Frequently Asked Questions

At Village Orthodontics, we want you to make the most of your treatment time with braces. While there are some restrictions to keep in mind, you will find that your life with braces doesn’t have to be that different from your life without them. We have created this page to maximize your comfort and oral health while keeping your treatment time to a minimum.

Dr. Jeff and his entire team at Village Orthodontics will make sure that your questions are answered throughout your treatment. Whether it is during an appointment or between appointments, please do not hesitate to ask.
General FAQ

Eating with Braces

While you can eat many things with braces, there are certain foods to avoid. Foods you must bite into or foods that are crunchy, sticky, and chewy can cause damage to your braces—and sometimes your teeth. The following list is a general list—but not a complete list—of the kinds of foods to avoid while wearing braces:


  • Chewy foods: Chewy granola bars, dried fruit, fruit roll-ups, fruit chews
  • Crunchy foods: Popcorn, chips, ice, chunky peanut butter
  • Sticky foods: Caramel candies, jellybeans, chewing gum, taffy
  • Hard foods: Hard bread and rolls, nuts and seeds, hard candies
  • Foods you must bite into: Corn on the cob, meat on the bone, whole apples, carrots
Limit or avoid sugary drinks—these drinks can cause decay and/or white spots.

When it doubt, throw it out! It is best to avoid any foods that you think will stick to or damage your braces.

Soreness Caused from Braces and Appliances

It is normal to feel some tightness, soreness, or general discomfort soon after getting braces, having wires tightened, or switching aligners. The good news is that this discomfort is temporary, and there are ways of relieving this discomfort as you get used to your new braces:
  • Saltwater solution: dissolve one teaspoon of salt in one cup of warm water. Gargle and swish, but do not swallow.
  • Over-the counter medications: some patients find relief with Advil® or Tylenol®. As always, take any medication as directed, and contact us if you have any questions.
  • A special wax can be applied to the brackets to ease irritation of the lips, cheeks, and tongue.

Loose Wires and Bands

If you experience loose or poking wires, or a band has broken, please call our office so we can schedule an appointment to fix it as soon as possible. If you are experiencing a loose or poking wire and are unable to see us right away, you can use a pencil eraser or the back of a spoon to gently move the wire back into position. Pain or irritation with a loose or poking wire is common with orthodontic treatment. When this happens, you can place some wax over the affected area for temporary relief. If any part of your appliance has broken or fallen off, please bring it with you to your appointment.

Taking Care of Your Orthodontic Appliances (Braces or Aligners)

We will show you everything you need to know about taking care of your new appliances throughout your treatment. To optimize your treatment, make sure to wear your rubber bands, retainers, and other appliances consistently, brush and floss, and avoid foods that can damage your appliances.

Playing Sports with Braces

Protect your mouth and braces by wearing a mouthguard while playing sports. Even so, we know that accidents can happen. If you happen to have a sports accident, it is important to check your mouth and your braces. If there is any damage, please give us a call—we will do everything we can to see you promptly. If you are unable to see us right away, you can apply wax to the damaged part of the appliance for temporary relief. If you have sustained a more serious injury, please go to the nearest emergency room for immediate treatment.

Taking Care of Your Teeth

We want you to have an outstanding experience throughout your treatment. Taking care of your appliances and your oral health will ensure the most efficient treatment possible. If you have any questions throughout your treatment, please do not hesitate to ask. We are here for you.

For more information about braces, check out our in-depth Braces FAQ further down the page.

The Cost of Braces

Village Orthodontics strives to make orthodontic treatment affordable for every patient. Dr. Jeff designs custom treatment plans with oral health, comfort, and aesthetics in mind. When you come to Village Orthodontics for your complimentary consultation, Dr. Jeff and his Treatment Coordinator will complete an oral examination and review your X-rays along with intra-oral photographs. Dr. Jeff will then present his recommendation for treatment and discuss the treatment plan in detail.

Orthodontic treatment cost varies from patient to patient; an estimated cost of services will be provided at the consultation appointment. Factors such as insurance coverage, length of treatment, and type of braces will all determine the final cost of your treatment. Dr. Jeff never wants finances to stand in the way of you getting the smile you have always wanted. Review our Financial & Insurance Policy to learn more.

The Value of Braces

Braces are an investment in your oral health, function, and aesthetics. At Village Orthodontics, we want you to feel prepared before making a decision as important as orthodontic treatment. We strive to be as transparent as possible—from answering your questions to providing an estimated cost of treatment at your consultation appointment.

