Smiles in Progress

Frequently Asked Questions

We want you to have the best experience possible! Here are some answers to commonly asked questions. Don’t see what you’re looking for? Just give us a call!

Orthodontics is the treatment of irregularities in teeth alignment and jaw placement.

Although dentists and orthodontists both help patients with their teeth, they are different. An orthodontist receives extra dental training and schooling to treat more severe problems such as teeth crowding and alignment. The additional education orthodontists receive requires the intense study of how the teeth move and how the jaw works.  Orthodontists only work on the alignment and treatment of moving teeth because it’s what they specialize in. They work to fix not only cosmetic problems, but other issues that may develop down the road. Only 10 percent of dentists are specialized in orthodontics.

One of the first questions we receive is ‘how much will braces cost?’ While the cost of orthodontic treatment varies depending on each patient’s condition, we are ready to help you find a plan that can fit your budget and needs. We will work with you so that you know what to expect before beginning treatment. For your convenience, we accept most major credit cards and insurance plans.

If you are using insurance to cover a portion of your treatment, our office is here to help with paperwork and insurance claims. Please let us know what we can do to make this experience a smooth one!

We offer a Patient Login service that makes accessing your information much more convenient! When you sign into your account you will be able to find appointment information, the option to set appointment reminders, an option to make payments and the ability to print out receipts and flex spending reimbursements.

The process of getting braces installed does not hurt, but your mouth may be sore afterwards. Your teeth are not used to the pressure that will be exerted on them from the metal and elastics, so it may be a little more difficult to chew hard foods. It is best to try to consume easier to eat foods such as smoothies or other soft meals. The soreness usually lasts from four days to a week.

After your braces are first put on, you may also find that the brackets and wires are irritating the insides of your mouth. Your mouth will eventually adjust to having these foreign objects around, and this problem should go away. In the meantime, use dental wax to provide a buffer between your braces and your cheeks and the insides of your lips. We can supply you with some wax here at the office.

One thing that’s not normal is if a bracket pops off or a wire comes loose. Use your dental wax to temper any poking parts and call our office immediately so we can get you in for an appointment and fix you up.

Pain relievers and orthodontic relief wax can help to soothe some of the discomfort that may be present after you get your braces installed.

No! It is never too late to try to enhance your smile and overall appearance. In fact, The American Association of Orthodontists reports that one in five orthodontic patients is over the age of 21. Many adults realize how important their smile is to their confidence, and are beginning to seek treatment at a later age. If you are concerned about having visible braces, ask about our clear and Invisalign options!

In the ideal bite, the teeth are all well-aligned with upper teeth just slightly overlapping the lower teeth all around the U-shape of the mouth. Studies, however, estimate that some 70% of people have at least mild orthodontic problems, whether crooked teeth or misaligned bites. So why is it more common for humans to have imperfect bites than good ones?

In truth, no one knows for sure. Some evidence points to evolutionary reasons. New developments in our species’ diets over the ages caused changes in our facial structures, but our teeth didn’t keep pace with the changes. Other scientists blame the modern diet with its processed foods. Genetics also plays a role in orthodontic problems, as can individual factors like poor oral habits or the too early loss of baby teeth.

If you indeed have a “bad” bite, take comfort in the fact that you live in an age where orthodontic treatment can fix just about any bite problems in ways that are more efficient, accurate, and comfortable than ever before in history.

Here are the common types of problems we see at Behl Orthodontics:

Crooked Teeth

Crooked teeth often occur when the jaw is not wide enough to fit all of person’s teeth comfortably. The teeth end up askew because too many teeth are trying to fit into too small of a space.

Spaces Between Teeth

Diastema, the scientific name for when a smile has gaps, can occur when teeth are too small for the jaw bone. It can also happen when teeth are missing and the other teeth can’t fill in the missing space. Other issues like thumb sucking can cause diastema.


A bite in which the upper jaw noticeably protrudes beyond the lower jaw is an overbite. If this protrusion passes a certain threshold, it’s referred to as an overjet. Overbites can cause speech impediments such as lisps, difficulty eating and jaw pain. They can also lead to tooth decay.


The opposite of the overbite, an underbite is when the lower jaw protrudes beyond the upper jaw. It can cause teeth to wear unevenly which in turn may cause tooth decay.


Crossbites are when the upper teeth on one side end up on the inside of the lower teeth when the jaw is closed. Crossbites are a more severe condition than either overbites or underbites and can wear down teeth, leading to gum disease or bone loss. Crossbites are best treated early in childhood.

Open Bite

If the jaw is closed and the back teeth touch but the front teeth do not, it’s called an open bite. An open bite is an aesthetic issue that can cause speech impediments.

