10 Braces Myths You Need to Know

Are you thinking about pursuing orthodontic treatment in 2022? This thought process may come along with some hesitancy about braces, especially if you have heard some of the myths and rumors surrounding the treatment process. Braces will require an adjustment period, but rest assured that most of the pesky rumors you’ve heard are mostly false. Let’s take a look at the 10 braces myths you need to know and set the record straight about what you can expect from your journey with Feil Orthodontics

#1 Braces have to hurt in order to work

We hear from people every single day who are worried that braces will cause them pain. Don’t let this myth scare you because your braces won’t cause any long-term pain or discomfort. This is one of the largest concerns we see in new patients regarding the treatment process, and fortunately, it’s completely unfounded. When you first receive braces, you may feel some discomfort, but this is only temporary. Following your adjustment appointments, you may also experience soreness or irritation, but this will resolve itself after a short period of time.

#2 Braces will severely limit what you can eat

Food restrictions are probably one of the biggest learning curves to overcome on any orthodontic journey. However, it is important to avoid anything crunchy or sticky while in treatment. This also includes raw veggies like carrots or apples, popcorn, and candy with chewy bits, caramel, or nuts. Just remember that there are plenty of other delicious foods you can enjoy, and this will only be temporary! When you see your beautiful new smile, the minor inconvenience of food restrictions will be more than worth it! 

#3 Braces will inhibit your ability to play certain instruments

This may be one of the biggest rumors surrounding orthodontic treatment, but it shouldn’t affect you or your child’s decision to move forward with braces. There will be a slight adjustment period for certain instruments, but you’ll be able to continue making music without missing any practices or performances. With the help of a simple orthodontic mouthguard, your child can continue playing sports safely.

Every instrument is unique, just like your smile. Brass instruments will take more getting used to as they require players to press their lips directly onto the mouthpiece. However, woodwind instruments utilize a mouthpiece that requires indirect contact and makes it slightly easier to adjust.

#4 Braces are only effective for teens

Many people associate the term “orthodontics” with a teen in a complete set of metal braces. This stereotype has come to life over the years in pop culture. However, new patients at Feil Orthodontics are always surprised when they learn the benefits of orthodontic treatment for patients of all ages. So whether you’re a child, teen, or adult, just know that there is no age limit on achieving the stunning smile you’ve always wanted. Not only will this better your oral health, but it can also help improve your self-confidence.

#5 The metal in your braces will set off metal detectors

This is often brought up by our patients who travel frequently. We all know that going through airport security is stressful enough, so you shouldn’t need to worry that your braces will set off the metal detectors! Brackets and wires are made from high-quality metals and are not the same materials that metal detectors look for. So next time you’re somewhere with a metal detector, there’s no need to worry that your braces will cause a scene.

#6 Braces straighten your teeth forever

This may be more wishful thinking than a myth! Braces are a great solution for correcting your bite and straightening your teeth, but your teeth will continue shifting throughout your life. This is why wearing a retainer regularly post-treatment will help minimize that shifting and keep your newly straightened teeth in place for years to come!

#7 Braces take years to straighten your smile

Orthodontic patients at Feil Orthodontics will spend anywhere from 12-36 months in treatment, but this will vary since everyone’s smile and goals are unique. The estimated treatment time will depend on several factors, such as the severity of the case, how your teeth respond to treatment, desired improvements, and more.

In most cases, you will see signs of improvement in a short period of time. This glimpse of your new smile will be exciting and an extra boost of encouragement as you continue the process. 10 Braces Myths You Need to Know

#8 The wires on your braces will require frequent changes

It’s essential to attend regular follow-up visits throughout your treatment process, and while the wires will need to be adjusted occasionally, this won’t happen every time. Your regular visits will consist of Dr. Feil making minor adjustments and checking on the progress of teeth movement. 

It’s important to give your mouth time to grow the support it needs to once your braces are removed. In the first year post-treatment, your teeth can start shifting in as little as a few days. As we mentioned before, you will need to use a retainer to apply more pressure and make sure your teeth stay in the new placement. Retainers do apply some pressure, but it’s less than what your braces did and is essential for keeping your teeth in place. 