We invite you to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Jeff. He will take the time to get to know you, understand your personal oral health goals, and review your options for treatment. We treat patients of all ages! Whether you are a kid or an adult, it is never too late to be on your way to a better smile. Some benefits of orthodontic treatment that you might experience include:
  • Improved alignment and function
  • Correction of malocclusion (bite)
  • Improved oral health
  • Increased self-confidence
  • Broader smile
Whether you are ready to begin orthodontic treatment or if you are still deciding if braces are right for you, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Jeff. In the meantime, please check out some personal stories from patients just like you.
Braces FAQ for Kids

Am I the right age to get braces?

The standard recommendation by The American Association and Orthodontists is that children see an orthodontist at the age of 7. This way, an orthodontist can determine if braces are needed, if at all. While many children between the ages of 11 and 15 have braces, the right window of time for your orthodontic treatment may be different than your peers.

Can I still play sports with braces? Can I play an instrument?

Of course! We love seeing kids enjoy their favorite hobbies with braces—this includes playing sports and musical instruments. However, to protect your mouth and your appliances, make sure to wear a mouthguard.

Are there foods I can’t eat with braces?

While you can eat many foods with braces, there are some foods that can damage your teeth and/or appliances. Foods to avoid include ice, chewing gum, hard candies, and nuts. Our No-No food list includes many examples, but it is important to remember that the list is not inclusive. If you are in doubt, it is best to avoid any foods that you think may stick to or damage your braces.

My new permanent teeth are crooked; won’t they straighten out on their own as they grow in?

Your permanent teeth are bigger than your primary (baby) teeth, which means that space is limited for them to grow in. If your teeth are coming in crooked, they may get crowded—and even more crooked—as the rest of your permanent teeth come in. Thankfully, orthodontic treatment can address and correct these issues.

How long will I have braces?

When you come to Village Orthodontics for your consultation appointment, Dr. Jeff will perform a complete oral evaluation and create a treatment plan to straighten your smile and improve your oral health. Keep in mind that your condition is unique to you—this includes treatment time. On average, most kids can expect their treatment to last close to 2 years. However, following all directions, wearing your appliances, and staying on top of your appointments may decrease your treatment time.

How often will I need to come in for appointments while I have braces?

On average, expect to see us every 6 to 8 weeks so we can see how your treatment is progressing and make adjustments as needed.

Do braces hurt?

Sometimes braces can cause discomfort right after getting them or after an adjustment in our office, but only for a day or so. You can relieve the discomfort by swishing some salted water or ask your parents for medication like Advil or Tylenol. Most of the time, braces are comfortable to wear—many patients forget they even have braces on!

How does brushing my teeth work when I have braces?

Brushing and flossing is an important part of keeping your mouth healthy—especially with braces. The team at Village Orthodontics will show you how to brush and floss when your braces go on. It takes a little getting used to at first, but after a few times, it becomes easier to do. We recommend brushing at least 3 times a day, along with daily flossing.

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

Yes, you can! Right after you get your braces on, you can go to school and tell all of your friends about your experience.

Can I get invisible braces or Invisalign?

Invisalign and Invisalign Teen works as a series of removable clear aligners and can be used in orthodontic treatment for children, teens, and adults. Just let us know you’re interested—we would love to tell you all about it!
Parent-Specific Braces FAQ

When should I schedule my child’s first orthodontic screening?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that a child visit an orthodontist at the age of 7. Even if your child does not need braces at this age, many patients can be monitored by Dr. Jeff for a year or two before actually starting treatment. That way, we can monitor their growth and development and formulate a plan for early intervention if needed. For Dr. Jeff, it is all about starting at the right time.

More information on early orthodontic treatment can be found here.

What will I learn at the initial examination?

Dr. Jeff and the entire care team at Village Orthodontics wants every patient and their family to feel safe, comfortable, and informed throughout treatment. At your consultation appointment, we will go over treatment options, cost, and answer your questions. You can expect to learn a lot from your consultation appointment, including:
  • Orthodontic issues that require correction
  • A personalized treatment plan, including estimation of treatment length and cost
  • If applicable, a referral to an oral surgeon or dentist for additional procedures
  • Answers to your questions and concerns
Thought of a question after your consultation or between appointments? Just give us a call at any of our 3 practice locations. We are happy to help!

What is phase one treatment?

