Frequently Asked Questions about Orthodontics
What does orthodontics mean?
Orthodontics is also commonly referred to as Dentofacial orthopedics, it encompasses the diagnostic, defense against and treatment of facial and dental abnormalities.
What does it mean to be an orthodontist?
Orthodontists are essentially specialty dental specialists who go beyond initial dental training to receive at least 2 to 3 extra years of education. Orthodontists can work to change the structure of your jaw, improve your smile and effectively straighten teeth.
When is the best time in your life to visit orthodontists?
You can see an orthodontist at any age if you are interested in improving the look and the way that you smile. According to the American Association of orthodontists, it is recommended that kids see an orthodontist around the age of seven. This can help to limit the amount of treatment that is required in order to straighten teeth. Orthodontic treatment is generally considered something for only children or teenagers however at least one in five orthodontic patients is over the age of 21. If you or your children require orthodontic treatment is important to avoid your reservations and remember that any time is a great time to visit an orthodontist.
How should I take care of my teeth while wearing orthodontic appliances?
- Make sure that you continue brushing your teeth after every meal and flossing once a day to maintain your oral hygiene.
- Look for toothpaste that contains fluoride or ask your family dentist or orthodontist about fluoride rinses. Making sure that you get fluoride is important to preventing cavities.
- If you have a retainer and you take it out to eat be sure to keep it in a safe container so that it does not get lost or potentially broken while you are eating. Brush her teeth and floss before putting your retainer back in after a meal.
- Clean your retainer regularly by using a toothbrush and toothpaste. You can use special denture cleaner to clean your retainer as well, but you should never resort to putting your retainer in the dishwasher or in warm water to clean it.
- Avoid certain foods during your orthodontic treatment. Take special care to avoid foods that have an excessive amount of sugar in them. As well as sticky and chewy foods. Sugary foods can increase the likelihood that bacteria will grow in your mouth and this can cause plaque buildup which may cause cavities. Chewy food can also get stuck in your braces and cause bacteria to grow and flourish.
- Keep all regular schedule dentist appointments every six months with your family dentist. You will need to keep up on cleaning and regular checkups to make sure that your mouth is free of cavities. There is no sense in straightening your teeth unless you are willing to take care of them too!
How long do people wear braces for?
Each patient will need braces for different amount of time and for their own individual cases. People’s teeth and jaw lines will respond differently to treatment and there is no exact time they can be specified for treatment. Some treatments can be over as soon as six months, while others may be completed in 30 months. The standard time for braces is usually around 22 months or nearly 2 years.
Do braces ever hurt?
Quite often when people wear braces need do not even feel the metal all after a while. It is possible that you will feel some form of discomfort shortly after your braces have been adjusted or when you first get your braces on. Your gums, cheeks and mouth will take some time to get used to your new braces and there are some methods of coping with the discomfort.
Will I need to clean my teeth more often once I get braces?
Even when you have braces you should continue cleaning your teeth at least three times a day to make sure that you can maintain your oral health. It may take some time to get used to brushing with your braces on, but regular brushing after each meal will make sure that any food that may be caught in your braces is removed. It is important that you floss daily so that you can remove any food between your braces were your brush cannot reach. Your dentist and your orthodontist will be in constant communication to develop some strategies that will help to keep your teeth clean while you wear braces. By following their recommendations you can make sure that your teeth, gums and mouth all stay healthy while you wear braces.
Do I still need to continue seeing my family dentist every six months?
Absolutely! It is extremely important that you keep up with your regular dentist appointments for cleaning and checkups. Food can get caught in many different crevices that your toothbrush may not be able to reach. By going for regular cleaning you can make sure that your mouth is free of buildup and bacteria. A dentist will have all of the proper tools to help you properly clean your mouth as well as help to monitor your progress by communicating with your orthodontist. It is still possible to get cavities, gum disease and gingivitis even while you have braces so it is important to see your dentist to make sure that you are free of these concerns.
Will braces make my life difficult?
For people who are involved in a number of different activities such as sports, singing or playing an instrument may find it difficult to adjust to these activities at first. It is perfectly safe to still play sports, play an instrument or sing with braces but you will need to train your body especially with singing and instrument playing to move in the right way with your new configuration. When you are playing contact sports or athletic activities, it is recommended that you wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth and your braces. If you damage your braces or orthodontic appliances he can set your progress back and extend the amount of time that you need to use the appliances. Protection is the best chance to enjoy the perfect smile faster.
How do I schedule future appointments?
Feel free to contact us to schedule an appointment. Our front desk staff are always available during office hours to accommodate your needs. We can work to schedule your next appointment as well as handle any emergencies that may come up. If you’re a new patient who has received a referral into our practice we can provide you with any information that you may need as well as answer any of the questions that you may have about scheduling an appointment and what will take place during your first appointment.