Braces require a little more attention due to the fact that it is very easy for food to get stuck in the brackets and wires. Following these quick tips can ensure that your braces are clean:

  • Brush your teeth three times a day to keep them clear of debris
  • Continue visiting your regular dentist for cleanings and check-ups
  • Once you receive a retainer, clean and brush it to ensure it stays free of bacteria
  • Avoid food with high amounts of sugar, as well as sticky and chewy foods
  • Use floss or dental picks to clean between wires and teeth
Adjust Your Diet

When you have braces, there are two sorts of foods you should avoid eating: crunchy foods and sticky foods.

The problem with crunchy foods like apples and pretzels is they can loosen your brackets or even make them pop off. For the same reason, you also need to be careful working your jaws too strenuously with dense, chewy foods such as hard rolls and bagels. If you do find yourself unable to resist eating something crunchy or chewy, cut the food into small bites first. You may also find ways to soften things up. Boil or steam carrots. Cut corn kernels off the cob.

And the issue with sticky foods like caramel or gummy bears, is they can get stuck in your braces. The residue is difficult to remove with normal oral care, and you won’t want the stickiness wedged in your braces indefinitely. This can cause big problems with tooth decay later on!

Allow for More Time to Clean Teeth

Taking care of your teeth with braces is undeniably a little more involved than when you don’t have braces. Your oral health care routines will become a little longer and require a few more steps.

Protect Your Mouth When Playing Sports

If you’re the athletic type, you need to be careful to avoid receiving an impact to the mouth. This is always true, but it’s especially true for people with braces. A hard hit in a football or basketball game can damage your appliances, harm your teeth, and cut up the insides of your mouth. Even something seemingly safe like a tennis ball will do harm to your braces and your mouth if it comes at you with decent force.

That’s why we recommend that you wear a mouth guard during any sort of activity where there’s a risk of a receiving a hard impact. Feel free to ask us for specific recommendations.

Embrace Your Braces

Sometimes patients with braces get self-conscious about their orthodontics. Try not to be. You don’t need to smile with closed lips. You don’t need to cover your mouth when you laugh. Your braces are part of who are during this particular time in your life. You’re on your way to a beautiful and healthy smile, and that’s something to be proud of.

The length of treatment depends on each patient and their individual situation. Our orthodontist will be able to provide you with a time period, and if you follow his instructions you should be able to get them removed on time!

TADs (Temporary Anchorage Devices) are widely used during orthodontic treatment to treat more complicated malocclusions. TADs are titanium-alloy mini screws temporarily fixed to the bone to enhance orthodontic anchorage.

How Are TADs Placed?

The placement of the TADs is minimally invasive and causes little to no discomfort. Using a strong anesthetic, the gums and surrounding areas where the TAD will be placed are numbed. The actual placement of the TAD is actually pretty quick. You may feel a little pressure but you will no longer feel your TAD after about a day.

How Long Will I Need to Wear TADs?

The length of time the TADs will be required depends on each patient’s individual case and condition. They may only be required for a few months or they may be required for the duration of treatment. Our orthodontist will discuss the treatment in detail with you if recommended.

True orthodontic emergencies are very rare, but when they do occur we are available to you. As a general rule, you should call the office when you experience severe pain or when you have a painful appliance problem that you can’t take care of yourself. We’ll be able to schedule an appointment to resolve the problem.

You may be able to temporarily solve many problems yourself until you schedule an appointment with our office. When working with your appliances, you need to know the names of the parts of your appliances so you can identify what part is broken or out of place. After alleviating your discomfort, it is very important that you call our office as soon as possible to schedule a time to fix the problem. Allowing your appliance to remain damaged for an extended period of time may result in disruptions in your treatment plan.

Loose Brackets or Bands

Call our office immediately for loose brackets or if a wire is loosened. The bracket may need to be re-fitted as soon as possible. You may have a situation that requires cutting a wire or sliding a bracket off a wire at night or over the weekend. If you need to cut a wire in case of emergency, you may use fingernail clippers that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol. Please call our office the next business day, so that we may schedule an appointment for you.

Wire Irritations

Sometimes discomfort caused by a wire on your braces can be resolved by moving the wire away from the irritated area with a cotton swab or eraser. If the wire will not move, try covering the end of it with a small piece of cotton or a small amount of wax. If the wire is painful, you can cut it with nail clippers or scissors that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol. If you cannot resolve the wire irritation, call our office for an appointment.

Lost Separators

To insure there is enough space at the bonding appointment, separators must stay in the mouth 7 to 10 days before placing the bands. A lost separator is rarely an emergency but needs to be replaced on our next working day.

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