All of that to say, by wearing your retainer regularly, you will help ensure that your newly straightened teeth stay where they need to be. This also allows them to heal fully post-braces and permanently settle into new positions. 

#9 Braces are only useful for straightening teeth

Braces are great at straightening your teeth, but they also help resolve other oral health issues such as misaligned jaws or teeth. These are things that can cause difficulty in everyday tasks like caring for your teeth, eating, and speaking. Our Dudley Smiles team will be able to address and correct these issues through orthodontic treatment. Braces also have other hidden benefits, including improved chewing, speech, oral health, and digestion. 

#10 Braces are the only option for straightening your teeth 

In our offices in Bismarck, Mandan, Beulah, and Dickinson, we offer a variety of effective ways to straighten and correct your smile aside from traditional braces including ceramic braces and Invisalign clear aligners. Each of these options can help fix any issues you may have and give you the smile you’ve always wanted. It is important also to remember that what works well for one patient may not be the best fit for another. When you schedule your free consultation with Dr. Feil, he’ll be able to examine your teeth and recommend the option that will work best for your specific needs.

10 Braces Myths You Need to Know

Find your best smile with braces by Feil Orthodontics

Choosing to pursue treatment with braces is a big decision and we appreciate you trusting in our expert team along your journey. Our top goal is to provide you with a personalized treatment plan and a rewarding orthodontic experience so that you can see exceptional results. Whether you are considering braces or already have an appointment, we’re here for you! Get in touch to schedule a FREE consultation with Dr. Feil or to talk through your concerns with us! Your satisfaction is as important to us as your smile. 


Why Your Child Should See An Orthodontist By Age 7

For many years, braces were seen as a rite of passage for teens. Even now, most people associate orthodontics with tweens and teens in a full set of metal braces, but treatment can actually benefit patients of all ages! Here at Feil Orthodontics, we’ve worked with children, teenagers, and adults, and seen how beneficial our expert care can be. Regular orthodontic check-ups are especially important for kids. In fact, these are such a useful tool that the American Association of Orthodontists recommends all children receive an evaluation by about the age of 7!

Some parents are surprised by this recommendation. After all, most young children still have many baby teeth. But it’s this mix of primary and permanent teeth in a developing mouth that can work to our advantage! Not only are we able to identify any current or potential problems, but correcting them in the early stages can simplify any future treatment. In some cases, it can eliminate the need for future treatment altogether. Let’s take a look at why early orthodontic evaluations are so beneficial and how you can schedule one with us! Keep reading below to learn more.

What to expect from early childhood evaluations with Feil Orthodontics

When you schedule a complimentary consultation for your child with Dr. Feil, he’ll perform a painless but thorough oral examination. In doing so, he’ll be able to assess their bite, jaw growth, oral habits, and the eruption of their permanent teeth. This will help him identify any issues and determine if early treatment is necessary to correct them.

Even if immediate treatment isn’t recommended——and this is true for many of the young patients we see—these evaluations are still valuable! Most children will develop all their permanent teeth between 11 and 13, and by the time they reach their late teens and early twenties, the jawbone has hardened and stopped growing. Any orthodontic treatment undertaken after this point may require more time and involve more invasive measures, like tooth extraction or oral surgery.

Early treatment can help patients avoid invasive procedures like these. Even if additional work is needed in their teen or adult years, the total treatment time can be significantly reduced. A proactive approach to orthodontic care makes comprehensive treatment faster and more effective, giving children the benefit of a healthier smile as they grow! Here’s a breakdown of some common issues Dr. Feil will be looking for during your child’s orthodontic evaluation.

Why Your Child Should See An Orthodontist By Age 7

Tooth loss and eruption

Baby teeth usually fall out in a fairly specific order. If your child deviates from this pattern, it may signal a developmental issue that needs our attention. By the age of seven, most children will have at least four permanent molars and two to four permanent incisors. If your child has more or less than this, it could be due to missing, crowded, or extra teeth.

Problems with crowding or spacing

By the time a child is seven, their first adult molars are coming in. This helps establish the back bite and allows an orthodontist like Dr. Feil to assess it front-to-back and side-to-side. He’ll be able to identify any problems with excessive crowding or spacing this way, including premature tooth loss, too-small teeth, and those that are spaced too close or too far apart.

