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Braces FAQ for Kids

Everything Kids Need to Know About Braces

These are not the boring old braces your parents had to wear! These days, some braces are invisible, and some braces even come in special shapes like stars, footballs, and hearts (these options are called WildSmiles® and they’re awesome!). Plus, braces are a lot more comfortable now, and that’s always a good thing. 

Check out our FAQ below to learn more about the wide world of braces, and always feel free to ask your Braces Omaha team any questions you have when we see you for your appointment. Contact our office in Omaha, NE, today to schedule your consultation with our board-certified orthodontist, Dr. Stevens.

Kids FAQs

Am I the right age to get braces?

There’s a right age to get braces, but we won’t be able to know when your right age for braces is until we meet you and look at your teeth. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that kids see an orthodontist by age 7 so that the orthodontist can see if braces are needed right away, or if it can wait a few years. Even if you still have all your baby teeth, we may decide to start you early with braces; if not, we will follow your growth and development until the time is just right. If we do decide to get started early on your treatment, you might get to be the first one in your class to get braces!

Can I still play sports with braces? Can I play an instrument?

Yes! Your orthodontic treatment will not keep you from participating in any of your favorite activities. If you play a contact sport, we recommend you wear a mouth guard to protect your braces and your teeth.

Are there foods I can’t eat with braces?

Once you get your braces, the team at Braces Omaha will explain all the instructions to you and your parents including information about what foods to avoid with braces and what foods are still OK to enjoy. The main rule is if you think a food seems like it might get stuck in your braces or damage them, you’re probably right and should avoid it. 

Some of the foods on the NO list include ice, hard candy, nuts, raw vegetables, apples, and all the super sticky foods like caramel, gum, and taffy. If you’re good at avoiding the NO list, you probably won’t have to come in for an emergency appointment to fix your damaged braces—and you can even shorten the time you have your braces by carefully following our instructions!

My new permanent teeth are crooked, but won’t they straighten out on their own as they grow in?

No. Your permanent teeth are bigger than your baby teeth. After the permanent molars grow in, the space available for your other permanent teeth gets even smaller. Oftentimes, your teeth become more crowded and crooked. But there’s good news! A super smart dentist named Pierre Fauchard invented braces a few hundred years ago and now they’ve been perfected by orthodontists. Even if your teeth are very crooked, we can fix them, and once your braces come off, we know you’ll be happy with your new, straight smile.

How long will I have braces?

The easiest way to find out how long you will have braces is to come in and see us. Dr. Stevens will look at your teeth and give you a full report on what he thinks is right for you and how long he thinks you’ll be in braces. The exact amount of time is different for everyone, but most kids have braces for a little under two years. By following all the guidelines we give you when you receive your braces, you may even reduce your treatment time.

How often will I need to come in for appointments while I have braces?

In general, we will see you every six to eight weeks. If we need to see you more often, we promise not to ask you to miss too many activities or too much school.

Do braces hurt?

Many of our patients will tell you that braces don’t hurt, although sometimes when braces are new, or have just been adjusted, there may be a little bit of discomfort. If you’re feeling uncomfortable, ask your parents for Advil® or Tylenol®. Most of the time, you won’t feel any soreness at all!

Will I need to brush my teeth more often with braces?

You should brush at least three to four times each day; after each meal and before going to bed. Your teeth and braces also appreciate a daily floss. This will help get in between your braces where your toothbrush can’t reach. Once your treatment begins, we will provide special toothbrushes, flossing aids, toothpaste, and mouth rinses to help you achieve a beautiful, healthy smile. We will also show you the correct way to brush and floss once your braces are on.

Can I go to school the day I receive my braces?

Yes. The day you get your braces at Braces Omaha you should be able to get back to school in time to show off your new braces. Remember to ask us about WildSmiles Braces® and the cool colors we can give you for the elastics that are used with your braces. You can change colors at every appointment!

Can I get invisible braces or Invisalign®?

When you have your first appointment, Dr. Stevens will take 3D images and examine your teeth to see if you’re a candidate for clear braces or Invisalign. Clear braces, which are also called ceramic braces, are popular with teens because they are made of clear materials and close to invisible. Because of the extra care involved, clear braces are not usually recommended for younger kids. 

Invisalign is a type of clear aligner you place over your teeth that is also removable, so you can eat anything without worrying about damaging your braces. Dr. Stevens will let you and your parents know if either of these orthodontic treatments is right for you.

Parent-Specific FAQs

When should I schedule my child’s first orthodontic screening?

By the age of 7, most children will have a few permanent teeth already. An orthodontist will have an opportunity to evaluate the development of these teeth and your child’s overall orthodontic condition. Therefore, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic screening for children at age 7. Treatment may not start at this age, but the earlier your child is evaluated by an orthodontist, the sooner the development of your child’s teeth can be tracked and early intervention can be started if necessary.

Can my child still play sports or an instrument with braces?

Absolutely! Our patients can play an instrument or a sport while they have braces or retainers. Braces and appliances may take a little getting used to at first, but orthodontic treatment will not stop you from participating in any of your favorite activities. If you or your child plays a contact sport, we recommend a mouth guard to protect the braces and teeth during play.

Can my child return to school the day they receive braces?

Most of our patients have no discomfort the day they receive their braces. Your child may feel some minor discomfort while adjusting to new braces, but there is no reason to miss school because of an orthodontic appointment at our practice.

What will I learn at the initial examination?

Your consultation appointment with Dr. Stevens is your opportunity to ask questions about treatment options, cost of braces, and anything else of concern. Some of the things we will cover during your initial examination include:

  • If you have an orthodontic issue that needs to be corrected
  • A proposed plan for correcting any orthodontic issues
  • If you or your child will be referred to an oral surgeon for additional procedures to complete your orthodontic treatment
  • An estimate of the length of you or your child’s orthodontic treatment
  • An estimate of the cost of your or your child’s treatment

A Happier Smile Starts Here

We’re a family-friendly practice that provides optimal orthodontic care in a comfortable, approachable setting. To learn more about your treatment options for yourself or your child, we encourage you to contact Braces Omaha to schedule a complimentary consultation.