket and chain placed on it. When a cuspid becomes impacted, we go after it and try to guide it into place with the braces. Having surgery before your braces are placed is fine.

      It sounds like everything is going well. Doing things in steps is best because you want to recoup from the surgery before the braces.

      Thanks for the questions.

  36. Hello, Dr. Thompson
    My archwire popped out of the bracket, all the way in the back where my bottom molar is. I tried to pop it pack into the small hole on the bracket, but there was not enough space. So, I tucked it under the bracket. My next appointment isn’t for four weeks. Will my teeth be okay, with the wire tucked until then?

    Thank you,
    Robert Melton

    1. Hi Robert,

      It depends on the size of the wire. A thick wire could hyper-erupt the molar. We don’t want that to happen. You should call your orthodontist the first part of the week and find out what they want you to do. If it is a thin wire, it can wait or you can cut the wire close to the bracket that is in front of the molar. Consult with your orthodontist before cutting the wire.

      Thanks for the question.

  37. I used to suck my thumb when I was younger, and my orthodontist said I would need jaw surgery. But I’ve read that people have had their open bites closed with braces alone. And I’ve read that teeth can move back and jaw surgery makes it more permanent. But what are the chances of my teeth going back to an open bite, if I don’t suck my thumb anymore (and I don’t have tongue thrust)? I have an over bite and open bite. My open bite is approximately 8 mm.

    1. Hi,

      Since you have stopped sucking your thumb, chances are your open bite will stay closed once it is reduced. You need a complete workup from an orthodontist to determine what can be accomplished with braces alone. Some malocclusions are so severe that orthognathic surgery is indicated. Obtain an appointment with an orthodontic specialist to determine your options.

      Thanks for the question.

  38. Dr.Thompson
    I appreciate your advice. I have a few more questions to ask you. I just got my braces and everything is going as it should now but as you mentioned where my surgeon uncovered my cuspid , i had thought my orthodontist when i saw her today would attach the gold chain to the wire in the braces and she hasn’t done this there is just an overlap with wire on the top of the little tooth on top of the big tooth. I just need to know will the gold chain be attached to the braces and will it be done by my orthodontist or my surgeon as i have an appointment with each soon.
    Thank you.

    1. Melissa,

      Usually, when the time is appropriate, your orthodontist will attach the gold chain to your braces and place a force on the impacted tooth to make it erupt.

      Thanks for the question.

  39. I recently lost both my metal retainer and my essix retainer about 5 days ago. I know my top teeth are already shifting and my dad hasn’t made an appointment yet for replacements. I’m only paying for the essix one right now because I don’t have enough money for the metal one quite yet. Are they going to take new impressions for the new retainer? And if they do, I don’t want my new retainer in the shape of my shifted teeth, and I’m scared my teeth won’t go back to normal. Is there any possible way he could make my retainer even a little bit smaller to make my teeth go back to normal?

    1. Dear Alyssa,

      The orthodontist may still have your models that your retainers were made from after braces were removed. If that is the case, they can make a new clear plastic retainer from that model. If not, the orthodontist can modify a new model to put pressure on your teeth to move them back into place. Since your teeth are moving, try to get into the office soon to get your impressions made and the process started.

      Thanks for the question.

  40. My daughter just went to her first orthodontist appointment and I didn’t like the down payment they offered me. So I was willing to go to another orthodontist. Can I do that ?

    1. Hi,

      Of course you can go to another orthodontist. You do not need a referral from your family dentist to be seen by an orthodontist. Also, at my practice, I’m flexible with the fee schedule. You may want to call the orthodontist office you just visited and see if they are flexible too. They may offer you a different fee schedule if you suggest that you are considering going to a different orthodontist due to the suggested down payment.

      Thanks for the question.

  41. I have a Class III maloclussion open bite. We consulted my case and they made me put on some braces to straighten my teeth and they gave me a plastic splinter like a mouthguard to put in my lower teeth. Can a splinter really correct my open bite? For how long? Thank you.

    1. Hi,

      Anterior open bites can be very difficult to correct. The main reason for the openbite is that the patient’s upper jaw grows too far down in the back making the molars touch first. Any device that can intrude the posterior segment of the upper jaw helps to close the bite. Some orthodontists suggest surgery, some use temporary anchorage devices (TADs) and some use a posterior bite block. I have seen the posterior bite block work, but it has to be worn all the time.

      Thanks for the question.

  42. Hi, I’m fourteen and I’ve had metal braces for the last 13 months. My teeth weren’t very crooked to start with and I mostly got braces to fix my overbite. The bite is corrected and my orthodontist said next appointment he’s going to grind the small bumps on the bottom of my teeth down. Do you have any idea how much longer I’ll have them?

    1. Hi Kiera,

      I don’t know how much longer you will have your braces. Orthodontists have certain criteria that needs to be accomplished before braces are removed. You can ask your orthodontist at your next visit about estimated treatment time.

