Frequently Asked Questions About Orthodontics
What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics (also known as dentofacial orthopedics) is a specialized form of dentistry focusing on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities.
What are the steps necessary to become an orthodontist?
An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has between two and three years of additional training and experience. With the additional training and experience, an orthodontist is skilled in straightening teeth, correcting misaligned jaw structure, and improving the general function of your smile.
What's the best age to visit the orthodontist?
While it is never too late to begin orthodontic treatment, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist around the age of seven. That being said, approximately one in every five orthodontic patients is over the age of 21.
What steps should I take to care for my teeth while wearing braces or a retainer?
- ALWAYS remember to brush your teeth following each meal and to floss at least once a day.
- Use toothpaste that contains fluoride, and ask your orthodontist or family dentist if you need a fluoride rinse. Fluoride works hard to prevent cavities!
- If you take out your retainer to eat, make sure you brush your teeth, floss, and remember to keep your retainer safe in its container to avoid it getting lost or stolen.
- Keep your retainer clean by brushing it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Ask your doctor if you can also soak it in denture cleaner. Do not put your retainer in boiling water or the dishwasher.
- During your treatment, avoid foods with a lot of sugar as sugar is known to increase the number of bacteria that grows in your mouth and therefore cause more plaque and possibly cavities.
- Avoid sticky and chewy foods (caramel, chewing gum, gummy bears), hard foods (hard candy, nuts, ice cubes), or any foods that could 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 (every six months).
What are braces?
Braces are an appliance used by your orthodontist to shift your teeth into the perfect position to achieve the smile you have always wanted. We offer a variety of braces to fit your unique treatment needs, including:
- Clear braces
- Ceramic braces
- Gold braces
- Lingual braces
- Self-ligating braces
- Invisible braces
- Traditional metal braces
If I get braces, how long do I have to wear them?
The total treatment time will vary from patient to patient depending on the severity of your case, how you respond to treatment, and the type of treatment you select. Treatment times range from six to 30 months with the average treatment length being 22 months.
Do braces hurt?
Braces do not cause severe pain, although some patients do report a small amount of discomfort for the first few daysafter receiving their appliance. The discomfort
Do I need to brush my teeth more often if I have braces?
We recommend continuing to brush your teeth at least three times a day to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy and clean. Brushing regularly helps remove any food that may get caught between the braces. You should also floss at least once a day to get in-between your braces where your brush isn’t able to reach. Ask your orthodontist to 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! It’s more important than ever to continue visiting your dentist regularly for cleanings and check-ups. With braces, food is more likely to get stuck between your teeth and cause bacteria to build up which can then lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Your dentist and your orthodontist will work together to make sure that your teeth stay clean and healthy while undergoing orthodontic treatment.
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 should not stop you from participating in any of your school activities. If you play a contact sport, we recommend that you wear a mouthguard to protect your braces or appliance.
How do I schedule my next appointment?
Give us a call or book your appointment through our online services. If you are a new patient, please let us know and we will make sure to answer any questions you may have.