In this day and age, a lot of us will turn to Google for information. Which is great, especially because you’re not actually listening when your orthodontist is talking (that doesn’t hurt our feelings at all). This week, we’re answering some of the most commonly searched questions about having braces.

Let’s start right off:

1. Can braces help…?

…Treat TMJ?
Yes. Since TMJ is a disorder that causes pain in the jaw as a result of improper alignment, one of the best treatments is to fix the alignment of your teeth. With braces!

…Fix an Overbite?

Yes! One of the most common reasons people decide to get braces is due to a bite issue, such as an overbite or underbite.

…Stop Snoring?
Possibly. There are quite a few different reasons that you might suffer from snoring, and an overbite is one of them. If an overbite is what is causing you to snore, then reducing your overbite with braces will help with snoring.

2. What happens if braces…

…Are removed too early?

It’s unlikely that your orthodontist will ever recommend removing your braces early – and if you ask for it, we’ll probably advise against it. Removing braces too early may result in your teeth going back to their original, crooked positions – even if you use a retainer.

…Are not adjusted?

Then your teeth won’t move! The goal with braces is to get your teeth to move into the ideal position and straighten out. Braces “tightening” appointments will usually be every 4 to 6 weeks, and your orthodontist will adjust the brackets and wires to make sure your teeth are continuing to move in the right direction.

…Are left on too long?

We wouldn’t recommend leaving your braces on for too long either. Most orthodontic treatments range from 1 to 3 years, and it’s important to get your braces removed as soon as your teeth are in place. Leaving your braces on for more than the recommended amount of time could result in plaque, tooth decay, and possibly stains on the teeth. That’s also why it’s important that you visit your dentist for regular cleanings while you have your braces on.

…Break?

Call us! If you have a broken bracket or wire, or even a loose band, give us a call. If it’s an urgent issue, we might ask you to come in right away so we can fix it. A lot of the time, “broken braces” are caused by eating something you weren’t supposed to eat, so it’s important to remember what foods are not safe for braces.

3. If I have braces, can I…

…Eat chips?
No.

…Drink soda?
Don’t.

…Chew gum?
No.

… Eat popcorn?
You’re breaking my heart.

Chips, popcorn, and gum are all on the no-fly list. Soda might be okay on rare occasion, and only if you drink it through a straw.
Okay, okay. There are a lot of good foods that you’ll have to give up while you have braces on, but it’s all for a good cause! Once your teeth are all straightened out, you’ll definitely enjoy them more. While you can’t have chips, soda, gum or popcorn, there are a lot of things that you can still enjoy that won’t hurt your braces. In fact, we even put together a list of meal-prep ideas for your first week of braces.

Got more questions for us? Feel free to ask us anything about braces, Invisalign, or even the last Star Wars movie. Give us a call or visit our orthodontics offices in Glendale and Encino!