- Why Shafer?
How long will I have to wear my braces?
Orthodontic treatment time is different for each person, but the active stage of treatment (that is, wearing braces or other appliances) may take from 6-18 months. After that, your retainer is worn for at least several months more.
Do braces hurt? What are wearing them?
Having braces put on is generally painless. You may experience minor aches and pain during the first couple of days or so, as you adjust to wearing braces. In addition, periodic adjustments may cause you soreness or tenderness to the bite, though it lasts only 2-3 days. If you have minor pain, over-the-counter pain relievers can be used to ease your discomfort, but is usually unnecessary.
Can I return to school the day I receive braces?
Yes. There is no reason to miss school because of an appointment at our orthodontics office.
Will I have to avoid certain foods with my braces?
Yes. You should avoid any foods that could damage or become trapped in your braces. Some foods to pass up include raw vegetables, hard candy, caramel, taffy and ice cubes. Fortunately, ice cream is OK to eat. We will also give you a more comprehensive list of foods to avoid after you get your braces on.
Can I still play sports with braces?
Yes. Whether you wear braces or not, we recommend you wear a mouth guard when playing most sports. Generally, if you play an instrument you will be able to play just as you did before, but you may need a short time to adjust after getting braces.
Will I need to wear a retainer when my braces come off?
Almost always, the answer is yes. If you don’t wear a retainer, your teeth can rapidly shift out of position — and then all the effort put into your orthodontic treatment is lost! Your retainer is your friend and helps you maintain that good-looking smile for a lifetime.