Everything You Need to Know About Braces

braces dr chauvin lafayette dentistAt Chauvin Dental, we get lots of questions about braces. If you’re considering braces or want to know if you’re a potential candidate, first remember it’s essential to choose an orthodontist with extensive training and experience. Dr. Chauvin has a reputation in the local community for achieving great results and genuinely caring for patients.

Also remember that braces are an investment that will reward you with a lifetime of great smiles!


Here are some of the most commonly asked questions we get asked and our answers.


Do braces hurt?

There can be some swelling and discomfort when you first get your braces put on and when you get them tightened over subsequent visits. Your teeth and gums may feel sore, but this can be easily managed at home. A few options to manage the discomfort include: rubbing ice on your gums and lightly massaging them, using an oral anesthetic gel, or taking an over-the-counter pain reliever that’s approved by your dentist. If your pain is coming from the braces poking or rubbing against your cheek, we can give you a special wax to help alleviate that discomfort.


How will having braces affect my daily life?

The good news is that having braces will not affect things like sports participation or other common extracurricular activities. You should be able to continue on with your activities as normal, but you will have to change your care regimen and look at what you eat. You’ll need to brush your teeth after each meal to make sure there’s no food stuck in your braces, and you’ll need to floss once a day. There are certain foods you should avoid while you have braces; these include sticky candies, crunchy foods, and gum. Basically, you will want to eat things that are not going to be “hard” on your braces, so options like soup, mashed potatoes, and ice cream would all be examples of good choices.


How long will I have to wear my braces?

The length of treatment time varies from patient to patient and depends on the treatment end goals and other factors. Your dentist will be able to give you more information at your consultation.


Why do I have to wear a retainer after I get my braces off? Does it really matter if I do or not?

To answer that second question in a word: yes. After putting in all the work and effort to straighten your teeth, don’t you want them to remain as perfect as possible? Wearing your retainer as instructed will prevent your teeth from moving back to the way they were before. Be sure to take good care of your retainer so it will last you a long time.


Should I get Invisalign or regular braces?

Invisalign is an attractive alternative to braces because it’s clear and less noticeable than traditional braces. You can think of Invisalign as a sort of removable, clear retainer. While some patients get great results with this treatment, it’s not an appropriate option for every patient’s needs. Again, we would be able to tell you more detailed information at your consultation.


I’m an adult in my 30’s. Am I too old for braces?

Increasing numbers of adults these days are deciding to take the plunge and get braces or Invisalign. In fact, many of our current clients are adults. It’s never too late, so don’t let age stop you from coming in to evaluate your options.

Still have questions? Feel free to contact us or schedule a visit with Chauvin Dental today!