FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT ORTHODONTICS
Orthodontics (dentofacial orthopedics) is a specialized form of dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities.
An orthodontist is a dental specialist with 2-3 years of additional training and experience. Orthodontists are able to straighten teeth, correct misaligned jaw structure and improve smiles, functionally and aesthetically.
Any age is ideal to see the orthodontist. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children visit an orthodontist around the age of 7 but one-in-five orthodontic patients are over the age of 21.
- Brush your teeth after every meal & floss at least once a day.
- Use toothpaste with fluoride. Ask your orthodontist or family dentist for a fluoride rinse to help prevent cavities!
- When you take out your retainer, keep the retainer in its container so it doesn’t get lost or broken.
- Keep your retainer clean by brushing it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste or soaking it in denture cleaner, as instructed by your orthodontist. Do not put your retainer in boiling water or in the dishwasher.
- During treatment, avoid sugary foods. They increase bacteria levels in your mouth, causing plaque and cavities.
- Avoid sticky foods, chewy foods, hard foods or anything else that could get stuck in your braces.
Braces are devices used by an orthodontist to help improve the look and feel of your smile. There are several different types of braces:
- clear braces
- ceramic braces
- lingual braces
- self-ligating braces
- invisible braces
- traditional metal braces
Every patient responds differently to treatment but typical treatments take 6 to 30 months. Most standard treatments take approximately 22 months.
Braces do not often hurt, although most patients experience minor discomfort for several days as teeth, gums, cheeks, and mouth get used to the new hardware.
Brush your teeth and floss 3 times a day when you’re wearing braces. This removes the food that gets trapped in the hardware. Your orthodontist will show you how to brush and floss properly once your braces are placed.
Yes! It’s even more important that patients with braces visit their dentist regularly. Food often gets caught in places that toothbrushes can’t reach. This causes a buildup of bacteria and leads to cavities, gingivitis and gum disease. Your dentist will work closely with your orthodontist to ensure that your teeth stay healthy while wearing braces.
Certain activities may require some adjustment when wearing braces. When playing contact sports, wear a mouthguard to protect your braces.
Give us a call! Our front desk staff is happy to schedule your next appointment. Let us know if you’re a new patient or have been referred to our practice, and we’ll provide you with the information you require.