Frequently Asked Questions About Orthodontics
What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics (also referred to as dentofacial orthopedics) is a specialized form of dentistry focusing on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities.
What 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 a misaligned jaw structure, and improve the function of your smile.
What’s the best age to visit the orthodontist?
If you want to improve the look and feel of your smile, then any age can be a great age to visit an orthodontist. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children complete their visit to the orthodontist around the age of 7 in order to diagnose any orthodontic issues early and design a treatment plan that will guarantee the best results. 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, the best time to visit your orthodontist is as soon as possible.
How can I take care of my teeth if I’m wearing braces or a retainer?
ALWAYS remember to brush your teeth after every meal with fluoride toothpaste and floss at least once a day. Also, remember to keep your retainer clean by brushing it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Be sure to schedule your routine checkups with your family dentist. It is recommended that you continue to visit your family dentist every six months.
What are braces?
Braces are used by your orthodontist to help you improve the look and feel of your smile by slowly shifting your teeth into the ideal position. There are several different types of braces for you and your orthodontist to choose from.
If 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 between six and 30 months. Most standard treatments take approximately 22 months.
Do braces hurt?
You may feel a small amount of discomfort for a couple of days as your teeth, gums, cheeks, and mouth get used to your new braces. However, this discomfort is temporary and should go away as you adjust to your new appliance.
Do 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 properly brush and floss once your braces are placed.
If 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 family dentist regularly. With braces, food may be caught in places that your toothbrush can’t reach. This causes bacteria to build up that can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Your dentist will work closely with your orthodontist to make sure that your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.
Will my braces interfere with my school activities like sports, playing an instrument, or singing?
Playing an instrument or a contact sport may require some adjustment when you first 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 from damage.
How do I schedule my next appointment?
Simply call our practice! Our front desk staff will be happy to help schedule your next appointment. If you are a new patient or have been referred to our practice, please let us know and we will provide you with all of the information you need.