For New Patients
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT ORTHODONTICS
WHAT IS ORTHODONTICS?
Orthodontics is one of many dental specialties. Orthodontics is specifically concerned with diagnosing and treating tooth misalignment and irregularity in the jaw area.
Initially, orthodontic treatments were geared toward the treatment of teens and pre-teens, but these days around 30 percent of orthodontic patients are adults.
There are many advantages to well-aligned teeth, including easier cleaning, better oral hygiene, clearer speech and a more pleasant smile.
WHO IS AN ORTHODONTIST?
An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has received 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?
Any age is a great age to see an Orthodontist! The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist around the age of seven. However, orthodontic treatment is not just for children and teens, about one in every five orthodontic patient 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!
WHAT ARE BRACES?
Braces are used 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
- Self-ligating braces
- Invisible braces
- Traditional metal braces
IF I GET BRACES, HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO WEAR THEM?
The length of treatment will vary depending on the individual. Treatment times can take anywhere between 6 and 30 months, but most standard treatments take about 24 months.
DO BRACES HURT?
Braces do not often hurt however you will feel some pressure and a small amount of discomfort at first as your teeth, gums, cheeks, and mouth get used to your new braces.
DO I NEED TO BRUSH MY TEETH MORE OFTEN IF I HAVE BRACES?
Yes. With braces, food can get caught in between the braces so you should brush your teeth at least three times a day to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy and clean. You should also floss daily to get in between your braces where your brush isn’t able to reach. When your braces are placed we will provide you with an electric toothbrush and tools that we will show you how to use to keep everything clean!
IF I HAVE BRACES, DO I STILL NEED DENTAL CHECKUPS EVERY SIX MONTHS?
Absolutely! While in your braces it is very important to continue to see your regular dentist for cleanings and checkups. 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, our office will provide you with a mouthguard to protect your braces or appliance.