Misaligned teeth and jaws

Crooked teeth can be challenging to clean, increasing a child’s chances of developing cavities and tooth decay. They’re also susceptible to uneven damage and wear, which may compromise the shape and position of the surrounding gum tissue. In addition, these misalignments can cause discomfort, headaches, and a variety of other symptoms.


Front teeth that noticeably protrude are often seen as a cosmetic concern, but they can also increase the risk of injury to a child’s permanent teeth and may affect how they speak. Although we can’t permanently correct an overbite until the child’s mouth has finished growing, we can help reduce the severity of the issue in the meantime.


With an underbite, the lower jaw grows too far forward. This can develop due to problems with either the teeth or jaws. As with an overbite, we’ll usually need to wait until the patient has finished growing to correct the problem permanently. That being said, early treatment can still prevent bite shifting or damage to the front teeth! Children who receive early treatment for an underbite tend to be much less likely to need jaw surgery when they get older.

Posterior crossbite

A posterior crossbite can lead to crowding or cause the jaw to shift to one side. Some crossbites can also cause asymmetrical growth of the lower jaw, leading to permanent facial deformities if not corrected at a younger age. We do not recommend waiting until all the permanent teeth have emerged to begin treatment in cases like these.

Anterior open bites and deep bites

A deep bite can indicate a small lower jaw, with the child’s top teeth covering the bottom ones when biting. With an open bite, the overall bite doesn’t overlap enough. The latter can be caused by harmful oral habits like extended thumb sucking, bottle feeding, or pacifier use. Our team is happy to work with parents to help eliminate these practices early on, allowing the child’s dental development to continue normally.

Why Your Child Should See An Orthodontist By Age 7

Give your child’s smile the best start with Feil Orthodontics

If you have a child ready for their first orthodontic evaluation, we’d love to meet you both and take a look at how their smile is developing so far! Introducing regular visits with an orthodontist now can save them extra visits in the future, and if any problems are present, we can get a head start on treating them. As a family-friendly practice, you can trust our team to deliver world-class care in a comfortable environment! Get your child’s smile off to the best start possible by scheduling their FREE consultation with Dr. Feil today.

Caring For Your Smile In Between Visits

Here at Feil Orthodontics, we know the power of a healthy smile. Improving your oral health can change your life for the better, and orthodontic treatment can help you achieve that! For more than a decade, our expert team has been creating beautifully aligned smiles that feel as good as they look. While Dr. Feil handles most of the hard work, you have an important role to play in the treatment process, too! 

Orthodontic patients are more prone to dental problems, so it’s essential that you maintain a good oral hygiene routine. One way you can do that is by following Dr. Feil’s recommendations and guidelines. This will help you achieve the best results in the shortest amount of time possible. But when you don’t hold up your end of the treatment bargain, it can lead to more time in braces or clear aligners. In some cases, it can even affect the final results. 

Fortunately, you can do many simple things to keep your teeth and gums healthy while we straighten your smile. For some easy tips on caring for your teeth during treatment, keep reading below! 

The ABC’s of braces care

Braces are an excellent solution for a range of orthodontic issues, but they can also attract food debris, plaque, and bacteria. The brackets create nooks and crannies that can be difficult to clean, increasing your risk of developing cavities, tooth decay, or even gum disease during treatment. 

This is why it’s so important to brush and floss effectively! Without good dental hygiene, your tooth enamel can begin losing minerals. This is an early sign of tooth decay that can leave white spots and cause some symptoms of gingivitis

The good news is, you can often reverse these issues by adjusting your oral hygiene routine! To get the most out of brushing and flossing while you’re in braces, try following these simple guidelines! 

  • Brush around each part of your braces after every meal and snack.
  • If you’re unable to brush right away, rinse with water to help dislodge any stray food particles.
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush with fluoridated toothpaste.
  • Brush gently at a 45-degree angle toward the gum line, moving the toothbrush across every surface of every tooth to effectively remove bacteria and any debris.
  • Floss every night before bed to remove bacteria and any food that has accumulated throughout the day. Use tools like floss threaders and Waterpiks to clean hard-to-reach areas around your braces.
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months (or sooner if you have a cold or any other illness.)
  • Use antimicrobial and fluoride mouthwashes to help further improve your oral health.

