Braces 101

Braces FAQs

The following are the most commonly asked questions about braces and orthodontic care provided by the JU School of Orthodontics. If you have a question not addressed here, please ask your doctor.

Q. When should an orthodontist first be seen?

A. Children should usually see an orthodontist around age seven. By doing this, big problems can often be minimized. Adults can visit an orthodontist any time, even if they’ve had braces before.

Q. How do I know if I need

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Brushing with Braces

The Problem

One of the common fears about orthodontics is that if proper brushing methods are not used, braces can contribute to tooth decay. This is because the bands or bonded brackets on your teeth, along with the attached tubes and wires, tend to create a little shelf around the outside of the teeth. This shelf makes it harder for you to clean the spaces between your gums and the attachments with your toothbrush. Additionally, foods that would typically slide … Read the rest

What’s a Spacer?

How They Work

For many patients, spacers are the first step in getting fitted for braces. These
small springs or plastic modules are placed between certain teeth to create additional space, making the banding process that follows more comfortable for you. After a few days your teeth will move slightly apart, enabling us to slide the metal bands in place more easily.

What To Do

You can expect the spacers to cause temporary soreness that will disappear
within a few … Read the rest

Braces Explained


These are thin bands of metal carefully fitted to each tooth and then cemented
into place. Each band is fitted with brackets or tubes, offering us a way to grasp and control each individual tooth. Imagine bands as small handles on each
your teeth.


Brackets are the parts of the braces that hold the archwires, which control the movement of your teeth. Traditionally, these are affixed to the bands that encircle your tooth. However, recent methods and materials … Read the rest

Braces and Food

Hard and sticky foods are the ones most dangerous for orthodontic patients as they can bend wires, loosen cement, or break the brackets and tubes on your
braces. Because such setbacks require additional appointments to replace broken parts, they usually delay the length of treatment. Although a careful orthodontic patient can probably eat almost any food without damaging his/her braces, the best course of action is to avoid these foods.

Foods high in sugar content also pose a problem as … Read the rest