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FAQ's About Braces . . . . . . . .

How long do braces have to be worn?

The total treatment times with braces usually lasts from 9 months to 5 years, but the average amount of time is 18 to 24 months.

Can I look cool in braces?

Oh yes.

Will I still be able to talk when I have braces?

Yes, standard braces should not affect how you talk or the sound of your voice.
In certain cases, the orthodontist may need to use an appliance that could get in the way of your tongue. You could experience trouble talking clearly for a day or two, but then your tongue will adjust and you'll be able to talk just fine.

Do Braces Hurt?

It depends on the type of braces you use. Old-fashioned braces will hurt many times. However, if you have modern braces, it is possible to have slight discomfort when they are first put on, and a day or two after adjustments.

Are all braces designed to be as pain-free as possible?

Unfortunately, no. Some orthodontists will only use old-fashioned braces. Dr. Kent practices the most modern techniques and works with each patient to achieve comfort during the course of treatment.

What is it like to have braces?

Generally, braces are "okay" to teenagers.
You can imagine how great the final results will be and you have friends and know other people who have really benefitted from braces.
When you get braces, your mouth can be sore for the first week.
Also, your mouth will be sore when the braces are tightened. However, with modern braces, you really shouldn't notice the them, except when the braces are being tightened or if you get hit in the mouth.
Treatment can be more uncomfortable if you get braces when you are 18 or older; your teeth may also feel like they are loose in your mouth.

Will braces cause sores in my mouth?

When you get braces, your mouth can be sore for a few days. Also, your mouth could be sore when the braces are adjusted. However, with modern braces, you really shouldn't notice them, except when the braces are tightened.
When you first get braces, you could experience some sores in your mouth. If you rinse the sores in warm, salt water, they will heal within a week or two. If your mouth is sore during the first week, you can put wax on the braces to prevent the braces from rubbing and irritating your skin.

Can I do anything else to reduce the pain?

Dr. Kent suggests using over-the-counter pain relievers such as Tylenol, Advil, or Ibuprofen to reduce any pain.

Can I still play football, soccer and other sports if I have braces?

Absolutely. You can play football, baseball, basketball, soccer. You can still go bowling. You can still do everything (maybe not a pie-eating contest). Just wear a mouthguard for your sports, and try to not get hit in the mouth.
Avoid sports where you will get hit in the face (fighting, boxing, contact karate, snowball fights).

Will my ability to play the trombone be affected by my braces?

Be sure to mention your musical abilities (and your type of instrument) to Dr. Kent. He will give you lip protectors for your braces that make it possible for you to still play musical instruments.

Can I eat with braces?

Yes! You can eat most of the good things that you can eat now. The only issue is that your mouth will be sore after you first get braces, so for the first week or so you may only want to eat softer foods. However, after that you should be able to eat normally.
Find out more about toothcare...

How about chewing gum with braces?

Gum usually is not recommended. It can get caught on braces and pull them off. In addition, the sugar in the gum can get around behind the braces and cause cavities.
In some cases, it may be possible for you to chew a sugar free, non stick gum such as Freedent® or Wrigley's Extra®. However, Freedent® and Wrigley's Extra® will still damage some kinds of braces so you need to TALK TO DR. KENT BEFORE CHEWING GUM.

Is there anything else that I can't eat?

You probably should not eat hard sticky, gooey or crunchy foods. Caramel, taffy, peanut brittle can stick on your braces and pull the braces off your teeth. You also need to be careful with crunchy foods like carrots and apples and hard rolls so that you do not knock your braces off your teeth.

What happens if the braces come off?

Dr. Kent will attach them again. Usually, this is not a problem, although if it happens lots of times, your orthodontic treatment will take longer.

What happens if a piece of my braces comes off and I swallow it?

It usually is NOT a serious problem if you swallow parts of your braces. All braces are tested so they are completely safe. The parts just pass through your digestive system. Inhaling a part from your braces is a problem however. If you inhale a part of your braces, and the part gets into your lungs, it could cause a problem.

What are the costs involved for treatment?

Costs vary depending on what type of problem or problems the patient faces and on the treatment plan selected. Talk to your orthodontist.
Book an initial consultation with Dr. Kent and get an estimate...you will be surprised at the options for treatment! A rough estimate is usually given at the initial exam and a precise estimate after case analysis and finalization of treatment plan.
There are various dental plans that cover costs over time and Dr. Kent provides programs so that costs are manageable over time.


Robert T. Kent, D.D.S., M.S., P.A.
Robert Kent and Associates
Raleigh Orthodontists
Carolina Braces
Orthodontists for Children & Adults

100 Sawmill Road, Suite 200
Raleigh, North Carolina 27615

7780 Brier Creek Pkwy, Suite 100
Raleigh, North Carolina 27617

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