Questions & Answers

How do braces work?

Today's braces are very high-tech appliances. Over time, braces align and straighten your teeth. Here's how they do it:

Braces have three basic parts:

  • Brackets made of metal or ceramic. A bracket is attached to each tooth.
  • Bonding material (glue) or a metal band. This is what attaches the bracket to the tooth.
  • An arch wire, which is a thin metal wire that runs from bracket to bracket and puts pressure on the teeth.

The teeth move when the arch wire puts pressure on the brackets and teeth. Sometimes, springs or rubber bands are used to exert more force in a specific direction. Braces exert constant pressure, which over time, move teeth into their proper positions.

What does treatment involve?

Usually treatment involves wearing braces (or other appliances) fixed to your teeth for between 12 and 24 months. Tenderness may be felt as the teeth start to move. Throughout your orthodontic treatment, your teeth and braces should be kept scrupulously clean.

At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than age 7. Usually, by this age, several permanent teeth have erupted, allowing Dr. Shaver to effectively evaluate a child's orthodontic condition.

Read More: Early Intervention

Aren't braces big and bulky – will I have "metal mouth"?

Not anymore! Today's braces are much smaller than they were just a few years ago, and new materials are now used that make them much more discreet.

Are braces uncomfortable?

Generally, braces do not "hurt." After certain visits, teeth may be sore or tender for a few days. In these situations, pain medications such as acetaminophen or other non-aspirin pain reliever may help ease the discomfort. However, with after most visits, patients with Damon System Braces do not experience any soreness or tenderness!

Are there any special things patients need to do while wearing braces?

Yes! To help assure efficient and effective treatment:

  • Follow Dr. Shaver's instructions
  • Keep your orthodontic appointments
  • Brush and floss your teeth and braces properly
  • See your family dentist for regular professional cleanings and check-ups

How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?

Patients should thoroughly brush their teeth and braces at least four times each day - after every meal and before going to bed. Flossing daily is also important. We will show each of our patients how to floss their teeth while wearing braces and we may also provide a prescription for a special fluoride rinse, if necessary.

Should certain foods be avoided when you wear braces?

Yes. Once treatment begins, we will review and provide a list of foods to avoid. Basically, it includes foods that are sticky, hard or gooey. And, no chewing on ice cubes. Most emergency appointments to repair broken or damaged braces can be avoided by following our instructions.

Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?

Removing teeth is sometimes required to achieve the best orthodontic result. Straight teeth and a balanced facial profile are the goal of orthodontics. However, because new technology has provided advanced orthodontic procedures, removing teeth is not always necessary for orthodontic treatment.

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

Yes. There is no reason to miss school after an orthodontic appointment.

Can I still play sports if I wear braces?

Yes. However, you must wear a mouth guard for all sports. You should wear a mouth guard for sports even if you don't wear braces.

Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?

Definately! Regular professional cleanings and checkups with your family dentist are more important than ever when you wear braces. Your family dentist will determine the intervals between cleaning appointments while you are in braces – in some cases it may be more than twice a year.

Can I wear braces if I have a crown or a missing tooth?

Yes, a tooth with a crown will move just like a tooth with a simple filling. When teeth are missing, orthodontic treatment will aid in the alignment of the remaining teeth.

Is it too late to have braces if I'm an adult?

No, you are never too old for a beautiful healthy smile! Orthodontic treatment is becoming more and more common in adults. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, more than 25% of orthodontic patients are adults. Most adults get orthodontic treatment to improve their appearance and self-esteem, and to maintain their oral health. However, crooked teeth and a poor bite can contribute to gum and bone loss, tooth decay, abnormal wear of tooth enamel and surfaces, headaches and jaw joint (TMJ/DMD) pain.

FAQ | Damon System Questions

What makes Damon System Braces different than traditional braces?

Unlike traditional braces, Damon Braces are tie-less braces that don't need to be "tightened" and they are gentle to the teeth and gum tissue. Damon Braces use high-technology, memory-shape wires and self-ligating brackets that work together to quickly move teeth, plus, they require fewer adjustments than traditional braces.

As a Damon orthodontist, Dr. Shaver is able to take into account a number of factors when first diagnosing your smile. She takes into account each individual's face, profile and several other factors that are important in anticipating what a patient will look like in their 40s, 50s and beyond. With the Damon System and Dr. Shaver, you'll get a sensational smile that lasts a lifetime.

How long does treatment take?

Treatment time will depend on your individual diagnosis. However, the Damon System typically delivers results much faster than with conventional braces. Also, far fewer appointments are required during treatment.

Since the Damon System works so quickly, does that mean it is harsh or unsafe?

No. In fact, what makes the Damon System work so quickly is that it uses far gentler, more biologically sensible forces than conventional braces. The low-friction nature of the system assures improved tooth position and improved facial harmony.

Will my teeth hurt after adjustments?

Very light "shape memory" titanium wires are used that gently guide your teeth to their ideal position. Most of our patients experience little, if any, discomfort.

What about adult treatment?

No problem. Adults can be treated quickly, easily, and most importantly, to a high-quality result.

Read More: Braces For Adults

How much does orthodontic treatment with the Damon System cost?

We understand that cost is a big consideration for anyone considering braces. The truth is, only Dr. Shaver can determine the cost for each patient's specific treatment. It depends a lot on the type of treatment you need and how long it will take. Damon Braces are similar to the cost of traditional braces.

Does insurance cover Damon System treatment?

Because medical benefits differ significantly from policy to policy, you should review your policy coverage. When you schedule an initial exam, we will help investigate the amount of coverage you have available and review it with you during the initial exam. If you have orthodontic coverage, you are covered to the same extent as regular braces.