Frequently Asked Questions About Orthodontic Treatments and Braces

Frequently Asked Questions About Orthodontic Treatments and Braces

Orthodontics is a specialty field of dentistry that is focused on straightening teeth. Braces are the most common form of orthodontic treatment. Braces consist of metal brackets and wires that apply gentle pressure to gradually shift the teeth. It can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years to achieve the desired results. Invisalign clear aligners are also a popular option that aligns teeth while being virtually invisible. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Orthodontic Treatments 

  • What are orthodontic braces?

Orthodontic braces are devices that can straighten the teeth and/or correct bite issues. They are most commonly used by children and teens, though adults can also benefit from orthodontic treatment. Braces are comprised of brackets (visible on the teeth) and wires (which connect the brackets). Braces apply pressure, which slowly moves the teeth into better alignment.

  • What are orthodontic problems?

Orthodontic problems can be categorized as either aesthetic problems or functional problems. Aesthetic problems include misalignment, crowding, and gapped teeth. Functional problems include underbites, overbites, and misaligned bites. All of these problems can lead to eating and speech difficulties, gum disease, and TMJ disorders.

  • Who is a good candidate for orthodontic treatment?

Anyone who wants to improve their smile and address bite concerns may be a good candidate for braces. However, treatment isn’t right for everyone. The best way to find out if braces are right for you is to visit your dentist in Livermore, CA. During an exam, your dentist can talk to you about your concerns and let you know if you are a good candidate for braces. Oftentimes, patients benefit from orthodontic treatment regardless of their dental alignment.

  • Are braces painful?

Braces apply pressure to your teeth. Initially, this pressure can be uncomfortable, but you’ll get used to it very quickly. Once your braces are on, you should feel some soreness after adjustments. The dentist in Livermore, CA, recommends taking ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help reduce any discomfort.

Braces shouldn’t be painful, but you may experience some discomfort after adjustments. Braces apply pressure to your teeth, which over time, will nudge your teeth into place.

  • How long will I need to wear braces?

Treatment time depends on the type of braces you receive and the severity of your case. Metal braces take about 18 to 24 months on average, while Invisalign treatment usually takes about 12 months. The length of your treatment will depend on how fast your teeth move in reaction to the braces. You will most likely need to wear your retainers for about a year after you get your braces removed. If you are getting Invisalign, you will need to wear them for at least 22 hours a day for the best results.

  • Do I have to wear a retainer after I get braces?

After you get braces, your dentist in Livermore, CA, may recommend you wear a retainer to keep your teeth in place. The retainer is a removable dental appliance that holds your teeth in their correct positions. For the first few months that you wear braces, your orthodontist may also want you to wear your retainer as much as possible, including while sleeping.

Alta Vista Dental provides the best dental services in Livermore, CA, with the expertise of experienced dentists. Call 925-292-1459 and book your appointment to learn more ways to take care of your oral and dental health. 


3183 Independence Dr, Livermore, CA 94551

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Phone: (925) 292-1459