The teen years can be difficult enough, but now you’ve heard the dreaded phrase “you need braces!” Now what?

Don’t worry – today’s braces aren’t like they used to be. Made of high-grade stainless steel, they are designed to be sleeker, more comfortable, and more efficient than ever. That means you can spend more time living your best life and less time worrying about what’s going on in your mouth.

Salem Smiles also offers clear upper braces in conjunction with metal lower braces to help your treatment blend in better.

So, what should you know about braces?

Braces are an important step in improving how your smile looks and functions. If you have problems with speaking, chewing, or biting properly, braces can help. Or, if you hide your smile because it’s crooked, crowded, or misaligned, braces are the right solution. Braces will guide your teeth to their ideal locations, creating a bite that is more beautiful, stable, and functional.


How long will I need to wear braces?

This is the most common question we get, but unfortunately, there isn’t a cut-and-dry answer. Treatment times vary from person to person because each person is unique.

Several factors go into treatment times, including:

  • The severity of your malocclusion
  • The treatment type you choose
  • How well your mouth adjusts to treatment
  • Whether you had early treatment
  • How well you follow your treatment plan

One of the biggest factors in having your time in braces fly by is you. Dr. Woods has created a treatment plan that is carefully designed to guide your teeth and jaws to their proper locations. If he has added extra components, such as rubber bands, these are needed to ensure the teeth move properly. So you must follow the plan exactly as it is presented. It’s also important that you pay close attention to your oral health so that your time in braces isn’t marred by cavities.

How do I know that braces are right for me?

After a consultation with Dr. Shoaf, he will develop a treatment plan that includes the treatment he feels is the best to meet your individual needs. For some patients, braces are the ideal option because they can more efficiently and effectively make certain types of movements for teeth.


How will braces impact my daily life?

In the beginning, it may seem like you’re constantly worried about your braces. In no time, though, they’ll seem as if they’ve always been a part of your life. Braces will have an impact on your daily life, so it can be helpful to know what to expect.

  • You’ll need to pay extra close attention to your oral care routine to stave off decay and cavities. Your braces will create a lot of nooks and crannies where food particles can hide, so you’ll want to increase your brushing to include after meals. We recommend packing an on-the-go care kit to keep with you at school, work, and activities so you’ll always have what you need.
  • Learn the foods you’ll have to avoid during treatment so you don’t have any damage to your braces. Foods that are too sticky, hard, crunchy, or chewy can damage your brackets and wires, so you’ll need to avoid these during your treatment.
  • If you play sports or are involved in activities that could result in a blow to the mouth, we recommend a custom mouth guard to provide the highest level of protection.
  • Don’t compare your treatment to anyone else’s. You’re unique, and your treatment is, too. The way your mouth responds to treatment will be different from how your friends or siblings did.
  • You’ll see us at regular intervals during your treatment so that we can replace your archwires and be sure treatment is progressing as it should. These appointments are fairly quick, so you’ll be back to daily life in no time.