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Orthodontics FAQs

You have questions, and BRO has answers! 

Here are some frequently asked questions about orthodontics, braces, Invisalign® and our at-home Impressions system.

Of course, the Blue Ridge Orthodontics team is happy to talk with you, too! Call us at 828-585-6045 with other questions or to schedule your complimentary new patient consultation.

Orthodontic General FAQs

All orthodontists are actually dentists, but only about six percent of dentists are orthodontists. They are dental specialists who are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. Orthodontists also are very skilled in preventing future dental issues. After completing dental school, future orthodontists must complete 2 to 3 years of specialized medical training and experience in an orthodontic residency.

If you have questions about the alignment of your teeth, you should consider an appointment with an orthodontist. Parents often seek consultation with an orthodontist if their child has noticeably crooked or crowded teeth. Malocclusions like underbites or overbites are also common reasons to seek orthodontic treatment. If your dentist has expressed concern over a “bad bite,” seeing an orthodontist – like one of the doctors here at Blue Ridge Orthodontics – is a good step to take.

Other reasons to see an orthodontist include:

  • Clenching or grinding teeth
  • Difficulty chewing properly
  • Mouth breathing
  • Thumb or finger sucking in children
  • Traumatic injury
  • Cleft lip and palate

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist at age seven. This is when permanent teeth are coming in, so it makes sense to schedule an appointment around this time. However, orthodontic treatment can be started at any age.

Certain orthodontic problems that can be treated more effectively at a younger age. Once the permanent teeth have all come in and the jaw has matured, some cases can be more difficult to correct. Early treatment (also known as Phase One) can begin as early as age six. Phase Two begins at age 11 or older. The goal of early treatment is to correct jaw growth and certain bite problems, while also making room for permanent teeth to come in properly.

Even if it isn’t time to begin treatment for your child, it’s best to have him or her under observation with an orthodontist so you’ll know when the perfect start time arrives. At Blue Ridge Orthodontics, your initial consultation is free — and there will be no charge for follow-up observations until your child is ready for treatment.

When you hear the word “orthodontist,” do you automatically think about braces? While braces are central to the work of orthodontists, that is far from their only specialty. Orthodontists like the doctors at BRO use many different techniques and treatment approaches to improve your smile – including Invisalign® clear aligners, orthodontic appliances and many different types of braces. Technologies like AcceleDent® Aura and Propel® can speed up the effectiveness and shorten treatment time. The latest developments bring new ways for orthodontists to improve their patients’ smiles all the time.

This is often one of the first questions we get from people considering orthodontic treatment. Without having a consultation and looking at your or your child’s x-rays or bite photos, BRO can’t provide an exact price. Each patient’s treatment costs differ with approach and treatment time. So call our office to schedule a free new patient exam to find out exact costs, treatment options and possible payment plans.

No! You are never too old to improve your smile. BRO has patients in treatment from age 6 to age 80. Whether you are a young adult who wishes you’d had braces as a teen, an adult who wants to gain confidence from a more beautiful smile, or a senior who wants to protect your dental health — Blue Ridge Orthodontics has a treatment plan for you.

Absolutely! Blue Ridge Orthodontics accepts and works with all dental insurance providers, so we’re happy to talk with your insurance company to determine your exact benefits for orthodontic treatment. We do this before or during your free new patient exam. Usually if your insurance covers braces, it also will cover Invisalign® and other types of orthodontic treatment. Our insurance experts will file your insurance for you so that you can receive the maximum benefit allowed by your plan.

Since everyone’s smile is different, your time spent in braces or Invisalign® will depend on what issues need to be corrected and how you respond to treatment. Treatment time also can depend on a patient’s compliance with wearing bands, aligners or retainers. In general, treatment times can take anywhere between six and 30 months, but most standard treatments take about 24 months. BRO offers AcceleDent® Aura and PROPEL® Orthodontics that can help some patients speed tooth movement and shorten time in treatment.

Just call BRO at 828-585-6045! We’ll be happy to schedule your next appointment at a convenient time for you — including our early or late time windows, designed to fit before or after work or school.

If you’re new to Blue Ridge Orthodontics, please let us know. We’ll set up your complimentary initial exam and consultation – and provide all the information you need for that first appointment.

