By TMoM team member Allison Tobey

About three weeks ago, I left the pediatric dentist with my 11 year old son. The only thing I remember from that appointment was that he was ready for braces. So, I started my orthodontic research by asking, none other, than the women who know everything kid -related…moms! Rudnicke Orthodontics kept coming up over and over. Rudnicke Orthodontics is located in Winston-Salem and has a team of top-notch professionals with a combined 122 years of orthodontic experience. Not only does Dr. Rudnicke specialize in youth and teen treatment, but he also has many adult patients who have seen success.

I decided to contact Dr. Rudnicke of Paul Rudnicke Orthodontics, and pepper him with questions that I, along with a few of my mom friends (and our children), have regarding braces. Below is our Q and A with Dr. Rudnicke. If you have a question, please leave a comment below, and Dr. Rudnicke will reply as soon as possible!

Questions from the moms…

1. What age do you recommend kids get braces?
Great question…the answer is, “that depends.” It depends on a lot of factors. In an ideal situation, the best time to get braces is around the time of the adolescent growth spurt and when most of the permanent teeth have come in or are coming in. For most children, that works out to starting comprehensive treatment around age 11 to 14.

However, there are some children that can’t wait until that age to start treatment due to some more urgent situations such as severe crowding or protrusion, underbite, crossbite, or delayed eruption of teeth. Those children that would benefit from earlier intervention typically start around age 8 to 10. There are a wide range of treatment options for young patients with more severe issues.

2. What is the typical length a child will have to wear braces?
For comprehensive treatment, the typical duration of active treatment with braces is about 2 years.

3. Do clear brackets work as well as silver brackets?

4. If my child gets braces now, will their teeth be permanently straight or is there a chance they will need braces again?
My grandmother said many times, “there is no such thing as perfect or permanent.” My grandmother was very smart. Teeth are always drifting and shifting and slightly moving trying to seek equilibrium. The lips and cheeks are pushing inward and the tongue is pushing outward. The gums have elastic fibers in them and are also exerting pressure on the teeth. Teeth are always going to move slightly as time goes by, even for people that have never had braces.

5. Tack onto #4, how do you maintain straight teeth once the treatment is complete?
A retainer is the only thing that keeps teeth from drifting. Our recommendation is to wear a retainer for as long as you want to keep your teeth straight. Typically, night-time retainer wear is enough to maintain that beautiful smile and functional bite for a long time.

6. What is the average cost of braces?
The fees for orthodontic treatment vary from person to person and are dependent on the difficulty and estimated length of treatment. I know that doesn’t really answer your question, but it’s difficult for me to know what to expect without doing a complete examination and discuss a patient’s goals and expectations with them. We do, however, offer payment plans with a few options – all with interest-free financing. All initial consultation visits and return visits for pre-treatment observation are complimentary.

Questions from the kids…

7. What kinds of candy are you allowed to eat when you have braces?  And, does it hurt?
There are two types of foods that should be avoided when wearing braces: hard & crunchy and chewy & sticky. Some examples of hard/crunchy foods are: ice, popcorn (the shells get stuck under the gums), nuts, peanut brittle, Jolly Ranchers, suckers, chips & salsa, etc. Sticky foods: caramel, taffy, Starbursts, Tootsie Rolls, Skittles, Airheads, Sugar Daddys, etc.

And, “No, you can’t ‘just suck on’ candy” –  What did the owl say when asked, “How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop?” “Three. One…Two…CRUNCH!”

You can eat ice cream, chocolate, milk shakes, smoothies, cake, pie, soft cookies, ice cream – just watch out for nuts. Did I mention you can eat ice cream?

8. Do braces hurt?
Well, yes, most patients experience a few days of discomfort and tooth-tenderness. We recommend ibuprofen (if appropriate), gum chewing (sugar-free), staying active with normal routines, and spending a lot of time with your friends (preferably at their house).

Dr. Rudnicke is thrilled to announce they are in the process of building a new office, and hope to be settled at the end of 2014. They are excited to provide the best possible care in an environment that is safer, more comfortable, and more efficient for their patients, families, and staff. They will be utilizing new technology to improve their diagnostic abilities and treatment outcomes. The new facility is only one block from their current location.

Be sure to “like” Rudnicke Orthondontics on Facebook so you can learn more about their new location and other news.

Contact info:
Paul Rudnicke Orthodontics
1704 S. Hawthorne Rd.
Winston Salem, NC  27103
ph: 336.768.3040

Sponsored by Rudnicke Orthodontics