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Most of our blog posts give insight on the process of getting braces or helping patients decide how to pay for braces. For this post, we put the power in your hands to ask all the questions. Literally, AMA—Ask Me Anything. We made posts to our social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, in case you’re not following us there already) inviting our followers to ask “everything you always wanted to know but were afraid to ask your orthodontist.” You came back with questions, the answers of which reveal the behind-the-scenes humor and heart often found in interactions with our lovely patients.

Like any milestone in life, getting braces is a goldmine for stories. We are the keepers of this particular goldmine, so we asked our team members to share their favorite answers. Here’s a sampling of those:

What’s the craziest place a patient has left their retainer?

“On the back of a boat. It now lies at the bottom of the river.” – Jordan

“In the shower ledge where the soap goes…” – Lori  

“Alabaster office parking lot.” – Michelle Lee, Brittany, Molly, Catherine (4 different staff members)

“In a napkin in her cup holder while her car was getting detailed. This happened 6 times to the same patient.” – Shanen

Losing or misplacing one’s retainer is almost like a coming-of-age requirement. The retainer is often the first valuable item entrusted to pre-teens and teens, so it’s particularly susceptible to peril. Caring for the retainer is an opportunity to teach personal responsibility and the value of a dollar. And to generate Thanksgiving fodder for years to come, as the answers above hint at.

Orthodontists typically recommend that patients wear the retainer consistently after treatment. You’ve worked hard to get them the smile of their dreams, and they should be able to show it off for a long time. Wearing a retainer following treatment is an important part of that. We also suggest keeping your retainer away from the edges of things, such as boats. If you’re curious about what you should do to take care of your smile following treatment, we’ve written a post about that here.

What’s the most interesting “broken bracket” story you’ve heard?

 “A girl was roller skating at a church gym. She stopped to rest. She sat in a chair with the back of the chair turned to the front. The chair broke and all her upper cuspid to cuspid went inside her gums. The braces were all bands at the time. The girl was not big at the time…the girl was me.” – Lori

“He was watching a scary movie and the bracket got scared off.”– Jordan

“A patient was sleeping on his stomach and his bracket got stuck in his pillow and broke off.” – Michelle Lee

“I once had a patient tell me they broke their bracket while chewing on their shoe!” – Molly 

Chewing on your shoe is not something we’d recommend doing during treatment (actually, it’s probably not a good idea to do it outside of treatment either). To expand on this particular subject a bit further, we’ve taken the liberty to write a post about a few other items (foods) you should avoid chewing while wearing braces, here. Broken brackets can happen from time to time. When they do, we’re always here to replace them.

What’s your favorite patient story?

 “A patient’s fiancé brought her to her appointment. It was her appointment to get her braces off, and he had never seen her without braces. She hadn’t told him she was getting her braces off that day and I was there to see the tears he had when he saw her for the first time without braces.” – Lori

“We had a patient come in who had prom coming up. She was missing one of her front teeth. Dr. R made her a tooth on the spot and she was so happy, she cried. She showed us pictures from her prom at her following appointment.” – Jordan

“A patient was so happy with his smile following treatment that he brought us roses, cheesecake and balloons.” – Catherine

“A little girl was getting her braces on, she said she was getting purple because that’s her sister’s favorite color – her sister has special needs.” – Brittany  

Our patients are our favorite people. One of the many perks about going to an orthodontist rather than investing in at-home orthodontic care is the ability to have a licensed doctor right by your side to answer all of your questions, and make the difference in your treatment. We believe in creating lasting smiles, and we love playing a role in our patients’ lives.

Where do we go from here…

We’re not just here to put braces on your teeth. We’re also here as a resource to answer any questions or concerns you may have before, during or after treatment. Whether you’re wondering when your child can begin treatment, or how you can pay for braces, we’re here to provide you with all the information you need. We’ll even go over several affordable payment options and financing plans to ensure that you feel comfortable pursuing treatment. Choose from our four convenient locations around Alabama including Trussville, Alabaster, Hoover and Greystone and schedule your free consultation today. We want everyone to have the smile they deserve.

Schedule your first visit today and Smile More with Birmingham Orthodontics. 

At Birmingham Orthodontics, our mission is simple:  we create smiles.  Not only do we straighten the crooked grin, fix the bite, and adjust the jaw, we brighten yearbooks, and instill confidence. We also believe in our staff. Our culture of continuous learning drives us to host monthly training sessions for each team and bring in leading industry consultants to help keep us ahead of the curve.  Contact us for a free consultation, or with any questions you might have.

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