No orthodontic case is the same, so we offer multiple treatment options to achieve amazing results.

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Types of Braces

There are many ways to straighten teeth and it is important to understand the pros and cons of each treatment. The following are the various types of braces that we use to give you a beautiful smile.  Not every form of treatment is for everyone.

Traditional Metal Braces

Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces. Plus, they're more comfortable today than ever before! Each tooth has a metal bracket bonded to the front. Then, an arch-wire connects each bracket. This connection between the bracket and arch-wire guides the teeth into the correct positions. With metal braces, you can add colored elastics (elastic chains) for a colorful smile.
Frequently asked questions

About Braces

Give us a call for any additional questions! 
What age should I bring my child in for a consultation?
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The recommendation from the American Association of Orthodontics is that your child be seen around age 7. At this age we are able to determine if things are developing properly. There are situations when things are not developing correctly and intervention is needed for course correction. The majority of patients we see at this age are developing normally and no intervention is needed. If this is the case your child is placed in our growth guidance program where we see your child every 6-12 months free of charge to give you peace of mind and ensure no early intervention is needed until full orthodontic treatment is needed.
How do I know if my child or myself needs braces?
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If you’re curious if your child or yourself needs braces, it’s best to schedule a free consultation at Hillam Orthodontics. During the consultations, we’ll assess the facial structure, take X-rays, and recommend treatment as necessary. Is your child a candidate for orthodontic treatment? If they have crooked or crowded teeth, gaps between teeth, early or late loss of baby teeth, difficulty chewing or speaking, social challenges, or mouth breathing/snoring, these things may be reasons to seek out orthodontic care.
What is the best age to get braces?
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The ideal age for getting braces or other orthodontic care varies from person to person. For the overwhelming majority of people the right time for braces is when all the permanent teeth have come in and the patient is in their major growth spurt. Usually age 11-13 for girls and 13-15 for boys.  At Hillam Orthodontics, we offer free consultations to see if the patient needs orthodontic care. During the free consultation, we’ll take x-rays and get a clear idea of what orthodontic treatment is needed. We recommend that all children around 7 years of age come in for this consultation. Adults can also benefit from braces, so while it’s best to see what orthodontic treatment should be done in adolescence, it can be done at any age.
Do metal braces have an advantage over clear aligners?
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Compared to clear aligners, metal braces have greater control and versatility in adjusting tooth movement. Metal braces can address significant overcrowding, rotated teeth, and severe bite misalignments. Brackets and wires are like a Swiss-army knife for orthodontic treatment. Clear aligners can move teeth but struggle at achieving certain movements. Clear aligners are an effective tool depending on the case. Schedule a consultation to see if you are a good candidate for clear aligners!
Why do people get braces?
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Orthodontic patients get braces to straighten teeth, correct dental misalignments such as overbites, underbites, and crossbites, and make room for adult teeth if they’re impacted. While braces will improve the esthetics of a smile, orthodontic care seeks to improve the stability and function of the teeth creating a beautiful lasting smile and functional bite.
Are braces painful?
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Braces can cause some discomfort and soreness. After the initial placement and monthly adjustments, it’s common to feel some mild soreness or pressure on the teeth, gums, and jaw. Experiencing this means that the braces are working! It takes time under pressure to move teeth, correct misalignments, and straighten your smile. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help alleviate any discomfort after your adjustments. If you have any poking wires or brackets, applying dental wax is an excellent solution to smooth out the rough edges.
How often do I need to visit Hillam Orthodontics during my braces treatment?
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On average, we schedule our orthodontic treatment appointments every 4 to 8 weeks. During these appointments, our orthodontists will check on the progress of your treatment, then make needed adjustments to continue the progress. Feel free to ask us any questions during these appointments, but you can always give us a call to ask what’s on your mind!
Can I still play sports or musical instruments with braces?
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Yes! You can definitely still participate in sports or play musical instruments while wearing braces. If you play contact sports, wearing a mouthguard is highly recommended. If braces are poking your mouth when you play your instruments, you can use orthodontic wax to make playing more comfortable.
How should I take care of my braces?
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Wearing braces adds responsibilities to oral hygiene. The wires and brackets can trap food, making it easier for cavities to form. Remember to brush your teeth after every meal, using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. To reach foods that get stuck in between your brackets and wiring, you can use a special toothbrush called a “proxy brush” to remove the food. Flossing is also important! You can floss easier with a special orthodontic floss. Additionally, it’s important to remember that braces can be damaged or broken due to sticky, hard, or chewy foods. It’s best to avoid these types of foods during your orthodontic treatment.
Will I need to wear a retainer after braces?
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To retain what the braces have corrected, you’ll need to wear a retainer to prevent the teeth from shifting back. We will provide specific instructions on when and how long you should wear your retainers. Immediately after having your braces removed, you may need to wear your retainers full-time. After a period of time, you can transition to wearing them only at night. We like to say that retainers are your insurance policy after treatment. If you have and use your retainers they will keep your teeth in place, if retainers are not used there is no guarantee.
How long will I have braces?
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On average, orthodontic patients have their braces on from 18-24 months. The length may be influenced by various factors, such as the severity of misalignment and bite discrepancy, the body’s response to the treatment, and any natural growth factors. At Hillam Orthodontics, our average treatment time is 18-19 months.
Where can I get braces?
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We have three locations to serve you:
Braces Idaho Falls, ID
Braces Driggs, ID
Braces Afton, WY

Food & Braces


What can I eat with braces?

If you break your braces' brackets off, your treatment could last longer than planned. To prevent breaking off brackets, you'll need to avoid foods that are hard and sticky. Don't worry, there's still plenty of food that you can eat. If you have any questions, please reach out!


Why Hillam Orthodontics?

Board-certified Orthodontists
Offices in Idaho Falls, Driggs, & Afton
3 generations of doctors practicing since 1966

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