Q. Why should an orthodontic specialist complete my treatment?
A. Teeth, and sometimes entire facial structures, are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment. It is important that orthodontic treatment be appropriate, professionally monitored and properly completed. Orthodontic specialists have extensive and specialized training that enables them to provide their patients with professional, personalized treatments. Being specialized in Orthodontics means having the knowledge to diagnosis and develop a specialized treatment plan for any individual and the ability to apply that knowledge correcting issues efficiently and effectively throughout treatment. This will result in not only obtaining a beautiful smile, but a healthy smile.
Q. At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?
A. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic screening at age 7. For most children, several permanent teeth have erupted by this age, allowing the orthodontist to effectively evaluate the patient’s orthodontic condition. Check out our blog post to see what conditions can be assessed at this time.
Q. Will my teeth straighten out as I grow and get older?
A. No, they will not. The space available for the front teeth does not increase as you grow. In most people, after the permanent molars erupt, the space available for the front teeth decreases with age.
Q. Is it too late to have braces if I’m already an adult?
A. No patient is too old to wear braces. A surprising percentage of our patients are adults. In fact, 25 percent of all orthodontic patients are adults. Health and happiness are vitally important to adults, and orthodontic treatment can increase your self-esteem at any age. Not to mention, clear braces and Invisalign have been helpful in obtaining a great smile without the notice of metal.
Q. How long will it take to complete treatment?
A. Overall, treatment time depends on each patient's specific orthodontic challenges. Some patients have concerns that can be addressed within a year and others may have needs that can take much longer. A proper, clinical examination is the only real way to determine how long treatment can take. At our office, they are free and we can answer all your questions that you have so you can make an informed decision about your smile.
Q. How often will I have appointments?
A. Appointments are scheduled according to each patient's needs. Most patients in braces will be seen every five to 10 weeks. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly.
Q. Can I make my appointments around my schedule?
A. Yes. We try to accommodate our patients by offering early morning and late evening appointments. Longer appointments (such as placing appliances and removing appliances) are usually scheduled during non-peak hours, but all other appointments can be made to help accommodate your busy schedule.
Q. Can I drop my child off for an appointment?
A. Yes. We understand your schedule is busy, and we are happy to help you make the most of your time. On some occasions, we may request to speak with a parent when they return, so we ask that parents check-in before dropping off their child.
Q. Does wearing braces hurt?
A. After certain appointments, your teeth may be sore for a few days. In these situations, over-the-counter pain medications, such as Advil or Tylenol, will ease the discomfort. However, after most visits, patients do not feel any soreness at all. We often remind our patients, “It does not have to hurt to work.”
Q. Can I still play sports or play my instrument while wearing braces?
A. Yes! We recommend that patients wear mouthguards while playing sports. Musicians who play wind instruments will likely experience an adjustment period until they are comfortable playing while wearing braces.
Q. Do I need to see my general dentist while wearing braces?
A. Yes! Regular check-ups with your general dentist are important while in braces or Invisalign. Your dentist will determine the intervals between each cleaning appointment while you have your braces.
Q. How often should I brush my teeth while I have braces?
A. Patients should brush their teeth at least four times each day – after each meal and before going to bed. We will also show you how to floss your teeth with braces, and we may provide a prescription for a special fluoride treatment, if necessary.
Q. Are there any foods I cannot eat while I have braces?
A. Yes. Once treatment begins, we will explain our complete instructions and provide you with a comprehensive list of foods to avoid. Some of those foods include ice, hard candy, raw vegetables and all sticky foods (i.e. caramel and taffy). You can avoid most repair appointments by carefully following our instructions!