1What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics (also referred to as dentofacial orthopedics) is a specialized form of dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities.
2Who is an orthodontist?
An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has received two to three years of additional training and experience. Your orthodontist is able to straighten teeth, correct misaligned jaw structure, and improve the function of your smile.
3What is the best age to visit the orthodontist?
If you want to improve the look and feel of your smile, then any age can be the right time to see the orthodontist. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist around the age of seven; however, orthodontic treatment is not exclusive to children and teens. About one in every five orthodontic patients is over the age of 21.
Whether you're considering treatment for yourself or for a child, any time is a good time to visit the orthodontist.
4How can I take care of my teeth if i'm wearing braces or a retainer?
- Always remember to brush your teeth after every meal and floss at least once a day.
- Make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride, and ask your orthodontist or family dentist if you need a fluoride rinse. This will help prevent cavities!
- If you take out your retainer to eat, make sure you brush your teeth, floss, and keep the retainer safe in its container so it does not get lost or broken.
- Keep your retainer clean, too, by brushing it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste. You may also soak it in denture cleaner as instructed by your orthodontist. Do not put your retainer in boiling water or in the dishwasher.
- During your treatment, try to avoid foods with a lot of sugar (which increases the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth, causing more plaque and potential cavities).
- Avoid sticky and chewy foods (caramel, chewing gum, gummy bears), hard foods (hard candy, nuts, ice cubes), or any foods that could possibly get stuck in your braces (corn on the cob, soft bagels, ribs, taffy, etc.).
- Be sure to schedule your routine checkups with your family dentist. It is recommended that you continue to visit the dentist every six months.
5What are braces?
Braces are used by your orthodontist to help you improve the look and feel of your smile. There are several different types of braces to choose from, including:
- Clear braces
- Ceramic braces
- Gold braces
- Lingual braces
- Self-ligating braces
- Invisible braces
- Traditional metal braces
6If I get braces, how long do I have to wear them?
The amount of time spent in braces will vary depending on the individual patient, because every smile responds differently to treatment. Treatment times can take anywhere from six and 30 months, but most standard treatments take about 22 months.
7Do braces hurt?
Braces do not often hurt, though you may feel a small amount of discomfort for a couple days as your teeth, gums, cheeks, and mouth get used to your new braces.
8Do I need to brush my teeth more often if I have braces?
With braces, you should brush your teeth at least three times a day to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy and clean. Brushing regularly will help remove any food that may be caught between the braces. You should also floss daily to get in between your braces where your brush isn't able to reach. Your orthodontist can show you how to brush and floss properly once your braces are placed.
9If I have braces, do I still need dental checkups every six months?
Yes! In fact, it's even more important that patients receiving orthodontic treatment visit their dentist regularly. With braces, food may be caught in places your toothbrush can't reach. This causes bacteria to build up and can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Your dentist will work closely with your orthodontist to make sure your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.
10Will my braces interfere with my school activities life playing sports or instruments?
Playing an instrument or a contact sport may require some initial adjustment when you get your braces, but wearing braces will not stop you from participating in any of your school activities. If you play a contact sport, it is recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your braces or appliance.
11How do I schedule my next appointment?
Simply call our practice! Our front desk staff will be happy to help schedule your next appointment at your convenience. If you are a new patient or have been referred to our practice, please let us know and we will provide you with all the information you need.
Our practice will work with you to make sure your appointments are as convenient as possible. When scheduling appointments, please let us know what days and times work best for you.
We understand that “life happens”! If you're running late or need to reschedule, please let us know and we will do everything we can to accommodate you. When you're ready to schedule your first appointment, contact our practice and our friendly scheduling coordinator will assist you. We're looking forward to working with you.