Early orthodontic treatment, also known as phase one treatment, usually starts around 7 to 10 years of age. Phase one treatment lasts around 12 to 21 months before moving on to a secondary phase of orthodontic treatment. Phase one treatment may be right for your child if orthodontic issues are detected at an early age that may cause severe orthodontic problems later in life. The purpose of phase one treatment is to prevent oral health complications by correcting these issues. Since every person and every treatment plan is different, Dr. Jeff will review your child’s specific needs for phase one and, if necessary, phase two. We promise we will keep you informed every step of the way!

You can learn more about Early Orthodontic Treatment here.

Can my child still play sports or an instrument with braces?

Braces and appliances do not have to keep your child from enjoying their favorite activities. However, if your child is participating in a contact sport, a mouthguard is encouraged.

Can my child return to school the day they receive braces?

Of course they can! Once their braces are on, they can return to school and resume their active schedule. If they are experiencing any discomfort—which should only last a day or two—they can swish with warm salt water or over-the-counter medication such as Advil or Tylenol can be provided.
Adult Patients Braces FAQ

Do you offer orthodontic treatment for adults?

Village Orthodontics treats patients of all ages—including adults. Whether you are looking for traditional metal braces or had something more discreet in mind, we will work with you to find a treatment option you can feel good about. Many of our adult patients opt for Invisalign, a set of clear removable aligners that are worn for a few weeks at a time before moving on to the next set of aligners in the series. Village Orthodontics utilizes advanced technology equipment, such as our iTero® scanner, to ensure that you receive the very best in orthodontic care.

How much do braces cost? Are there financing options? How about insurance?

Since your treatment plan is custom-made for you, the cost of treatment varies from patient to patient. The type of braces, length of time, and insurance coverage will all factor into the overall cost. We work with many insurance plans and accept several forms of payment to ensure our high-quality orthodontic care is as affordable as possible. Please review our Financial & Insurance Options to learn more.

How long will orthodontic treatment last?

Your orthodontic treatment plan will be created just for you to optimize your oral health, correct specific orthodontic issues, and prevent complications in the future. While every patient is different, the average length of treatment is around 2 years. We encourage you to call our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Jeff to receive your customized treatment plan.

What is the beginning of treatment like?

Every orthodontic treatment starts with a consultation appointment at one of our 3 offices. You can expect 3D imaging of your teeth to be completed at this appointment. These images will help Dr. Jeff create a treatment plan that is right for you.

Can I return to work the day I receive braces?

Absolutely! Patients can return to work, school, and other activities right after getting their braces. Some discomfort is normal for the first day or two. Over-the-counter medications such as Advil or Tylenol can help manage this discomfort as you get used to your new braces.

What are routine orthodontic appointments like, and how often will I need to come in?

We want to know how your orthodontic treatment is going and often need to make adjustments as you continue on with your treatment. Routine appointments tend to be scheduled every 6 to 8 weeks and last around half an hour. If your treatment requires more frequent visits, we will do our best to arrange a time that works with your schedule.

During orthodontic treatment, are regular dental checkups still required?

Regular dental checkups are an essential part of good oral hygiene—that doesn’t stop with braces. In fact, it is more important than ever for your dentist to see you to make sure your oral health is in top shape, as braces can make teeth more susceptible to decay.

How do I care for my braces?

When you first get your braces, we will make sure you understand how to brush and floss before leaving our practice. Keeping up with your oral hygiene is essential to your oral health and overall treatment. Make sure to brush, floss, and see your dentist regularly.

Are there foods to avoid while wearing braces?

There are many foods you can still enjoy with braces, but keep in mind that some foods may damage your teeth and/or appliances. Avoid foods that are sticky, chewy, or crunchy like ice, chewing gum, hard candies, nuts. We will provide you with a list of foods to avoid—you can find an example of the No-No food list in the General FAQ section above.

Why choose an orthodontist and not a dentist for orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontists are specialists in their field. They have received years of education and training beyond dental school to identify, diagnose, prevent, and treat dental and facial irregularities. An orthodontist specializes in aligning the teeth, which can be caused by dental crowding, malocclusion, or misaligned teeth.

It is important to see an orthodontist you and your family can trust. Dr. Jeff has practiced orthodontics for over 35 years and strives to make a personal connection with every patient. His care team is dedicated to making you feel safe, comfortable, and welcome at each of Village Orthodontics’ three practices.
Get Ready to Smile