Are you planning on getting braces? Great idea! Braces not only straighten your teeth – they improve the appearance of your smile and will boost your overall self-esteem tremendously. That’s why it isn’t surprising that roughly 4 million Americans have braces or clear aligners, according to the American Association of Orthodontists.

Remember that while metal braces are the correct solution for many children, teens, and young adults, they aren’t always the ideal treatment option for everyone. Before you begin working toward a teeth-straightening treatment plan, ask your trusted orthodontist the questions below.

1. What Are My Options?

While traditional braces are the most common treatment for straightening crooked teeth, they aren’t the only option available. If you’re self-conscious about how you’ll look with braces, you can inquire about Invisalign or clear aligners. Unlike conspicuous metal braces, Invisalign is virtually unnoticeable when you wear it. Due to its subtleness, Invisalign continuously gains popularity among orthodontic patients. When inquiring about available options, ask about the pros and cons of each treatment method in regards to your specific oral concerns. Generally, while Invisalign aligners are hard to detect, they are not as effective as braces for severe conditions. So before making a decision, have an evaluation or consult with your orthodontist to get recommendations on the best treatment method.

2. How Will Braces Affect My Lifestyle?

For braces to work effectively, you’ll need to make some temporary lifestyle changes and diligently practice proper oral hygiene. If you’re unsure about how to brush and floss your teeth once you get braces, don’t worry! Your orthodontist can walk you through the process and answer any questions you may have. Additionally, when you get braces, you’ll have to avoid certain foods. Ideally, your orthodontist will inform you about the foods he/she wants you to avoid during your smile journey, but you can always research foods to avoid online in preparation. Lastly, if you’re actively involved in contact sports such as football and basketball, it may be safer to refrain from taking part in them during your treatment. But, if you can’t refrain from participating in sports, let your coach know you’ll need to begin using a mouthguard as a precaution.

3. How Long Will the Treatment Take?

Braces treatment length varies from patient to patient. Some patients need braces for only a year, while others need to wear them for several years. On average, orthodontic care takes about two years. Therefore, brace yourself to wear braces for a fairly long period. While this may feel inconvenient, it will be all worthwhile in the end! You can look forward to a lifetime of smile confidence once the braces come off.

4. How Often Will Follow-Up Visits Be?

Once you get braces, visits to the orthodontist’s office won’t stop there. You will need regular orthodontic care so your doctor can adjust them. The frequency of your visits will depend on the severity of your condition. Typically, patients require orthodontic care services every four to eight weeks.

5. How Much Will the Treatment Cost?

The price of braces or Invisalign aligners isn’t cast in stone. Cost varies depending on several factors, such as your age and the severity of your condition. During your visit to the orthodontist’s office, your orthodontist will be able to estimate how much your treatment will cost. And apart from inquiring about the cost of your orthodontist, find out whether your dental insurance plan covers braces. Some insurers cover the cost of braces treatment partially, while others will cover the entire cost.

Restore Your Beautiful Smile

Braces and Invisalign aligners are great treatment methods for correcting crooked teeth and other oral issues. Before you move forward in your smile journey, just remember to ask your orthodontist the questions above. And if you have more questions about either option, schedule a free orthodontic consultation with Nowlin Orthodontics in Tulsa to get an in-depth rundown.