Frequently Asked Questions

In Case of an Emergency, What Should You Do?

If you have an emergency, please ALWAYS call our office to allow us to create a time in the schedule to see you to fix and relieve you of your pain or discomfort. If you have a regular scheduled appointment coming up, please call us so we can adjust your appointment time or to determine whether you should come in immediately or if you can wait until your scheduled appointment. If we are out of the office or it’s the weekend and it is an emergency that cannot wait until the next business day then please call (720)-496-3335.

Broken Brackets

Typically a broken bracket is not considered an urgent problem. It will usually remain on the wire, it can slide and rotate. If the bracket does come off, hold on to it and bring it in with you. You can place wax on the bracket if it is irritating you. Call us when you notice a bracket is broken, we will create a time to repair the bracket during the next business day. If your regular scheduled appointment is coming up, you might be able to wait until then, but still call us so we will be prepared to fix your bracket.

Loose Metal Bands

If a metal band becomes loose or falls off, call our office so we can schedule a time for you to come in to have the band placed back on before the space closes. If the space closes, then we will have to place separators to create space to replace the band.

Wires – Poking, Popped Out, Bent or Broken

There is a chance that the wire can come out of the very last bracket. It can cause discomfort. If the wire is out, try placing the wire into the tube using tweezers. If you are unable to reinsert the wire, call us. If the wire is poking, place wax on the wire where it is poking and call us. If a wire is bent or broken, call us. When you call us we will schedule a time for you to come into the office to have the wire fixed to relieve any discomfort.

O-tie off

If an o-tie (the colored rubber band around your bracket) falls off, it is ok. This is not an emergency. It can stay off until your next regular scheduled appointment. If it falls off of your front teeth and you feel uncomfortable with it off, call us and we will schedule a time to replace it.

Lost Separators

If you lose a separator, call the office so we can schedule you to replace it. If the separator falls off 1 day before your regular scheduled appointment it is ok for the separator to stay out.

Broken or Loose Appliances

If your appliance breaks or becomes loose and falls off please call the office immediately so we can schedule you to have the appliance reseated. We don’t want to have to restart or delay your treatment. If you do not call us immediately treatment progress may be lost partially or completely and treatment will be extended significantly.

Discomfort with Orthodontic Appliances

For the next few weeks following the initial placement of braces, your gums, cheeks and lips may be irritated from the appliances until you become accustomed to them. Your gums will build a natural callus. Your gums will adjust to the orthodontic appliances throughout treatment. Try not to use wax as this will prevent this natural occurring callus. Only use wax if you develop a sore ulcer.

You will most likely feel some soreness, pain or discomfort of the teeth. This is normal. Typically one is most sore for the first 3 days and then the soreness begins to subside within the next week. Following regular routine orthodontic adjustments it is nor uncommon to become sore. This usually lasts 1-3 days after the adjustment. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or other non-steriodal anti inflammatories pain relievers may be taken if needed for the pain. Warm-salt water rinses are recommended. A warm wash cloth or heating pad may help reduce soreness in your jaws.

Traumatic Injury

If you injure your teeth and braces, apply ice immediately to the area. Call your general dentist right away. If the trauma damages the braces and then call us so we can schedule you in to evaluate and fix any broken orthodontic appliances.

Orthodontic Glossary

braces parts diagram

  • Appliance: Anything your orthodontist attaches to your teeth, which moves your teeth or changes the shape of your jaw.
  • Arch Wire: The metal wire that acts as a track to guide your teeth along as they move. It is changed periodically throughout treatment as your teeth move to their new positions.
  • Metal Band: A metal ring that is cemented to your molar. Bands provide a way to attach brackets to your teeth. Typically on a child that has primary “baby” teeth.
  • Bond: The seal created by orthodontic cement that holds your appliances in place.
  • Bracket: A metal or ceramic part cemented “bonded” to your tooth that holds your arch wire in place.
  • Coil Spring: A spring that fits between your brackets and over your arch wire to open space or maintain space between your teeth.
  • O-Ring or O-tie: The tiny rubber band that fits around your bracket to hold the arch wire in place. They come in a variety of colors.
  • Elastics: Rubber bands that you place and remove with our instructions to help pull your jaw forward or backward to line your upper and lower teeth to make your bite correct. This can help with your smile and make it comfortable to chew your food.
  • Power Chain: Made of the same material as o-ties and like a bunch of o-ties linked together. Power chain is used to close gaps.
  • Ligature: A thin wire that underneath your arch wire.
  • Hyrax (palatal expander): A device that makes your upper jaw wider.
  • Retainer: An appliance that is worn after your braces are removed, the retainer attaches to your upper and/or lower teeth to hold them in place. Some retainers are removable, while others are bonded to the tongue-side of several teeth.
  • Separator or Spacer: A small rubber ring that creates space between your teeth to place bands.
  • Tie Wire: A fine wire that is twisted around your bracket to hold the arch wire in place.
  • Wax: Wax is used to stop your braces from irritating your lips, gums or cheeks.
Traditional Braces vs In-Ovation

Elastics and ties used in older braces put pressure and friction on teeth which slows treatment and causes discomfort. With the In-Ovation R system, teeth are free to move more quickly, easily, and comfortably. With In-Ovation, you can achieve amazing results faster — often, depending on your treatment needs, months sooner than with other braces.

What are In-Ovation Braces?

In-Ovation is a new and technically advanced system that can give you the radiant smile you have always wanted more quickly than traditional braces, and without the need for ugly, unsanitary, and uncomfortable ties or elastics. Using light, gentle forces, In-Ovation makes the path to a beautiful smile faster and more comfortable than you ever thought possible!