All about Invisalign

Oral hygiene may be easier with a system like Invisalign, but you still have to care for your teeth and your aligners during treatment! Start with basic hygiene: remember to always wash your hands before taking aligners out and putting them back in your mouth. Rinse your aligner any time you remove it and use a cleaning solution with lukewarm water at least twice a day. If you notice any build-up, you can soak your aligners in a retainer or denture cleaner to remove it.

Extreme temperatures of any kind can warp your aligners and cause them to lose their natural shape, something you should always be aware of. Never leave your Invisalign aligners in a hot car, and be sure to avoid very cold or very hot water when rinsing and cleaning them. You should also be mindful of where your aligners are when they’re not in your mouth. If you aren’t wearing them, store your aligners in an approved case to keep them clean and bacteria-free. This will keep them safe from any pets, too! (You’d be surprised how many dogs love Invisalign aligners.)

Caring For Your Smile In Between Visits

Schedule regular dental visits 

You’ll be under Dr. Feil’s care throughout your orthodontic journey, but your dentist is still considered your primary oral health physician. Their job is to help you maintain a healthy mouth and identify any possible issues with your dental health. Every orthodontic treatment plan includes regular follow-up visits with Dr. Feil, so he can check everything is progressing as it should be. He’ll also make any necessary adjustments during these appointments. It’s important to continue seeing your dentist regularly as well! We encourage all of our patients to check in with their dentist once every six months or so for the best results.

Be prepared for any on-the-go issues

It’s normal for orthodontic issues to pop up from time to time. This is completely normal, but it can still be frustrating if it happens when you’re out and about! To stay prepared for any potential problems, put a “care kit” together and keep it with you when you’re on the go. Include ortho basics like:

  • a soft-bristled toothbrush
  • a small tube of fluoride toothpaste
  • dental floss or ortho picks
  • orthodontic wax if you wear braces
  • extra rubber bands
  • lip balm
  • a small cup for rinsing with water
  • an unsharpened pencil (the eraser end can be used to push stray wires back into place)

Throw this kit in a small bag and keep it in your backpack or purse so you’ll be prepared for anything on the go! Remember to always get in touch with our team if you experience a real orthodontic emergency, though. Dr. Feil will be able to assess the situation and let you know what your next steps should be.

Caring For Your Smile In Between Visits

Keep your smile in tip-top shape with Feil Orthodontics

In a perfect world, everybody would strive for good oral health. It’s important for all of us to take care of our teeth and gums, but especially orthodontic patients. Taking good care of your teeth and gums will keep your treatment plan on track and help you achieve the best results. We hope that these tips and tricks will make that an easier process for you! 

Do you have other questions or concerns about your orthodontic care? Would you like to learn more about improving your oral hygiene? Get in touch with us today! We’ll be happy to schedule a FREE consultation or follow-up appointment for you in our Bismarck, Mandan, Beulah, or Dickinson office.

What is the right time for an orthodontic check-up?

The answer may surprise you! While you are focused on the tooth fairy’s visit, orthodontists are ready to review your child’s jaw and teeth health. It is recommended that by age 7, your child should have an orthodontic evaluation. At Feil Orthodontics, we always offer an initial evaluation and consultation free of charge. We also offer ongoing “growth guidance” monitoring at no cost to you in order to ensure that your child starts active orthodontic treatment at the most appropriate time.


But, Why?

At this age, an evaluation is reviewing subtle problems including inadequate space, tooth crowding, crossbites, underbites, open bites, bite malalignment, impacted teeth, jaw joint function or any oral damage. Early detection and treatment prevent more serious problems from developing and may make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated.


Our goal

At Feil Orthodontics, we want you to feel like family. It’s our goal to partner with you to provide your child the best orthodontic journey possible to ensure the best opportunity for a healthy, beautiful smile your child feels excited to share.

It’s Mom’s Turn to SMILE Contest

This May, Feil Orthodontics wants to recognize moms – the selfless, hard-working individuals who keep us ticking.


We are giving one lucky mom an absolutely

FREE orthodontic smile makeover!


This contest is open to anyone in our community. You don’t have to be a patient to participate.