      Thanks for the question.

  43. I got my braces off 3 years ago, wore my retainers for a year but i kept losing them and didn’t have the money to replace them. It’s been two years since iv’e worn retainers and my teeth have shifted slightly. Could I get new retainers to wear to have my teeth shift back to the way they were when i first got the braces off? and do i need dental insurance to get new retainers?

    1. Hi Maria,

      Yes, it is possible to use a hawley retainer with fingersprings or a spring retainer to move teeth back into a good position. Your orthodontist may need to releave some pressure applied to your teeth by doing some interproximal reduction of enamel. This will allow the teeth to stay into the new position. You do not need dental insurance to get new retainers.

      Thanks for the questions.

  44. I’ve had braces for about 3.5 years. I had 4 teeth removed to make room for other teeth that were above the others. I’ve noticed I have a really sunken in smile and it makes me look like a witch. My nose looks very big sideways and my chin juts out. I’m not sure what to do to make my teeth move forward and have a normal smile again. How can I make the teeth move up without getting braces again? Also, whenever I ask my orthodontist this question he never really answers it but just tells me that my smile is perfect.

    1. Dear Angela,

      You have a few options and these are not listed in any order of importance. 1) Orthognathic surgery. Both the upper and lower jaw are moved forward by an oral surgeon. 2. Rhinoplasty and genioplasty. Plastic surgery on your nose and/or chin. Since your orthodontist states that your bite is perfect, I doubt that opening up the spaces where the extracted teeth were will be a viable option. Talk to your orthodontist, an oral or plastic surgeon and get as much information about your options before making a decision.

      Thanks for the question.

  45. Hi, I have had bottom braces for 2 1/2 years, which has given me a slight underbite & have yet to get top braces because I am supposed to be wearing an expander. I have had 2 expanders and they both broke. Is there anyway around wearing an expander where I can just ask my orthodontist to put my braces on? Please give me as much information as possible, as I am about to just pull some teeth out so they straighten themselves.

    1. Dear Ashley,

      It sounds like your upper jaw is underdeveloped. Your orthodontist is using an expander to enhance the circumference of the upper jaw. Since two have broken two expanders, there are some expanders that are more durable. Removing upper teeth may not be the best idea because it may cause you to have more of an underbite when the spaces are closed.

      Talk to your orthodontist and ask about their treatment plan. They can give you the best insight in what needs to be done and when it needs to be done. Orthodontic treatment can take many years to complete if you have under-bite tendencies. Once the upper braces are placed, elastics can help reduce the underbite.

      Thanks for the question.

  46. Hi. I have a congenital missing lateral incisor on my bottom row of teeth. I’ve always thought I am lucky because the cuspid next to the gap of the missing tooth moved into the gap and remains straight so the gap is not noticeable right in the front but is more off to the side. However I am now looking into getting a dental implant to replace the missing tooth and the cuspid now needs to be moved into its proper place so the implant can be place correctly.

    I am wondering if it is common for people to have braces to shift gaps from missing teeth for implants to be later placed? I’m not really trying to close any gaps with braces, just move the gap to the right place. Is it possible to get braces with the intention of leaving a gap for an implant? Also, does this seem like a job that Invisalign could accomplish. Thanks for any advice.

    1. Dear Patrick,

      Yes, orthodontists open spaces in the correct area where a congenitally missing tooth has occurred. I don’t think active clear plastic retainers can move the teeth to create the space you are wanting. Chances are, you will need to use standard braces to create the space.

      Thanks for the question.

  47. I have bimaxillary protrusion and would like to correct it. Here is my dental history, i had a implant on #9 three months ago which is in healing period. Is it possible to correct my protrusion?

    1. Hi,

      Implants cannot be moved with orthodontic treatment. They are set in a fixed position and will not move like a tooth. The best treatment plan is to correct the protrusion first, then have the implant placed.

      Thanks for the question.

  48. I heard that the protrusion can be corrected even i have implant through orthognathic surgery. Is it true? I need your opinion.
    Thank you.

    1. Kumar,

      It depends on what you mean by protrusion. If the incisors are protruding, then no, braces and surgery won’t correct it. If the protrusion is from an upper jaw that has grown or is too far forward, then yes, braces and surgery would correct it. So, it depends on the angulation of the incisors and the position of the upper jaw in determining if treatment would correct the protrusion.

      Thanks for the question.

  49. I have braces , and my orthodontist told me to wear my rubber bands from my k-9 tooth to the one below it not any molars or anything ? I don’t have a over bite or a under bite , what is my rubberbands fixing ?

    1. Hi Whitney,

      You are wearing what we call “interarch elastics”. Interarch elastics extrudes teeth closing the bite. They are used on patients who have an occlusion where all the teeth are not touching. Using the elastics extrudes teeth in that area and the bite closes. Orthodontists use elastics in a variety of ways to move teeth.

      Thanks for the question.

