Braces (Dental)

  • Medical Author:
    Donna S. Bautista, DDS

    Dr. Donna S. Bautista, DDS, completed her undergraduate studies at the University of California, San Diego with a bachelor of arts in biochemistry and cell biology. During her time at UC San Diego, she was involved in basic research including studying processes related to DNA transcription in the field of molecular biology. Upon graduation, she went on to attend dental school at the University of California, San Francisco. In addition to her formal dental training, she provided dental care for underserved communities in the Bay Area through clinics and health fairs. She also worked toward mentoring high school students interested in the field of dentistry.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Shocking Diseases of the Mouth

Quick GuideCosmetic Dentistry Before and After Photos

Cosmetic Dentistry Before and After Photos

Do braces hurt?

Placement of traditional braces is usually pain free, but the teeth and jaws will feel sore afterwards. This is due to the slow movement of teeth that is taking place. This initial soreness usually lasts for about a week and then for a couple of days after each adjustment of the archwire during treatment. This discomfort also applies to clear aligners as tooth movement is taking place. During this time, it helps to have a soft food diet and use over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen when appropriate. Initially, orthodontic wax can be used to cover rough areas that rub against the cheeks until the mouth becomes more accustomed to the brackets and wires.

How much do braces cost? Does insurance cover orthodontic treatment?

Cost of treatment is very individual as every mouth is different. Cost will depend on treatment time, steps involved and will vary by location. An estimated cost range for “phase-one” treatment is $2,000 to $4,000. For “phase-two” treatment, an estimated cost range is $2,000 to $7,000. Clear aligner treatment costs more by about 20 to 50 percent.

Orthodontic treatment can be a covered benefit through dental insurance. Limitations may exist depending on the dental insurance plan.

What is it like to have braces?

There is no doubt that braces can initially be uncomfortable and be a cosmetic concern. Aside from the teeth soreness, the inconveniences of wearing braces include: constantly getting food stuck when eating, having to spend more time cleaning the teeth, and having to be cautious of the types of food that can be eaten. However, more often than not, individuals are happy to have gone through the process of orthodontic treatment to improve their smile or correct their bite. The results of treatment can be very rewarding.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/17/2015

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