What is orthodontics (and dentofacial orthopedics)?

This branch of dentistry specializes in diagnosing, preventing, and treating dental and facial irregularities in teeth and jaws.

What is an orthodontist?

A dental specialist who receives an additional 2 to 3 years of training after dental school focusing exclusively on orthodontic diagnosis and treatment planning. Orthodontists are specialists in treating problems with tooth alignment and malocclusions (bad bites) to improve esthetics and function of your teeth and smile.

When should children first see an orthodontist?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends visiting by age 7, or sooner if a problem is detected. Early treatment may prevent major treatment later.

Should I still see my general dentist while I have braces?

You should certainly continue to see your general dentist at least every 6 months for cleanings and dental check-ups.

How about adult orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontic treatment can be successful at almost any age. In fact, 20% to 25% of patients are adults.

How long does it take to apply braces?

Placement of braces can take 30-60 minutes depending on the amount of braces being placed.

How long does the treatment last?

It depends on the difficulty and patient cooperation. New technologies, proper diagnosis, and treatment plans may reduce time. Comprehensive cases that require full braces typically range from 12 to 24 months. Keep your appointments, follow doctor’s orders, care for your braces, and practice good oral hygiene to help finish on time, or even earlier.

Will braces hurt?

Modern bands and brackets can minimize discomfort, but your mouth may be sore the first few days and for 1 or 2 days each time you are seen for an adjustment. If your pain doesn’t diminish, alert your doctor. A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug like aspirin or ibuprofen may help if taken an hour before your appointment as needed.

Will braces cause sores?

They may at first. A soft piece of wax (provided by your orthodontist) can be used to cover a brace or wire that may be causing it. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water often helps.

Can I play sports?

Yes! However, you should wear an orthodontic mouth guard for protection.

Will braces interfere with playing musical instruments?

No, but there may be an initial adjustment period and possible need for a “brace cover” (such as a lump of soft wax) for a fixed time frame.

Do I need to brush more with braces?

You will need to practice excellent oral hygiene since braces and wires attract more food. Brush with fluoridated toothpaste after every meal and before bed. Flossing is also important to remove trapped food.

What happens if a bracket comes off?

Please contact us as soon as you notice a loose or lost bracket. If this requires immediate attention, we will schedule you accordingly. By notifying us before your next appointment, this allows us to be best prepared to replace your loose bracket at your earliest convenience.

Are you ready for your smile to shine?