  50. I was asking about bimaxillary protrusion. My bite is ok and both upper and lower teeth meet each other.

    1. Dear Kumar,

      The most common way to reduce bimaxillary protrusion is with the extraction of the 1st premolars, #5, #12, #21 and #28, in each quadrant of the mouth. In cases where the protrusion is not as severe, the 2nd premolars are extracted. Those extraction spaces are closed with braces, up-righting the incisors, and eliminating the bimaxillary protrusion. I hope I was helpful.

      Thanks for the question.

  51. Hello doctor,
    I had my braces on recently and i have my orthodontist
    Checkup every month, i have my bracea now foe 16 days
    And at work i always feel like my teeth arr loose and there
    Are gaps between rhem and i cant stop moving them with my
    Tongue, is it a bad thing? Is it going to affect my teeth movement overtime?
    I dont have any pain since i got my braces only the 1st 3 days when i eat
    , i also clean them after every meal but i always wake up with white stuff in the inner
    Side of my lips , is it normal?
    thank u

    1. Hi,

      It is normal for your teeth to become slightly mobile while you go through orthodontic treatment. During sleep your mouth can become very dry. Sometimes saliva or plaque can dry and look white. I’d advise that you brush your teeth right before you go to bed to help with that problem.

      Thanks for the question.

  52. Hello Doctor,

    I had my top braces removed last week and just received my clear plastic retainer. The plastic only covers half of my front arching teeth and has excess space below the front two. Is this a figment issue or do I have nothing to worry about?


    1. Hello,

      A clear plastic retainer should fit snug around all parts of the tooth. If there is space between the plastic retainer and the edge of the incisors when it is in your mouth, that may indicate distortion in your retainer. Sometimes when the impression is removed from the mouth, you can get distortion in the incisor region. Have your orthodontist check your retainer if that is the case. I hope I understood your question. Continue to wear your retainer until instructed otherwise.

      Thanks for the question.

  53. Hi there,

    I had braces put on me 2 days ago. Everytime when I brush my teeth my bottom left K9 tooth feels like it has a hole. It almost feels like someone is jabbing a needle into it. What should I do?

    Thanks Dan. πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Dan,

      I figure your teeth are very sensitive due to the braces just being placed. It takes about three to four days for the soreness to subside. Some of your teeth that are way out of position will have a lot of pressure placed on them and they will hurt. The only thing that will help is soft foods and time. If you think there is a cavity on that cuspid (canine) tooth or if the sensitivity doesn’t go away when you’re brushing, tell your orthodontist your symptoms and they will do an examination to determine the problem.

      Finally, when a tooth is moved, parts of the tooth that were covered by the gum tissue can become exposed causing the tooth to become sensitive to brushing. You can use desensitizing toothpaste and lay it on the area for about 10 minutes everyday for a month. Slowly the sensitivity will decrease. I hope that helps.

      Thanks for the question.

  54. Hi,

    My question is unrelated to braces, but I couldn’t find any other sections. About 2 weeks ago, I noticed that when I open my mouth…be it to eat something …or even chewing, yawning, etc … that I could hear a click and feel it near my earlobe (moving toward the face) on the left side only. It usually is triggered when the mouth is about a finger’s width from closed – on the way back down.

    I have an overbite, to the point where only the 2 sets of wisdom teeth connect the way they should (normal person) and suspect it may be related to this ..but I don’t know for sure. Because of my bad teeth (all uppers need removing) and a few bad lowers (wisdom), I find myself questioning whether those could have either instigated this or be causing it early due to potential inflammation from the bad teeth.

    Regardless, if this were you, what options would you be looking at? How long am I likely to be able to let this slide before it has to be handled (assuming I can’t get immediate help or help takes time)?

    1. Hello,

      What you are describing is temporomandibular dysfunction. The clicking is caused by the articular disc being displaced when your bite is closed. When you open, the disc pops back into proper place on top of the condyle. TMD can be caused by a variety of conditions from deterioration of the condyle, trauma or strong occlusal forces to name a few. Most of the time we cannot determine why the TMD started. Usually clicking symptoms are found in patients who grind their teeth or clench. If you think the muscles of your face feel tight, then try to massage them to relax the muscles. This could help the TMD problem.

      Over a period of time, the TM joint can change for the worse. I’d advise that you seek a consultation with your family dentist for an evaluation.

      Thanks for the question.

  55. I had my braces off and got fixed retainers on my lower teeth for around a year now. Just recently I noticed that the front few tooth had slanted to the right. I think it might be because the glue on the the side of the lower retainer came off and became loose. Do you think I might have to get braces on the lower teeth again to fix it up?

    1. Hi Lily,

      It depends on how far the tooth/teeth have moved. You may just need a plastic aligner or a Hawley retainer to fix the problem. Go in an see your orthodontist soon for an evaluation. If caught soon, you may not need braces again.

      Thanks for the question.

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