Frequently Asked Questions About Orthodontics
What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics is a specialty within dentistry that involves preventing, diagnosing, and treating dental or facial irregularities. Orthodontics care goes beyond straightening your teeth! Using dentofacial orthopedics, orthodontics can also modify facial growth and influence healthy facial development.
What is an orthodontist?
Orthodontists specialize in treatments that bring your teeth, lips, and jaw into healthy, proper alignment. After completing dental school, an orthodontist receives an additional two to three years of education. Only an orthodontist has the education and training to diagnose and treat jaw and tooth misalignments—problems that can actually cause health complications later if left untreated.
What's the best age to visit the orthodontist?
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that a child should see an orthodontist no later than age seven. By this time, a child’s teeth and jaws have grown enough for the orthodontist to see how they will develop as permanent teeth start to emerge. Even if the child’s teeth appear to be straight, orthodontists have the training and technology to detect potentially serious, but seemingly hidden, issues. Fortunately, once these problems are spotted, they can be easily taken care of. An early consultation can prevent more serious dental problems down the road and help set your child’s smile up for success.
Would an adult patient benefit from orthodontics?
Of course! More and more adults are getting braces in the U.S. and around the world. According to the AAO, one in four orthodontic patients today is an adult. Studies shared by the AAO show that most adults see improvements in their career or personal relationships after getting braces because of their post-orthodontic smile. Plus, adult patients report that their initial concerns about getting braces dissipated after their first appointment! Thanks to advances in technology, treatment times are becoming shorter and the time between appointments is getting longer—making it more convenient than ever to fit braces or clear aligners into an adult’s life.
Should I see my general dentist while I have braces?
Yes. You should continue to see your general dentist every six months for cleanings and dental checkups. Proper oral health and hygiene are very important for your smile transformation. And, if you need extra dental care, we will work with your family dentist.
Do braces hurt?
With new advancements in technology, modern braces are more pain free, streamlined, and effective than ever before. However, you may feel a bit of discomfort during the first few days or weeks as you adjust. This is perfectly normal as your lips, cheeks, and tongue get used to them. We will give you wax to put over irritated areas to buffer the contact. You might also feel soreness in your teeth and mouth, too. Again, this is perfectly natural. Just mix eight ounces of lukewarm water with one teaspoon of salt and swish it around in your mouth, but do not swallow. If the soreness does not go away, an over-the-counter pain reliever or topical anesthetic will likely help.
Do I need to brush my teeth more often if I have braces?
It is important to brush your teeth three to four times a day and floss once a day. We recommend brushing after all meals and snacks. If you don’t brush and floss, this could cause your gums to turn red and puffy, which slows down your teeth’s movement and lengthens the treatment time. (Not to mention it leads to tartar and cavities!) We can help you pick the right toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss to keep your smile healthy and clean.
Will braces interfere with playing sports?
Definitely not. But make sure that you always wear a mouthguard to protect that smile!
Will braces interfere with playing musical instruments?
No. However, there may be an initial period of adjustment before you feel completely back to normal!