Orthodontic FAQ

Orthodontic FAQ

You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

With nearly 50 years of combined experience we have the expertise to answer all of your questions and help you to live life smiling!

What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics is a specialized form of dentistry performed by an orthodontist. The focus is on diagnosis, prevention and treatment of malpositioned teeth and jaw as well as misaligned bite patterns. In addition, orthodontics are able to modify facial abnormalities known as dental facial orthopedics.

What is an orthodontist?

Orthodontists are often board certified dental specialists that complete an additional two to three years of training in facial growth and dental development. Orthodontists hold a degree in both General Dentistry and Orthodontics making them the expert in all orthodontic care options and technologies for children, teens and adults.

What is the best age to visit an orthodontist?

The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children are seen by an orthodontist by the age of seven so any issues can be addressed early. However, it is never too late to visit an orthodontist and improve your smile. While the majority of patients are children and teens, there is an increased number of adult patients over the age of twenty-one. Approximately one in every five patients fall into this age group and are enjoying the benefits orthodontics can offer.

What are braces?

Braces are devices placed on your teeth by an orthodontist to correct dental and facial abnormalities. There are many types of braces to choose from, your orthodontist will go over the options and guide you in making a decision that is best for you.

Types of braces include:

  • Traditional Metal Braces
  • Ceramic Braces
  • Clear Aligners

How long do I have to wear braces?

Most patients require 18 – 24 months of treatment. However, treatment time varies with each individual depending on the complexity of your orthodontic issue. Your orthodontist will be able to give you an estimate at your initial appointment, but remember this is only an estimate. Every patient is unique and there are many factors that can affect the duration of treatment.

Do braces hurt?

It is rare to experience pain with braces however, you may experience some discomfort for a few days after getting braces. This discomfort will subside as your teeth and gums adjust, and you become accustomed to your new braces.

Will braces interfere with playing sports or an instrument?

Braces will not prevent you from playing sports or an instrument however, there may be an adjustment period. When participating in contact sports, it is important to protect both your teeth and your braces. This can be done by wearing a mouth guard specially designed for braces.

Do braces require me to brush my teeth more often?

While it is always necessary to practice good oral hygiene, it is especially important for those with braces or aligners. Braces provide small areas for food particles to become trapped and if not properly addressed, can cause a great deal of plaque build up. Brushing after each meal (including snacks) and flossing daily will keep your teeth and gums healthy and enhance your smile during and after orthodontic treatment.

How do I take care of my teeth when wearing braces, aligners or a retainer?

Remember good oral hygiene is key to successful orthodontic treatment. Following these guidelines will keep you on track for a beautiful, healthy smile:

  • Brush your teeth after each meal using toothpaste containing fluoride to prevent cavities.
  • Floss at least daily using waxed floss for a smooth glide.
  • Remove aligners, retainers, elastics and other removable appliances before brushing.
  • Remember to clean appliances before placing them back in your mouth. This can be done with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Decrease the amount of bacteria in your mouth by avoiding foods with a lot of sugar.
  • Avoid foods that are sticky and chewy (caramel, taffy, gum) or hard and crunchy (nuts, popcorn, ice). These foods can be difficult to remove from your braces and can even cause damage.

If I am seeing an orthodontist, do I still need to see my dentist?

Yes, it is extremely important to continue seeing your dentist for routine checkups and cleanings while under orthodontic care. Braces provide small areas for food particles to become trapped and if not properly addressed, can cause a great deal of plaque build up. Your dentist and orthodontist will work together to make sure your teeth and gums stay clean and healthy.

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How do I schedule my next appointment?

Our scheduling coordinators will be happy to guide you in making your next appointment. If you are new or an existing patient, we are here to answer your questions.  Give us a call!  We want you to live your life smiling!

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