Braces FAQs

People in Asheville (and everywhere) improve their smiles with braces for different reasons:

  • Straightening to correct crooked, crowded or misaligned teeth
  • Correcting a malocclusion, or bad bite, to address jaw pain or discomfort when chewing
  • Improving oral health by making brushing and flossing easier

Blue Ridge Orthodontics offers adults, teens and children a variety of braces and orthodontic treatment options. You can visit our braces pageInvisalign page and Impressions page for even more information, but here’s a breakdown of the different types of braces we offer at BRO:

  • Traditional metal braces
  • Self-ligating braces
  • Clear (ceramic) braces
  • Lingual braces
  • Invisalign® clear aligners
  • Impressions home-based Invisalign® treatment

Traditional metal braces are what most people think of when you say “braces,” but today’s braces are more comfortable than ever. First, small metal brackets are attached to the front of each tooth. The orthodontist then runs a thin wire through each of these brackets. Rubber bands are added last, in hues that patients can choose to create a uniquely colorful smile. Patients come back to the office every 8 to 10 weeks, so the orthodontist can adjust their wire. This process applies a gentle pressure that moves the teeth into alignment over time. 

Everyone wonders what to expect on the big day that they get their braces! Getting braces put on your teeth doesn’t hurt. There’s no need for numbing injections or anything painful. Putting on most types of braces takes about an hour and a half or less. For traditional metal braces, the process goes like this:

  • One of our orthodontic assistants will clean and dry your teeth thoroughly.
  • Bonding glue will be carefully applied to your teeth in order to attach each bracket.
  • Brackets will be carefully placed on the teeth and expertly positioned by your orthodontist, then the glue will be hardened by a blue light.
  • An archwire will then be run through the brackets.
  • Finally, the archwire will be secured in place with your choice of colored (or clear!) elastic bands.

You may have heard about Invisalign® which uses clear aligners or trays that are comfortable, removable and nearly invisible. Teeth are gradually adjusted, just like with traditional braces. Since you can take your aligner out, you can eat or drink whatever you want, and brushing and flossing are easy. Invisalign® is available for both adults and teens at BRO. See our detailed Invisalign® page and new Impressions option for more details.

You will likely experience some soreness during your first couple days of having braces. This is perfectly normal as your teeth, gums and mouth get used to your new braces — and should start to subside after a few days. Here are some lifestyle hacks that can help you as you adjust to life with braces.

Depending on your smile, orthodontic treatment may last as little as 6 months or up to 3 years. Most standard treatment takes about 24 months. Following instructions, keeping all appointments and brushing and flossing properly can sometimes shorten treatment time. BRO also offers AcceleDent® Aura and PROPEL® Orthodontics that can help some patients speed tooth movement and shorten time in treatment.

This is often one of the first questions we get from people considering braces. Without having a consultation and looking at your or your child’s x-rays or bite photos, BRO can’t provide an exact price. Each patient’s treatment costs differ with approach and treatment time. So call our office to schedule a free new patient exam to find out exact costs, treatment options and possible payment plans.

You should brush your teeth at least three times a day if you have braces. This keeps your teeth, gums and mouth healthy and removes food that may be caught between your braces. You also should floss daily to clean where your brush can’t reach. Flossing especially is different with braces than without, but we’ll show you how to properly brush and floss once your braces are in place.

Keeping your teeth clean with braces isn’t that different from your routine before braces. Instead of the typical twice a day, always brush your teeth after every meal (at least three times a day) and floss at least once a day. Use fluoride toothpaste and a fluoride rinse, if your orthodontist or dentist recommends it.

Avoid sugary foods that can cause bacteria to grow in your mouth, increasing plaque and possibly leading to cavities. Avoid sticky foods (caramel, taffy, gum drops), hard foods (hard candy, nuts, ice) and other foods apt to get stuck in your braces (whole apples, bagels, corn on the cob).

And keep seeing your family dentist for routine checkups and professional cleanings every six months.

See our living with braces page for even more information about oral hygiene with braces.

You bet! Seeing your dentist every 6 months for a check-up is even more important now than when you didn’t have braces. Since it’s now easier for food to get stuck in places you can’t see or your toothbrush can’t remove, regular cleanings and exams are essential. No one wants you to develop cavities, gingivitis or gum disease while you are wearing braces. Your BRO doctor and your dentist work together to make sure that your teeth stay clean and healthy during your orthodontic treatment.

Once your braces are on, your BRO doctor usually will see you every 8 to 10 weeks. Of course, this schedule will vary if you need a comfort appointment or have an urgent issue.

If you have a loose wire or band, please contact Blue Ridge Orthodontics at 828-585-6045 as soon as possible. We’ll schedule an appointment to check and repair your appliance. If any piece of your appliance comes off, please save it and bring it with you. You can temporarily fix a loose wire with the eraser end of a pencil. Just gently and carefully push the wire back into place. If wire is irritating your cheek or lips, put wax over the broken wire to cushion the spot and relieve pain.

