Humphrey Orthodontics Answers Your Common Orthodontic Questions
New to braces? Dr. Humphrey can help. Get answers to the most common orthodontic questions from people like you in St. Peters and Wentzville.
If you don't see your question listed, always feel free to call our office, and our helpful team members can answer all your questions.
Answers to Common Questions
Selecting an orthodontist in St. Peters and Wentzville who can help you achieve your smile dreams is important.
Orthodontists are dental specialists who diagnose, prevent and treat dental and facial irregularities.
This means they're better qualified you to give you the smile of your dreams than you could get from aligners in the mail.
Teeth, and sometimes the structure of the entire face, are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment. Orthodontic treatment needs to be designed for your needs, professionally monitored, and properly completed.
Orthodontic specialists have extensive and specialized training to provide their patients with professional, personalized treatments.
During the 2-3 years of additional training orthodontic specialists complete, they learn to diagnose and develop a specialized treatment plan for each patient. They also learn to apply their knowledge to correct issues efficiently and effectively during treatment.
This will result in not only obtaining a beautiful smile, but a healthy smile.
The American Association of Orthodontists and Humphrey Orthodontics recommend an orthodontic screening at age seven.
For most children, several permanent teeth have erupted by this age, allowing Dr. Humphrey to spot subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while some baby teeth are still present.
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.
You’re never too old for orthodontic treatment! 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 gold braces and Invisalign have helped many people obtain great smiles without the flash of metal.
Overall, treatment time depends on your specific needs. 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 Humphrey’s Orthodontics, this exam is free, and we can answer all your questions that you have so you can make an informed decision about your smile.
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.
Yes. We try to accommodate you 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.
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 parents to check-in before dropping off their child.
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 don’t feel any soreness at all. We often remind our patients, “It does not have to hurt to work.”
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.
The cost of orthodontic treatment depends on many factors, including the severity of the problem, how complex the problem is, and how long treatment lasts.
Dr. Humphrey will be glad to discuss the cost of treatment and your financing options with you before treatment begins.
The good news is that braces are more affordable today than ever. Our staff also works with insurance companies and offers payment plans that meet your family’s budget.
Most orthodontic problems are inherited. Examples of these genetic problems are crowding, spacing, protrusion, extra or missing teeth and some jaw growth problems.
Other oral problems are caused by thumb- or finger-sucking, dental disease, accidents, the early or late loss of baby teeth, or other causes.
Crooked and crowded teeth are hard to clean and maintain.
A bad bite can wear down teeth, make it hard to chew and talk and create stress on supporting bone and gum tissue.
Without treatment, many problems become worse and can require additional dental care later in life.
Orthodontic treatment is a partnership between the doctor and patient.
Dr. Humphrey provides custom-made fixed or removable appliances that use gentle pressure to move teeth into their proper positions.
Your job is to follow your orthodontist’s instructions, keep scheduled orthodontic appointments, and maintain excellent oral hygiene to get the best results.
You will also need to see your general dentist as recommended to continue your general dental care.
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.
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. We may provide a prescription for a special fluoride treatment, if necessary.
If you notice an unwanted change in your smile or bite, contact us for a free consultation.
You might need an orthodontic tune-up to regain proper alignment.
Not necessarily. Research suggests that wisdom teeth don’t always cause teeth to shift.
In most cases, wisdom teeth are removed for general dental health reasons rather than for orthodontic health.
Your family dentist or Dr. Humphrey can help determine whether or not your wisdom teeth need to be removed.
Dr. Humphrey will recommend how long to continue wearing your retainers, whether they are removable (the kind you put in and take out) or fixed (bonded behind your teeth).
Wearing your retainers as prescribed is the best way to keep your teeth from moving after your orthodontic treatment.
There are many reasons teeth may move following orthodontic treatment. Teeth are not set in concrete, they’re in bone.
Because the bone around your teeth is continually changing (breaking down and rebuilding), your teeth may shift after your braces are removed.
When you wear your retainers, your teeth are more likely to remain where Dr. Humphrey has placed them through braces treatment.
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!