What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics 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 can straighten teeth, correct misaligned jaw structure, and improve the function of your smile. Orthodontists with a specialty in pediatric dentistry have specialized knowledge that help them better pinpoint corrective treatment plans for children.
What's the best age to visit the orthodontist?
Any age can be the perfect age to visit an orthodontist if you want to improve the look and feel of your smile. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children make their first visit to 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.
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 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 to help prevent cavities.
- If you take out your retainer to eat, remember to keep it safe in its container so that it does not get lost or broken.
- Keep your retainer clean by brushing it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste. You may also soak it in a denture cleaner as instructed by your orthodontist. Do not put your retainer in boiling water or in the dishwasher.
- During your treatment, avoid foods with a lot of sugar. Sugar increases the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth which can lead to more plaque and even 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.
What are braces?
Braces are appliances used by your orthodontist to help you improve the look and feel of your smile. There are several different types of braces to choose from, including:
- Ceramic braces
- Traditional metal braces
- Clear aligners
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.
Do braces hurt?
Braces don’t hurt, though you may feel a small amount of discomfort for a few days 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?
While wearing 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 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 won’t 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.
Can I get braces if I’m missing some teeth?
Depending on your individual case and treatment goals, it may be possible for you to have successful orthodontic treatment even if you have some teeth missing. Orthodontic treatment might help close the space of a missing tooth or even create or save sufficient space for a replacement tooth or teeth. Your orthodontist can assess your teeth and let you know if braces are a good option for you. In helping you achieve your perfect smile, your orthodontist may work with your primary care dentist and/or other dental specialists.
Can I get braces if my teeth have crowns or root canals?
Teeth with crowns or root canals don’t preclude you from wearing braces. There are modern materials available that can adhere orthodontic brackets to crowns just as they would natural teeth. Your orthodontist will be able to evaluate your situation and recommend treatment options.
Is orthodontic care expensive?
The cost of orthodontic treatment plans varies from patient to patient based on a wide variety of factors. For many patients under 18, dental insurance typically covers some of the cost. Adults should check their insurance coverage after a consultation to determine how much the insurance company is willing to cover. You may also purchase supplemental orthodontic insurance, which can help defray costs. Your orthodontist may also offer a payment plan that will allow you to spread the cost of orthodontic treatment over a longer period of time.
How do I schedule my next appointment?
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 the information you need.