What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics (also referred to as Dentofacial Orthopedics) is a specialized form of dentistry which focuses on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities.
Who is an orthodontist?
An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has received 2 to 3 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 7, however, orthodontic treatment is not exclusive to children and teens. Approximately 1 in 5 orthodontic patients are over the age of 21. Whether you’re considering treatment for yourself or for a child, any age is a good age to visit the orthodontist.
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. This will help prevent cavities!
- If you take out your retainer to eat, brush your teeth, and floss, then remember to keep it safe in its container so that it does not get lost or broken.
- Clean your retainer by brushing it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste daily. You may also use a denture cleaner twice a week. DO NOT use hot/boiling water or the dishwasher!
- During your treatment, try to avoid foods with a lot of sugar. Sugar increases the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth, causing more plaque and possibly cavities.
- Avoid sticky and chewy foods (ex. caramel, chewing gum, gummy bears, etc.), hard foods (ex. hard candy, nuts, ice cubes, etc.) or any foods that could possibly get stuck in your braces (ex. corn on the cob, soft bagels, ribs, taffy, etc).
- Be sure to schedule routine checkups with your family dentist every six months.
What are braces?
Braces are 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:
- 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 amount of time spent in braces can vary depending on the individual patient. Every smile responds differently to treatment. Treatment times can take anywhere between 6 to 30 months, however, most standard treatments take about 22 months.
Do braces hurt?
Most often braces do not hurt, but you may feel a small amount of discomfort for a couple of days as your teeth, gums, cheeks, and mouth adjust to your new braces.
Do I need to brush my teeth more often if I have 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 in 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 in place.
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 you’re wearing braces.
Will my braces interfere with school activities like sports, playing an instrument, or singing?
It may take some time to adjust to playing an instrument or contact sports with braces, but wearing braces will not stop you from participating in these activities. For contact sports, it is recommended that you wear a mouth-guard to protect your braces or appliance.
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 of the information you need.