FAQ's 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.

Who is an orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has the 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.

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 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, with about one in every five orthodontic patients being 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.

My child still has baby teeth, aren't they too young for braces?

After the initial exam we can determine if it will benefit your child to have any interceptive treatment. Interceptive treatment can include an expander to create more space, correct a cross bite, or to help the upper and lower jaws to fit together better. This first phase of treatment to increase space or align the jaws has to be done while a child is growing; it can reduce the possibility for extractions and the need for jaw surgery. It will greatly improve the eruption for the permanent teeth, and functions and positions of the jaws.

What is the difference between Phase 1 and Phase 2 treatment?

Phase 1 is also called early interceptive treatment, this is to correct jaw problems such as crossbites, overbites, underbites and crowding. We can also correct bad oral habits such as tongue thrusting and thumb sucking. Phase I is typically done with an expander or partical braces. Phase 2 treatment is comprehensive orthodontics, it involves a full set of braces when all of the adult teeth have erupted.

Will I need to have any teeth extracted for orthodontic treatment?

With our advanced orthodontic procedures and techniques extracting teeth can often be avoided. Seeing patients by age 7 so that we can detect and correct developing problems before they become severe is essential. Sometimes having teeth removed may be a requirement for achieving the best orthodontic result possible.

Do braces hurt? Are there shots involved?

Typically, braces do not hurt. After some appointments your teeth may feel sore for a few days. Using your normal headache medication will alleviate the discomfort. Some people don't even experience any soreness at all. Injections are not necessary at any of our appointments.

Can I play sports or a musical instrument?

Absolutely! We will provide you with a special mouth guard to wear for any sports. Playing an instrument with your braces on may take a couple of days to get used to, but braces won't hold you back from having fun!

Can I still get braces if I have missing teeth or crowns?

If you are missing a tooth or teeth, orthodontic treatment will help to improve the alignment of the remaining teeth, so that when you have replacement teeth placed they can look natural and function properly. If you have crowns they move just like a normal tooth.

Do I still need to see my family dentist while in treatment?

Yes, its very important to continue to see your general dentist every six months. Only your dentist can provide the professional quality cleaning and dental exams necessary to ensure the health of your teeth and gums. During orthodontic treatment there are more areas for food and plaque to build up. During treatment we will evaluate your oral hygiene and recommend how to improve when it is necessary.

Are there certain foods I should avoid while my braces are on?

Your orthodontic treatment success relies on your cooperation, avoiding foods that can cause damage to the brackets or wires allow treatment to progress efficiently. This would include anything hard, sticky or chewy i.e., gum caramel, ice and nuts. We will explain in detail all instructions and what type of diet to follow when your braces are placed.

How often should I brush and floss my teeth?

Since braces create additional areas for food to get caught, we recommend brushing after each meal and before bed. Flossing daily will help to keep your teeth and gums healthy. When your teeth are healthy they respond best to orthodontic movement. We will instruct you and give you the necessary tools to be successful at it.

I've seen people wearing rubber bands with their braces. What are those?

Rubber bands, or elastics, are used to correct the way your teeth fit together when you bite. Your orthodontist will let you know when you will have to wear them, if at all.

What are retainers? Will I have to wear them forever?

Retainers are used to keep the teeth in the position they are in when the braces come off. We will instruct you on how to wear them and care for them. Retainers are used for as long as you want your teeth to stay straight.