Orthodontic FAQ

What is Orthodontics?

Orthodontics can also be referred to as “dentofacial orthopedics”. It is a specialized form of dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities.

Who is an orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a specialist in moving teeth and aligning jaws. All orthodontists are dentists first. Out of 100 dental school graduates, approximately six will go on to become orthodontists.

What is the best age to visit the orthodontist?

Our office proudly treats patients of all ages. Anyone that wants to improve their smile is welcome in our office to see if they are a candidate. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children make their first to visit to the orthodontist at age seven to begin building a strong relationship with the doctor.

How can I take care of my teeth if I’m wearing braces or a retainer?

  • Brushing after every meal and flossing once a day are both very important!
  • Always ensure that your toothpaste is fluoridated, and ask the orthodontist or family dentist about a fluoride rinse, too!
  • If you take your retainer out to eat remember this catchphrase: “In the face or in the case!” It is easy for retainers to get thrown out with a lunch tray. Always be sure to brush and floss before putting your retainer back in.
  • You can keep your retainer clean by brushing it with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Do not place the retainer in boiling water or the dishwasher! Ask us about which brands of denture cleaner are safe to use with your retainer.
  • You should try to avoid foods with lots of added sugar while in braces. Sugar increases the amount of bacteria in your mouth, which is responsible for plaque and cavities.
  • Foods to Avoid
    • Sticky (Gum, Caramel, Gummies)
    • Hard (Hard Candy, Nuts, Ice Cubes)
    • Remember to cut up larger foods that you would normally bite into. You can still enjoy things like corn, bagels, and meat, but they should be cut into bite size chunks first.
  • Continue seeing your general dentist for recommended treatments.

What are braces?

Braces are used by the orthodontist to help move teeth and align the jaw for a beautiful smile. There are many typed of braces available, including but not limited to:

  • Traditional Metal Braces
  • Ceramic Braces
  • Invisible Braces

How long do I have to wear braces?

Each patient has specific needs, so each treatment varies in length. Treatment times can go anywhere between 6 and 30 months, and most standard treatments take about 22 months.

Do Braces Hurt?

For the most part, there is not much discomfort from wearing braces. You may feel a little sore as your teeth, gums, cheeks, and muscles get used to your new braces. Never be afraid to ask us how to best handle your individual discomfort needs.

Do I need to brush more often if I have braces?

During braces treatment, you should brush your teeth at least three times a day to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth clean and healthy. It is important to get any food that might be stuck in your braces out. Daily flossing is also imperative in order to clean out places that are hard to reach with a toothbrush. The orthodontist can show you how to brush and floss properly with your new braces.

Will braces interfere with any school activities like sports, instruments, or singing?

Playing an instrument or contact sport will require a little adjustment when your braces are new, but as you get used to them these activities will get easier. Wearing braces will not stop you from participating in any school activities.