Kids, we want to hear from you! Nominate your mom for this great opportunity!





The Feil Orthodontics Mom’s Smile Makeover Contest runs from May 8 – May 31, 2020.


To enter, please submit:


• A photo of you (if you are a mother yourself) and/or the mom you are nominating


• A short essay telling us about your mom, why your mom deserves a smile makeover, and what it would mean to her (maximum 500 words)


• Your current mailing address and phone number


Applicants/nominees must be moms, age 18 and over. Entries must be emailed to [email protected] and received by May 31, 2020 by midnight CST. Limit one entry per person. Each entry must be complete to be accepted.



One mom will be selected as the winner of the Feil Orthodontics Mom’s Smile Makeover Contest. The prize will be FREE orthodontic treatment with braces provided by Feil Orthodontics. Feil Orthodontics will use orthodontic appliances most appropriate for the case. The prize will cover one set of placed appliances. There is no actual cash value to the prize. No portion of the unused prize may be redeemed for cash. Frequent broken appliances and replacement retainers are subject to charge.

All entries become property of Feil Orthodontics, which assumes no responsibility for late, misdirected or lost entries. By entering this contest, entrants agree that all parts of their entries may be published by Feil Orthodontics. Winners consent that Feil Orthodontics may use their name, photographs, or other likenesses, the winners’ hometown and biographical information, contest entry and statement concerning the contest entry, without compensation for purposes of advertising, promotion, and grant all rights to edit or modify and to publish and copyright it. The winner will be responsible for taking before, after, and progress pictures for use by Feil Orthodontics internally and externally for marketing purposes. This may also include a video interview.

Limitation of Liability:
By participating in this contest, entrants and participants agree to release and hold Feil Orthodontics, doctors and employees, harmless against any and all claims, causes of action and liability arising out of the award and use of the prize and their participation in this contest.

Void where prohibited or restricted by law. Taxes, if applicable, are the sole responsibility of the winner. Additional restrictions may apply. In the event that this contest is challenged by legal authority, Feil Orthodontics reserves the right to discontinue or modify the contest or disqualify any participant.

To Our Medical Community

To our Medical Community,

THANK YOU for what you’re doing. Really, thank you. When you signed your contract, I doubt it specified that you’d be on the front line of a global pandemic. Thank you for showing up and doing your job. Thank you for being a servant leader, a hero, a selfless example of someone we can trust, admire, and believe in. Our community and our nation have hope because we know you are working hard to help.


As we near the projected peak of COVID-19 cases locally and nationally, the stress this pandemic has placed on all medical staff is evident. Our hospitals and clinics depend on a wide network of helpers to run. From doctors and nurses to reception staff, administrative teams, food service personnel, and laboratory technicians (to name just a few…), not one of us is left unaffected. The media is filled with stories daily about the shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and testing materials in many areas of our country. Medical staff not fully equipped to protect themselves are asked to tolerate not only the fear of catching COVID-19 at work but also the fear of potentially infecting their loved ones. Recommendations to cancel all elective procedures and postpone non-emergent care has led to numerous clinics and areas of our hospitals looking like ghost towns and has left doctors and clinic staff worried about financial stability. Medical staff have described feeling like outcasts outside of work, with community members responding fearfully toward them because they may have been near someone infected. With policies in place restricting visitors to hospitals, medical staff members are asked to be the only personal presence and source of support for sick patients, many of whom are anxious, depressed, sad and lonely. On top of all of this, medical staff are asked to come home after work and provide homeschooling and emotional support to children and spouses who have also had their worlds turned upside down.


WHEW. Let’s pause for a second to breathe here. 5…4…3…2…1


This is hard. If you’re feeling stressed right now, it’s ok. I am too. It’s human to feel overwhelmed by all the changes that have come our way this past month.


As a clinical psychologist, I wish I could assure you that if you just use a magical set of coping skills or grit and resilience building exercises every day, you’ll become immune to the stress this pandemic has created. I’d be lying to you and you know that. However, there is a lot we can all do to mitigate the effects of stress right here, right now.


I urge you to consider the following:

  1. Check-in with yourself multiple times per day. Stop, pause, and notice your body, thoughts, and feelings. Most of us have several go-to strategies to manage tension, negativity, and strong emotions if we catch them before they become too intense. Check-in with yourself the same way you would a loved one.


