Frequently Asked Questions About 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.
These abnormalities are typically treated by tooth movement, often using braces, Invisalign and additional appliances to improve the function and esthetics of your smile.
An orthodontist is a dentist 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 and aesthetics of your smile.
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.
If you choose to bring your child to the orthodontist early on, it allows us to diagnose and treat current and future problems. We can correct growth and crowding before permanent teeth are fully in. This could shorten overall treatement time, or number of orthodonitc treatments needed.
Orthodontics can improve your oral hygeine and aesthetics, if you have been thinking of investing in your smile- orthodontics are a great place to start, no matter the age!
- 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 remember to keep it safe in its container so that 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 possibly 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.
Braces are used by your orthodontist to help you improve the look and feel of your smile. Braces provide your teeth a path that allows your optimal bite and tooth placement, creating a healthy beautiful smile.
There are several different types of braces to choose from, including:
- Ceramic braces
- Self-ligating braces
- Traditional metal braces
The amount of time spent in braces will vary depending on the individual patient because every smile responds differently to treatment and has different needs. Treatment times can take anywhere between six and 30 months.
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.
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. Braces make brushing effectively more difficult, since they provide bacterica with more places to hide so the more you brush the better! You should also floss daily to get in between your braces and teeth where your brush isn't able to reach. Your orthodontist can show you how to properly brush and floss once your braces are placed.
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 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.
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.
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 of the information you need to set up your free consultation.
Are braces worth getting?
Patients can count on braces to straighten their teeth and align their bite. Braces have proven to be an effective way to fix these particular dental concerns.
Can braces fix overbite?
Yes, braces can treat most overbites with the help of wires, brackets, and elastics.
Can you eat after getting braces off?
Yes, you can eat whatever foods you want without having to worry about your braces. However, it is important that you continue to keep good oral hygiene to keep your teeth healthy.
Do braces permanently straighten teeth?
Once your braces are removed, you will need the aid of retainers to ensure that they do not shift from their straightened position.
How do you get your braces off early?
Closely follow the directions given to you by your dentist to speed up the process. Make sure to always brush your teeth, keep your mouth clean, and avoid sugary, hard, and sticky foods. You are always able to have appliances removed if you determine it is not the right time for treatment.
How often are braces adjusted?
During active treatment, appointments will be set up every four to ten weeks for checkups, wire changes, and adjustments.
What age is best for braces?
The best age to get braces varies based on a patients growth and development, and it is best to seek an orthodontist for screening so that they can determine the ideal time to begin treatment. A majority of patients start treatment between the ages of 10 and 14.
Do braces change your face?
Since braces adjust alignment issues, they can result in positive changes to your face. Often patients get treatment while they are still growing, so some patients may notice a change to their facial features due to normal growth and development.
How long do braces take to straighten teeth?
On average, patients are in braces about 16 to 24 months for comprehensive treatment.
What are the side effects of braces?
Braces can cause mild discomfort and pain when adjusted, and do hinder your ability to eat certain foods. If you dont clean your mouth well while wearing braces, it can lead to tooth decay or gum disease. If braces are left unmonitored long-term, they can have several long-term negative side effects including decay, root shortening and possible loss of teeth.
What is a good age to get braces?
The ideal time to get braces varies based on a patients growth and development, it is best to seek an orthodontist for screening so that they can determine the ideal time to begin treatment. A majority of patients start treatment between the ages of 10 and 14.
What is the purpose of braces?
Braces can straighten the teeth and align the bite properly. This improves dental health but can also be for cosmetic purposes.
Which kind of braces are best?
Each type of braces has its own advantages and disadvantages, your orthodontist can advise you which will work best with your bite. Metal braces are the most common, as they are effective and have been around the longest.