What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics (also referred to as dentofacial orthopedics) is a specialized form of dentistry, focusing 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 after dental school. 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, with about one in every five orthodontic patients being 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.
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! We often suggest Prevident 5000 prescription toothpaste, to further protect against 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.
- Keep your retainer clean, too, by brushing it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste. You may also use 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 (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). See our complete lists of foods to avoid and foods you can eat.
- BE SURE TO SCHEDULE YOUR ROUTINE CHECKUPS WITH YOUR FAMILY DENTIST! WE ACTUALLY SUGGEST THAT YOU ADD AN EXTRA CLEANING AND EXAM VISIT PER YEAR (EVERY 4 MONTHS INSTEAD OF EVERY 6) WHILE IN ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT! SOMETIMES WE EVEN SUGGEST TO GO MORE OFTEN IF WE SEE YOUR BRUSHING IS NOT UP TO PAR!
What are braces?
Braces are used by your orthodontist to help you improve the look and feel of your smile! They are just little handles that we glue on your teeth so that we can move your teeth into their straight position! We have several different types of braces to choose from, including:
- Clear braces
- Ceramic braces
- Gold braces (bling, bling!)
- Invisible braces
- Traditional metal braces (cool, low profile, can put your colors on)
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 18 - 24 months.
Do braces hurt?
We actually don't like to use the word "hurt", however, 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. This should wear off in a few days at the most! Please remember that if you have a question, any question at all, please don't hesitate to call us! You are why we are here!!
Do I need to brush my teeth more often if I have braces?
Believe it or not, we actually suggest that you BRUSH 4 - 5X/DAY when you have braces (1.)when you get up, 2.) after breakfast, 3.) after lunch, 4.) after dinner and 5.) before you go to bed). This will keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy and clean. Brushing regularly will help remove any food that may be caught between the braces. We know we go a little overboard with brushing, however, we want everyone to have sparkling, healthy, beautiful teeth when your braces are removed!! Flossing daily to get in between your braces where your brush isn't able to reach is also very important! We spend a lot of time when you first get your braces on how to properly brush and floss! We are pretty easy on everything EXCEPT brushing, flossing and generally keeping your teeth clean! We know you can do it and want you to have the most perfect smile possible when we take your braces off!
If I have braces, do I still need dental checkups every six months?
Actually we suggest that you go every 4 MONTHS for a cleaning and checkup (3 times per year!). We know, we know, it is an extra time per year, however, these are the only teeth you get! The cleaner you keep your teeth during your orthodontic treatment the nicer they look when we take them off!! This makes us look good! Your family dentist is a very, very important part of your time with braces, it is working with them closely that we are able to assure that our end result is a healthy and beautiful smile!!
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 should not stop you from participating in any of your school activities. If you play a contact sport, we ALWAYS recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth, lips and BRAIN! You can use the one we give you or get one from the sporting good store, it doesn't matter to us, JUST WEAR ONE!! When you are in our office, please ask us to show you the pictures of the people who didn't wear their mouthguards!
How do I schedule my next appointment?
We strongly suggest you make your next appointment before you leave if you know your schedule! That way at least you have something in you schedule, if you have to change it as the appointment get closer, we can always move your appointment around for you. Of course you can always simply call our office when you get home if you are unsure of your schedule at the time! Our front desk staff will be happy to help schedule your next appointment at a convenient time that fits your schedule. If you need a special appointment time and it doesn't look like it fits into our posted scheduled hours, please just ask and we will try to make it happen for you!! If you are a new patient or have been referred to our practice, please let us know, and we will be glad to make a reservation for your new consultation!