Phase One, also known as early intervention, is orthodontic treatment before a child has all of his or her permanent teeth. Usually occurring between age seven and ten, Phase One treatment is intended to fix problems that are best corrected at an early age and to make Phase Two treatment easier. The goal is to help the jaw develop to accommodate all permanent teeth and improve the way the upper and lower jaws fit together.

Phase Two is designed to finish straightening the teeth and correcting the bite once all the permanent teeth have come in. This usually involves full upper and lower braces.

Wearing braces will not stop you from participating in any of your usual school activities or hobbies. If you play a sport, the BRO doctors recommend that you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth, braces or appliance. When you come in for your new patient exam, talk with us about what you love to do and any concerns you have. Invisalign® may be an option – and could make it easier if you play a wind instrument, are a performer or just want a less visible treatment approach.

Invisalign® FAQs

Invisalign® uses virtually invisible aligners (or trays) to gradually move your teeth into place for a beautiful smile. Using 3D computer imaging, Invisalign® depicts your entire treatment plan — from where your teeth begin to the final desired position. Then a series of clear trays are custom-made for you, to move your teeth in the way determined by your doctor. Each is worn for about two weeks before you switch to the next set of aligners in the series. Aligners are worn for 20 to 22 hours a day. This straightening process continues until the planned new smile is achieved.

  • Discreet: Nearly invisible, no one will notice that you’re wearing Invisalign®.
  • Removable: Take out your aligners to eat, drink, brush and floss. No wires or brackets means unrestricted eating, nowhere for food to get caught and nothing to break.
  • Comfortable: The smooth, closely fitted trays don’t irritate like wires or brackets can.
  • Convenient: Play a sport or instrument? Keep up with your activities without worries or changes in routine.
  • Easy: Fewer appointments are needed, since you just switch to the next tray instead of having an in-office braces adjustment. And the appointments you do have take less time.
  • Fun: We can show you how your teeth will look at the end of treatment right when you begin! Instead of imagining how much better your smile can be, you’ll be able to see it for yourself.

No! Since the aligners are removable, you can eat and drink whatever you want. In fact, you have to remove your aligners to eat and drink. So, unlike with conventional braces that use wires and brackets, there’s no need to restrict any favorite foods or snacks unless your doctor instructs otherwise. To maintain fresh breath and good hygiene, you should brush your teeth after each meal and before you reinsert your aligners.

In most practices, the cost of Invisalign® is comparable to braces, but does cost slightly more. At Blue Ridge Orthodontics you’ll pay exactly the same price for Invisalign® and braces. We want you to be able to choose the treatment option that you are most comfortable with, not the lower-cost one.

Also, Invisalign® treatment is covered by many dental insurance policies. So if your policy covers braces, it usually will cover Invisalign®, too. When you come in for your first exam, we’ll verify any insurance benefits and develop your flexible payment plan.

With Invisalign,® we’ll see you at our office every 8 to 12 weeks – about as often as we see our patients with braces. We seldom see Invisalign® patients who need a comfort appointment or have an urgent issue, but the BRO team is here if you need us!

Impressions FAQs

Blue Ridge Orthodontics has developed Impressions, an at-home treatment approach based on the proven Invisalign® system for improving smiles. Impressions provides the comfortable, easy-to-use and virtually invisible advantages of Invisalign® at a lower cost and with no monthly check-in appointments. Designed for adults and teens who want the quality of Invisalign® in a home-managed form, Impressions offers flexibility and a price about half that of traditional Invisalign or conventional braces.

To find out if Impressions is right for you, schedule a complimentary initial consultation today. We’ll perform an exam and scan your smile with our state-of-the-art Itero scanner. If Impressions is a good treatment option for you, your treatment plan will be designed by a top 1% Invisalign® provider – the BRO team. We’ll send you a complete set of Invisalign® trays – made from Invisalign’s® best material – in six weeks. You’ll receive up to 25 aligners and have one refinement scan built in. 

Everyone’s smile is different, but most people will complete their Impressions treatment within six to nine months.

Of course, if you have an issue or need an exam as you manage your at-home treatment, we’ll be happy to schedule a special appointment for you for a simple consultative fee. You’ll also have the option to upgrade to comprehensive Invisalign® at any time during your treatment.

Make an appointment for a free new patient exam today!

We’ll help you take the first step toward a new smile.