  1. Check in with colleagues. Nobody understands what you’re going through better than a colleague walking in your footsteps. Lean on each other for support. Let colleagues know you’re there to listen, validate, and offer supervision or consultation as needed.


  1. Prioritize brief stress-busting exercises. Stop to slowly breathe for 1 minute. Take a walk. Have a snack. Practice mindfulness to allow yourself to be in the present moment. Consider using progressive muscle relaxation or visualization exercises. None of these strategies will make the stress of the pandemic disappear, but taking brief breaks for rejuvenation regularly will prevent stress from becoming toxic and overwhelming.


  1. Pace yourself. Give yourself permission to slow down, set a boundary, and take time for mini-breaks when needed. Don’t forget to stop and give your body what it needs, especially healthy meals, water, and sleep.


  1. Focus on what you can control. Worry grows exponentially when we spend time trying to change or fix things beyond our ability to influence. Practice radically accepting (not approving of – simply acknowledging and accepting) what’s outside of your control and focus energy and attention on what you can do to make things better.


  1. Let hospital and clinic leadership know what you need. System-wide support and communication is crucial to keeping stress in check.


  1. Remember what you’re doing. When the entire world is asked to stay away, you are asked to be there. You bring healing, comfort, and support to people in great need. You bring us all – your patients, colleagues, community and nation – hope.


Again, thank you. Take care of yourself.



Dr. Tara Feil

Clinical Psychologist





To our Feil Orthodontics Family:

Your health and safety are our #1 priority. We are aware of growing concern about the coronavirus pandemic in our community with evidence of community spread now documented. Recently, the American Dental Association and the North Dakota Dental Board have recommended that the dental community temporarily suspend elective procedures in order to prevent spread of infection. As a proud North Dakota Orthodontist, I respect and admire our dental community leaders for making this difficult recommendation, and I agree with it. Feil Orthodontics will suspend all non-emergent in-person patient care starting March 19, 2020 and continue to monitor patients virtually as needed until further notice.



A few things to know during this time:

1. We will continue to see patients in-person with emergent concerns. I will continue to be available to address any emergencies that arise. Call or text 222-8668 and rest assured that we’re here to help. Emergent concerns include acute pain, infection, or trauma in need of orthodontic intervention. For a complete list of American Dental Association recommendations regarding what’s considered a dental emergency, click HERE.

2. We will continue to provide virtual consultations. If you have a consultation appointment scheduled or had planned to schedule one soon, we can still see you! Just go to our homepage and click on “Start Your Virtual Consult.” We have technology in place to be able to take a look at your smile, discuss your smile goals and offer recommendations to get you started on your smile journey with us.

3. We will continue to provide virtual monitoring as needed. Dr. Feil has been providing virtual monitoring since 2015, and we have secure technology in place to be able to monitor your progress or troubleshoot concerns from home. Text us at 222-8668 and include a picture of your smile question or concern to help us get started.

4. This should not lengthen your treatment. We plan for small deviations in treatment schedule and will continue treatment as planned as soon as possible. If monitoring is necessary before we are able to reschedule with you in person, virtual monitoring that can be done from home will be coordinated.

5. We will reschedule your appointment ASAP. As soon as it is safe to open our doors to all patient care, we will reschedule your appointment and continue treatment as planned. Information regarding the presence of COVID-19 in our community is changing daily. We will be carefully monitoring facts about the coronavirus pandemic and listening to recommendations from the CDC, American Dental Association, and the North Dakota Dental Board to determine when it will be safe to reschedule appointments.  We will contact you to reschedule your in-person appointment as soon as it is safe to open our doors.

The Feil Orthodontics team is committed to doing everything we can to keep our patients and community safe. We appreciate your patience as we continue to navigate this challenging time alongside you and your families.

Dr. Blake Feil


Welcome to Feil Orthodontics! Make yourself at home as you join the Feil Family. We offer complimentary coffee and tea, classic Ms. Pac-Man, and of course – welcoming smiles – as you enter our doors. We even have a fresh clean toothbrush waiting for you to use before your appointment. We take hospitality seriously and can’t wait to welcome you!