Q. Why should I choose to work with an orthodontist over a cosmetic dentist?
A. Orthodontists undergo specialized training that makes them better prepared to tackle issues related to tooth position, movement, jaw abnormalities, facial balance, and more. While some cosmetic dentists will offer forms of orthodontic treatment, they are meant to address purely cosmetic issues, and most orthodontic problems are also health problems.
Q. When should my child first visit the orthodontist?
A. The ideal age for a first is seven. At this age, enough permanent teeth are in place to make the various bites clear. With the bites established, we can determine if there are problems present, and if so, how severe they are. If needed, we can recommend early treatment to prevent the need for tooth extractions and surgery later in life. Please keep in mind, teeth do not straighten out as children get older.
Q. Can adults receive treatment?
A. Yes! About 1/5th of all patients are over the age of 18. All you need are healthy gums and bones to be eligible for treatment.
Q. How long does treatment last?
A. That depends on the severity of the abnormality to be treated. Some spend just six months in treatment; others are in treatment for more than 30 months.
Q. How often will I need to be seen?
A. That depends on your unique treatment needs. Some people see us every four weeks, some every 10, and lots of patients fall somewhere in between.
Q. Do braces hurt?
A. Braces should not be painful. However, because they place pressure on the teeth, they can cause soreness, especially when biting. This soreness lasts a few days after braces are first places and returns for about a day after adjustments. However, it tends to not be as noticeable after adjustments. Salt-water rinses and things like Advil and Tylenol should make the pain manageable.
Q. Is playing sports prohibited when wearing braces?
A. No, you can still play sports. However, you will need to wear a mouthguard that is custom made to fit your teeth and your braces.
Q. Do I still need to visit my dentist if I am seeing an orthodontist?
A. Yes, dentists and orthodontists complete different jobs, so your twice-a-year appointments are still very important.
Q. Should I brush my teeth more when wearing braces?
A. Yes. Because braces give food particles and bacteria more places to hide, brushing your teeth is more important while wearing braces than it ever was before. Brush your teeth after every meal and before bed and floss at least once a day before bed.
Q. Do I need to avoid specific foods?
A. Yes, hard, sticky, and crunchy foods can damage braces. So can habits like nail biting and pen chewing. Avoid these throughout treatment.