Braces 2017-12-06T17:13:31+00:00

Need to Know: Braces 101

Getting braces is a right of passage for many teens and a life-changing experience for adults.



It is so cool to be here. They make braces look good even though they suck to have. But its all worth it in the end!

More Shout-Outs

What should I expect when I get braces?

Getting braces is a major event in the life of any teen. Often, it can mark the transition from little kid to young adult. While you know they’ll make your teeth straight, you may have questions about day-to-day life wearing braces.

How do they feel?

At first, your braces may feel like they stick out. You’re just not used to having that extra little thing on the front of your teeth. Don’t worry. You will get used to them after a short while.

Sometimes after an adjustment, your teeth may feel loose or you might experience some discomfort from the appliance. We recommend a special wax to help alleviate any irritation to your lips or cheeks.

How do I keep my braces clean?

It’s more important than ever to brush and floss your teeth when you have braces. Dr. Allen and his team will show you how to do this properly with your braces. And, of course, it’s super important to see your regular dentist for cleanings while undergoing treatment.

Do I have to quit sports (or my favorite foods)?

For the most part, braces will not impact your regular lifestyle. There are only a few foods you’ll want to avoid:

  • Hard, chewy and crunchy foods
  • Popcorn
  • Chewing gum

These foods can damage your braces, which means more trips to the orthodontist for repairs.

Braces will not affect you playing sports, but we do advise that you be more careful.

More Questions?

Feel free to call Dr. Allen’s office any time you have a question. We’ll be happy to help!

Call 704-875-7999 or click here to contact us.

What kind of braces are there?

There are 3 types of braces available for your teeth: self-litigating braces, metal braces and clear braces. Each performs the same basic function of aligning your teeth to their proper position.

Marc Allen also offers other teeth-straightening treatments such as Invisalign.

Metal Braces

The most common type of braces are made of a durable mixture of stainless steel, nickel and various other metals in small amounts. There are hundreds of variations of these braces, but all have the key characteristic of having overhanging edges, or “wings”, around which a metal or elastic tie is used to hold the orthodontic wire in place. Elastic ties come in several different colors and are responsible for the decorative “braces colors” seen on young patients’ teeth. These types of braces allow the wire to be tied in very tightly to the bracket, allowing excellent control in aligning crooked teeth. Generally, these silver metal braces cost less compared to clear braces or other cosmetic options.

Clear Braces

Clear braces serve as a cosmetic alternative to traditional metal braces by minimizing the visibility of the braces on the teeth. Typically, these clear orthodontic braces are made of ceramic or plastic alloys, but function in a similar manner to traditional metal braces. Most commonly chosen by adult patients, clear elastic ties and white metal ties are available to be used with these clear braces to help keep the appliances less noticeable.

Self-Ligating Braces

Similar to traditional orthodontic braces, there are several variations of self-ligating braces. “Self-ligating” means that the bracket can basically tie itself to the arch wire. There are no metal or elastic ties necessary with self-ligating braces as a built in “trap door” can be slid or flipped closed to engage the wire.

Self-ligating braces don’t move your teeth faster, but they do make treatment more efficient and more comfortable — which can result into faster treatment times.

We offer clear and metal Nexus self-ligating braces.

More Questions?

Feel free to call Dr. Allen’s office any time you have a question. We’ll be happy to help!

My Braces

My Braces

“Getting braces was an experience. All the assistants were very kind and helpful. Dr. Allen always had something funny to say. I knew my teeth would end up as straight as an arrow because Dr. Allen is a perfectionist. The best part was definitely getting my braces off and seeing how straight and perfect my teeth were.”

More Shout-Outs



“My experience with braces has been way better than my brother’s because I wore my rubber bands. Dr. Allen has been great!”

More Shout-Outs

Braces How-to Guide

Replace an Elastic Tie 2017-04-06T21:02:49+00:00

If your elastic tie fall out, you can most likely wait until your next scheduled appointment to have it replaced. Of course, call our office so we know you need a repair.

Elastic color tie rings are usually just there to make you look cool. It won’t hurt your braces at all if they come out.

Even steel wires aren’t a super emergency. But, you will want to call right away if it goes missing because these tie your tooth in to help with movement.

Fix a Loose or Broken Band 2017-04-06T21:02:49+00:00

We know how devastating it seems when your favorite band breaks up, but it’s not usually an emergency situation. Here’s how to handle it.

  • Do not connect elastics or headgear appliances to loose brackets.
  • Call the office to schedule a repair.
  • Be sure to bring the bracket with you if it’s fallen out. Whatever you do, don’t throw any pieces away.

BTW, repairs do take time. Please let us know if you need a repair done BEFORE your appointment or we may have to fix it at another time.

My Wire Popped Out 2017-04-06T21:02:49+00:00

Don’t panic if your wire comes out of the slot. It can usually be put it back in with a pair of tweezers. If you can’t get it back in, cover the end with wax or cotton and give us a call.

If a TIE wire that attaches brackets or bands comes out of place, you may be able to bend it back with a blunt object. Otherwise, add a little wax and schedule a repair appointment.

Wearing Rubber Bands 2017-04-06T21:02:49+00:00
  • Teeth will get sore and loose from the bands. Take normal anti-inflammatory products such as Motrin, Advil or Aleve for the first couple of days.
  • Only take rubber bands in and out to eat and brush your teeth. Constant manipulation will make teeth more tender.
  • Change rubber bands 3-4 times a day (every 4-6 hours).
  • If a bracket or band that is being used to connect your rubber bands becomes loose or broken, stop wearing the rubber bands immediately.
My Wires Are Sticking Out 2017-04-06T21:02:49+00:00

Sometimes those pesky wires can stick out and poke at you. Here’s how to fix it.

  1. Use a blunt instrument to bend the wire down
  2. Put wax or cotton on the end of the wire

Smaller wires can be cut flush with bracket by using small cutters such as cuticle nippers.

If these steps do not help, make an appointment for us to fix it. If any pieces fall off, please bring them with you!

Ouch! I’ve got a sore, cut or ulcer. 2017-04-06T21:02:49+00:00

Braces can sometimes get a bit sharp. If you’ve got a little ow-y, try adding some wax over the bracket or wire rubbing the area. If it gets worse or just doesn’t heal, give us a call.

Schedule Your Visit

Get Ready to Smile!

Contact Marc Allen Orthodontics today for your free evaluation.
Schedule Your Visit