Find answers and general information below to commonly asked questions:
WHAT IS ORTHODONTICS?
An orthodontist is a dentist that has continued further education to specialize in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities caused by crooked, crowded or protruding teeth, or poorly aligned jaws which may result in TMJ (jaw pain). We can treat and correct most of these problems with braces and other types of appliances.
At what age should my child see an orthodontist?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends all children have an initial evaluation with an orthodontist at the age of 7. Why 7 Years Old? Around age 6 or 7, the first few adult, permanent front teeth have come in as well as the first set of adult molars, nicknamed the “six-year-molars.” When these key dental “landmarks” are in, an orthodontist can identify how a child’s bite is likely to develop over the following years. With the help of one panoramic x-ray, we can also identify if your child is naturally missing any adult teeth (5% of the population is), as well as identify deviations from normal tooth eruption, which may lead to complications down the road.
HOW LONG DO BRACES STAY ON?
Length of treatment depends on many things. Surprisingly, age does not play a major part in determining treatment time. Rather, it’s the complexity of the problem that is probably the greatest factor. Some minor corrections might only take several months to treat and treatment time can be significantly reduced when the patient cooperates and carefully follows instructions. Active treatment can range from one to three years and patients generally remain under our supervision for an additional period of time after braces are removed.
WHAT WILL ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT BE LIKE?
The age of the patient and nature of the malocclusion will determine what type of orthodontic treatment and appliances are best. Modern orthodontic appliances vary from the traditional metal brackets affixed to the face of the teeth to colorless ceramic, less visible brackets. Occasionally, auxiliary removable appliances are used in conjunction with these fixed appliances.
HOW DO I BRUSH AND FLOSS DURING TREATMENT?
Brushing and flossing your teeth can be challenging when wearing braces but it is extremely important that you do both consistently. Try out these helpful tips:
- Toothbrush bristles should be soft.
- Brush after every meal. If you cannot brush right away, rinse well with water.
- Use a dry brush with a small amount of toothpaste. Place bristles where gums and teeth meet.
- Use circular, vibrating motions around the gum lines, 10 seconds on each tooth.
- Brush slowly, each arch separately, every tooth.
- Brush the lower teeth up and the upper teeth down. Brush you tongue and the roof of your mouth too.
- Carefully pull unwaxed floss between wire and braces. A floss threader may be helpful.
- Floss carefully around the braces.
- Floss carefully around the gum area.
- Floss carefully around each tooth.
HOW MUCH WILL TREATMENT COST?
The cost of treatment can vary depending on the severity of the malocclusion, the length of time required to correct it, and the appliances chosen. After an initial consultation, taking of diagnostic records, and study of diagnostic records, we will discuss the cost of treatment with you.
WHAT FOODS SHOULD I AVOID DURING TREATMENT?
Eating proper foods, minimizing sugar intake and getting enough sleep are essential during orthodontic treatment. Your braces are precise appliances that can be damaged by eating hard foods. Some soft and sticky foods can cause tooth decay and loosen or dislodge your braces.
Hard Foods to Avoid:
- Hard Candy
- Corn Chips
- Pizza Crust
- Corn on the Cob
- Jolly Ranchers
Soft Foods to Avoid:
- Bubble Gum
- Gum (as directed by your orthodontist)
- Sugar Daddies
- Tootsie Rolls
- Gummy Bears