Frequently Asked Questions About Orthodontics
What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics is a form of dentistry that focuses on diagnosing, preventing, and correcting dental and facial abnormalities that are either functional or cosmetic in nature.
What is an orthodontist?
Orthodontists are doctors with dental degrees who, after getting their degree, completed two to three years of additional training and received a certificate in orthodontics. They are able to correct tooth position, realign the jaws, and improve the function of the mouth.
What is the right age to first visit the orthodontist?
The American Association of Orthodontists suggests that children first see an orthodontist right around age seven. At this age, children have enough permanent teeth for their tooth relationships to be clear. However, there is no one who is too old to see an orthodontist.
How do I take care of my teeth when wearing an appliance?
While the instruction can vary depending on what type of appliance, all will come with similar recommendations:
- Brush your teeth after every meal
- Floss twice a day
- See the dentist twice a year
What are braces?
Braces are one type of appliance your orthodontist may use to correct problems with your teeth. There are many different types of braces now available, including those that are invisible or nearly invisible when worn. All of them move the teeth my directing force through wires connected to brackets.
How long will I need to wear braces?
That varies between patients. For some, it is as little as six months, while others will be in braces for three years. Most patients spend 22 months wearing braces.
Does orthodontic treatment hurt?
At times, orthodontic treatment can be uncomfortable, but the vast majority of therapies cause nothing more than a little soreness and discomfort that quickly gets better as you get used to your appliance. The primary exception to this is jaw surgery, but few patients require such an intervention.
Why do I still need to see the dentist?
Dental care is more important than ever when you wear appliances. They can trap food in spots your brush cannot access, making it easier to develop cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Also, you teeth can end up stained, leaving behind the patterns of your appliance on your teeth.
How do I schedule an appointment?
Just give us a call. We would be happy to help you schedule your initial consultation