(804) 741-2226


(804) 740-7281


(804) 741-2226


(804) 740-7281

Frequently Asked Questions About Braces


Undergoing orthodontic treatment is a life-changing experience! A new smile not only impacts your self esteem and confidence, but it also improves your oral health and your overall health. Braces are the most well-known form of orthodontic treatment. You probably know several people who have had braces. Even still, you probably have some questions you’d like to ask before starting your braces treatment with Richmond Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics in Richmond, Virginia! We’ve got you covered. Here are some frequently asked questions about braces.

girl with short brown hair smiling with blue braces

Do Braces Hurt?

Our modern braces are made of small bands and brackets and are significantly less clunky and uncomfortable than braces of the past. Dr. Bibona and Dr. Cook ensure that process of having braces put on your teeth is not painful. Most patients report soreness of the teeth and gums after their braces are first placed and after their braces are tightened. Discomfort typically eases within a few days but can last up to a week. You can easily manage soreness with non-prescription pain medication such as Advil or Aleve. We promise that any discomfort will be well worth it in the end!

Do You Take Dental And Orthodontic Insurance?

We are happy to work with your insurance provider and submit any paperwork or documentation necessary. As long as your policy is active, you will be able to utilize it during the course of your treatment with us.

Should I See My Dentist While I Have Braces? 

Yes! You should continue to see your dentist every six months for a dental cleaning and check-up. If you tend to accumulate tartar and plaque quickly, or are prone to cavities or periodontal problems, your dentist may recommend more frequent visits.

Are There Foods To Avoid With Braces?

While wearing braces our orthodontists recommend patients avoid eating hard, sticky or crunchy foods. Taffy, caramel and chewing gum can stick to your braces and pull the brackets off of your teeth. You can still eat hard, crunchy foods like carrots and apples if first cut into pieces. Other foods to avoid include popcorn, nuts and corn on the cob. Don’t worry—there are plenty of foods out there that you can still enjoy! 

Will I Have To Wear Rubber Bands (Elastics)? 

While all teeth are different, most patients will need to wear elastics at some point in their treatment. Whether you are wearing elastics to close space or to correct your bite, following Dr. Bibona’s and Dr. Cook’s instructions are important. Not wearing your elastics properly or consistently can extend treatment time.

Can I Still Play Sports And My Musical Instrument?

At Richmond Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, we recommend wearing a mouthguard to protect your lips, cheeks, teeth and gums while playing sports. Mouth guards are available at our office.

There are no restrictions to playing an instrument while undergoing orthodontic treatment. However, it may take a few hours to adjust to playing your instrument with braces. 

What Are Retainers?

Retainers are clear appliances that hold your teeth in place. After any type of orthodontic treatment, it is important to consistently wear your retainers to prevent teeth from shifting. Wearing your retainers as instructed ensures that your beautiful smile lasts a lifetime!

Are you feeling more at ease? Great! Do you still have questions and concerns? Not a problem! Schedule an appointment with our orthodontists at Richmond Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics.

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