FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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 two to three 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 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. 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!

If you take out your retainer to eat, make sure you brush your teeth, floss, and 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 soak it in denture cleaner as instructed by your orthodontist. Do not put your retainer in boiling water or in 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.).

While wearing braces, should I still visit my General Dentist?

Most definitely.  we strongly encourage regular visits to your dentist for cleanings and dental exams during orthodontic treatment.  This will help ensure your teeth and gums remains healthy and look their best when treatment is complete.

ARE THERE DIFFERENT TYPES OF BRACES?

kid smiling wiht braces Yes.  We offer a variety of braces from clear “invisible” braces to silver braces as well as Invisalign aligners.  Tiny elastic bands are used around the braces to hold special wires in place.  These elastic can be clear, or you can choose from dozens. of colors which are replaced at each office visit.

Do Braces Hurt?

Typically, patients experience very little discomfort during the office visit when they get their braces.  However, later that same day the teeth usually become tender and soft foods are recommended.  This soreness generally lasts for only a day or two.

What kind of foods should I avoid while wearing braces?

Generally speaking, while wearing braces you can still enjoy most of your favorite foods.  Chewing ice or certain other hard foods can damage the braces which may slow treatment.  The day you get your braces, we will discuss the food items which should be avoided during treatment.

How do I brush with braces?

Although the basic technique remain the same, brushing and flossing both require a little extra time and effort while wearing braces.  When you get your braces, we will review some helpful tips on how to keep your teeth and gums in great shape.

When is the best time for braces?

The best time to start orthodontic treatment varies from patient to patient.  Certain types of orthodontic problems are best corrected early, before all baby teeth are lost.  For this reason it is recommended that all children be evaluated by an orthodontist by age seven.