We believe that choosing an orthodontist that’s right for you and your family and making the commitment to a happier, healthier smile together is an important decision – and making a decision this big should come with a lot of questions. To be helpful, we’ve answered some of the frequently asked questions we receive from patients, but know, and take comfort in the fact, that we pride ourselves on taking all the time necessary to answer your questions so you can make informed decisions every step of the way.
Orthodontics is a specialized form of dentistry focusing on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities.
An orthodontist is specialist who, after receiving a degree in dentistry, continued his/her education for two to three years to gain the necessary training and experience. Your orthodontist is able to straighten teeth, correct misaligned jaw structure, and improve the function of your smile. The important point to remember is that all orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are licensed orthodontists.
If you want to improve the look and feel of your smile, then any age is appropriate to see an orthodontist. That said, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) 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.
Absolutely! There are several different types of orthodontic treatment options available, including:
At the end of the day, though, they all serve the same function and purpose: to straighten your teeth and give you a healthy smile.
You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, whether you have braces or not, to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy and clean. Brushing regularly will help remove any food that may be caught between your braces. You should also floss daily to get in between your braces where your brush is unable to reach. Your orthodontist can show you how to properly brush and floss once your braces are placed.
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 retainers.
Braces are used by your orthodontist to help you improve the look and feel of your smile by straightening teeth and, if necessary, correcting misaligned jaw structure.
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.
The amount of time spent in braces will vary depending on the individual patient because every smile responds differently to treatment. Treatment times can take anywhere between six and 30 months, but most standard treatments take about 22 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.
Simply call our practice. Our 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. You also can check our First Visit information so you will know what to expect and can have necessary forms completed in advance.