Are you considering the orthodontic options available for straightening your teeth in the Lakeway and Spicewood, TX areas? You can get personalized answers to your questions with our team at Gallagher Orthodontics. You may also find it helpful to review some basic information with our braces FAQ.

Find out more about how braces function, the things you need to avoid while you have braces, and ways to care for your orthodontic appliances here.

How Do Braces Work?

Do you have questions about braces? Many people want to know how braces work before committing to this orthodontic treatment. Braces connect to your teeth with either metal or ceramic brackets. Dr. Gallagher stretches wires between the brackets to exert tension on your teeth.

Dr. Gallagher adds rubber bands to the braces to easily adjust them. You can choose the colors you want to personalize your braces. Over time, you return to the orthodontist to have your braces adjusted and tightened, slowly aligning your teeth.

After your teeth are straightened, Dr. Gallagher removes the braces, allowing you to enjoy your new smile.

What Foods Will I Have to Avoid When I Have Braces?

Braces work wonders in straightening your teeth. However, you will need to make some adjustments to your lifestyle while you have your braces. For example, you’ll want to avoid certain foods so as not to damage the wires and brackets, including anything sticky, chewy, or very crunchy.

Eating these foods could pull some of the wires loose from the brackets on your teeth. These wires could then poke your cheeks or gums, causing discomfort or even pain in some situations. If you eat something that damages your braces, make sure that you contact the team at Gallagher Orthodontics immediately.

How Do I Care for My Teeth with Braces?

Dr. Gallagher recommends that patients carefully brush and floss while they have braces. We understand that getting all the spaces around the wires and brackets may seem challenging. For extra assistance, our team can show you some different tools and techniques that make cleaning the hard-to-reach areas a bit easier.

It is also important that you keep up with your regularly scheduled dental cleanings throughout the treatment process.

At What Age Should My Child See an Orthodontist?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that each child be seen at the age of 7. This is because the permanent teeth are starting to replace the primary (baby) teeth, and Dr. Gallagher can determine several important things about your child’s teeth and jaw. Dr. Gallagher will look at the widths of the jaws and determine if the amount of space the child has in their mouth is enough for the future permanent teeth. He can also look for any other potential oral health problems at this point.

Dr. Gallagher may not put your child in braces in the first appointment, but that does not mean this appointment is unimportant. It is highly recommended that your child be brought into our office around the age of 7 because we can determine if your child has the proper bone structure to fit the permanent teeth they will have.

What About Retainers?

Retention is a very important part of your overall treatment, but have you experienced or heard about people digging through dumpsters for lost retainers? Or someone’s dog or cat chewed up their retainer? Dr. Gallagher has heard it all during his years of practice. As frustrating as lost retainers can be, teeth shifting back closer to their original position and losing that beautiful smile you worked so hard to achieve is worse. Because we understand how a busy lifestyle can make it easier to misplace retainers, Dr. Gallagher has developed a program to reduce lost retainers and relapse.

To better help patients, we offer a bonded lingual retainer for the lower front teeth in most cases. The lower retainer stays in place very well and helps prevent relapse. Then, we provide a clear retainer for the upper teeth that you usually only have to sleep in. By following this retainer philosophy, the risk of losing a retainer is much lower. However, if you do happen to lose your retainer, we usually give you your 3D printed model when we deliver your retainer, so just bring it back in for a new upper retainer at a discounted price.