How many patients are being treated with Invisalign?

More than 1,000,000 patients worldwide have been treated with Invisalign. The number of Invisalign smiles grows daily. At your next appointment, we can help answer any questions you might have, and get you started on the smile you’ve always wanted.

Invisalign® uses a series of invisible, removable, and comfortable aligners to straighten your teeth. And, no one can tell you are wearing Invisalign. Not only are the aligners invisible, they are removable, so you can eat and drink what you want while in treatment, plus brushing and flossing are less of a hassle. The aligners are comfortable and have no metal to cause mouth abrasions during treatment. Please visit our Invisalign page to learn more about.

What are the primary benefits of Invisalign?

Invisalign aligners are clear; no one may even notice that you’re wearing braces, making Invisalign a seamless fit with your lifestyle and day-to-day interactions with others. Invisalign is removable. Unlike braces, you have the flexibility to eat and drink what you want during treatment simply by removing the aligners when you eat. You can also remove the aligners to brush and floss as you normally would for fresh breath and good oral hygiene. Unlike traditional metal braces, Invisalign does not use metal brackets or wires that could cause irritation to your mouth. In addition, you’ll spend less time in the doctor’s chair and having to schedule appointments, and more time out doing the things you love. Lastly, Invisalign allows you to view your virtual results and treatment plan before you start your treatment, so that you can preview how your straight teeth will look once your treatment is complete.

What is Invisalign?

The Invisalign system is the virtually invisible way to straighten your teeth and achieve the smile you’ve always wanted. Using advanced 3-D computer imaging technology, Invisalign depicts your complete treatment plan, from the initial position of your teeth to the final desired position. Then a series of clear aligners are custom made for your teeth – and your teeth only – to move them little by little. Each aligner is worn for about two weeks before being replaced by the next in the series until the final position of your teeth is achieved. Your Invisalign treatment time will be determined by your doctor based on your specific needs.

Will Invisalign fit my lifestyle?
  • Time for a snack? No problem. Take out your aligners to eat or drink whenever you want.
  • Since Invisalign is virtually invisible, chances are no one will even notice anything is different, until they begin to notice your new, beautiful smile.
  • You can remove your Invisalign aligners, so you can brush and floss regularly and keep your teeth and gums healthy.
  • You can occasionally remove your Invisalign aligners and enjoy a fun night out or special occasion.
  • There’s no need to change a thing. Continue your day-to-day activities while still straightening your teeth.
  • Invisalign appointments work with your schedule. Most visits are in and out, with a quick progress check once every six weeks.
Who is an orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has received two to three years of additional training and experience. Your orthodontist is able to straighten teeth, correct misaligned jaw structure, and improve the function of your smile.

What’s the best age to visit the orthodontist?

If you want to improve the look and feel of your smile, then any age can be a great age to see the orthodontist. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist around the age of seven; however, orthodontic treatment is not exclusive to children and teens, with about one in every five orthodontic patients being over the age of 21. Whether you’re considering treatment for yourself or for a child, any time is a good time to visit the orthodontist.

How can I take care of my teeth if I’m wearing braces or a retainer?
  • ALWAYS remember to brush your teeth after every meal and floss at least once a day.
  • Make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride, and ask your orthodontist or family dentist if you need a fluoride rinse. This will help prevent cavities!
  • If you take out your retainer to eat, make sure you brush your teeth, floss, and remember to keep it safe in its container so that it does not get lost or broken.
  • Keep your retainer clean, too, by brushing it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste. You may also soak it in denture cleaner as instructed by your orthodontist. Do not put your retainer in boiling water or in the dishwasher.
  • During your treatment, try to avoid foods with a lot of sugar (sugar increases the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth, causing more plaque and possibly cavities).
  • Avoid sticky and chewy foods (caramel, chewing gum, gummy bears), hard foods (hard candy, nuts, ice cubes) or any foods that could possibly get stuck in your braces (corn on the cob, soft bagels, ribs, taffy, etc.).
  • Be sure to schedule your routine checkups with your family dentist. It is recommended that you continue to visit the dentist every six months.

What are braces?

Braces are used by your orthodontist to help you improve the look and feel of your smile. There are several different types of braces to choose from, including:

If I get braces, how long do I have to wear them?

The amount of time spent in braces will vary depending on the individual patient, because every smile responds differently to treatment. Treatment times can take anywhere between six and 30 months, but most standard treatments take about 22 months.

Do braces hurt?

Braces do not often hurt though you may feel a small amount of discomfort for a couple days as your teeth, gums, cheeks, and mouth get used to your new braces.

Do I need to brush my teeth more often if I have braces?

With braces, you should brush your teeth at least three times a day to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy and clean. Brushing regularly will help remove any food that may be caught between the braces. You should also floss daily to get in between your braces where your brush isn’t able to reach. Your orthodontist can show you how to properly brush and floss once your braces are placed.

If I have braces, do I still need dental checkups every six months?

Yes! In fact, it’s even more important that patients receiving orthodontic treatment visit their dentist regularly. With braces, food may be caught in places that your toothbrush can’t reach. This causes bacteria to build up that can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Your dentist will work closely with your orthodontist to make sure that your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.

Will my braces interfere with my school activities like sports, playing an instrument, or singing?

Playing an instrument or a contact sport may require some adjustment when you first get your braces, but wearing braces will not stop you from participating in any of your school activities. If you play a contact sport, it is recommended that you wear a mouth guard to protect your braces or appliance.

How do I schedule my next appointment?

Simply call our practice! Our front desk staff will be happy to help schedule your next appointment at your convenience. If you are a new patient or have been referred to our practice, please let us know and we will provide you with all of the information you need.