What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics is a particular form of dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of facial and dental abnormalities.
What does an orthodontist do?
An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has completed an orthodontic residency program for two to three years after dental school. During the orthodontic residency program, an orthodontist receives intensive instruction to learn the proper and safe way to perform orthodontic procedures. You can also refer to an orthodontist as an orthodontic specialist or an orthodontic and dentofacial orthopedist.
At what age is it best to visit an orthodontist?
Individuals of any age that wish to improve the look of their smile can benefit from orthodontic treatment. According to the American Association of Orthodontics, children should first visit an orthodontist around the age of seven (7). Orthodontic treatment is not reserved for children and teens; in fact, one in every five patients are over the age of 21. Overall, almost anyone of any age can benefit from visiting an orthodontist.
How can I care for my teeth when wearing braces or a retainer?
When wearing braces or a retainer, it is very important to keep your teeth clean and healthy. It is also important that you remember to brush your teeth after every meal and to floss at least once a day. Also, make sure you use toothpaste that contains fluoride to prevent cavities. If you remove your retainer to eat, be sure to brush and floss your teeth before putting the retainer back in your mouth. Remember to keep the retainer in its container when you are not wearing it so it does not break or get lost. The best way to keep your retainer clean is to brush it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Never put your retainer in boiling water or in the dishwasher, and this can cause the plastic to warp.
What are braces?
Braces are devices used by the orthodontist to align and straighten teeth. There is a selection of different types of braces, including clear braces, ceramic braces, gold braces, lingual braces, self-ligating braces, invisible braces, and traditional metal braces.
How long will I have to wear braces?
The length of treatment will depend on each individual patient. Each smile responds differently to treatment due to an array of factors. Braces treatments can take anywhere between 6-30 months; however, most treatments take about 22 months to complete.
When wearing braces, do I have to brush my teeth?
When wearing braces, it is still very important for you to brush your teeth at least three times a day to keep your mouth, teeth, and gums healthy. This regular brushing will remove any food that may be stuck in between the braces. It is also important to floss daily to clean in between the braces where a toothbrush cannot reach.
Do I still need to have a dental checkup every six months if I have braces?
Yes! It is very important for you to visit the dentist regularly. This is because food may be caught in your braces where your toothbrush cannot reach, causing a build-up of bacteria that can lead to cavities and gingivitis. Your dentist will work hand in hand with your orthodontist to ensure that your teeth are clean and healthy while you are wearing braces.
Will my braces interfere with sports or other school activities?
Just like anything new, it may take some time to adjust to your braces. However, wearing braces will not prevent you from participating in any school or social activities. If you play a contact sport, we recommend that you wear an orthodontic mouthguard while playing in order to protect your braces.
How do I schedule my next appointment?
If you need to schedule your next appointment, contact us! We will be happy to help you find a date and time that works best for you! If you are a new patient or have been referred to our practice, let us know and we will give you any information you may need.