What are the signs that I may need an Orthodontic consultation? Teeth that are protruding, crowded, or erupting out of position are clear indications that treatment is needed. Other signs may include mouth breathing, frequent biting of the cheek or palate, speech difficulties, and thumb sucking that goes past 3-4 years of age. If teeth don't meet properly when the mouth closes or if jaws make sounds or shift as they move, this may also indicate an orthodontic problem.
What are braces? Braces are used to help you improve the health and look of your smile. They use a series of brackets and bands to produce a gentle and consistent force on a tooth in a specific and controlled direction. A successful treatment plan will result in aligned teeth and a perfect bite.
What kinds of braces are available? There are several different types of braces to choose from, including:
Metal self-ligating braces
Clear/Ceramic self-ligating braces
Invisible braces (lingual or behind the teeth)
Self-ligating braces are a subset of either metal or clear/ceramic
What foods should I avoid while wearing braces? Avoid sugary foods as much as possible during your treatment. These foods increase the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth, causing plaque and potential cavities. Avoid sticky and chewy foods (caramel, chewing gum, gummy bears), hard foods (hard candy, nuts, ice cubes), or any foods that could possibly get stuck in your braces (corn on the cob, soft bagels, ribs, taffy).
Do I need to brush my teeth more often if I have braces? Dental hygiene is always important; it is even more critical during orthodontic treatment. Brush your teeth at least three times a day with a fluoride toothpaste to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy. Brushing regularly will help remove any food that may be caught between the braces and prevent cavities around the brackets on your teeth. Floss carefully every day to clean between the braces where your toothbrush cannot reach. Our team will show you how to brush and floss properly once your braces are placed.
What does the Orthodontics specialty include? Orthodontists diagnose and treat problems related to the position, alignment, or spacing of the teeth and irregularities in the face and jaw. Orthodontists are trained in the use of special treatments, including braces and other oral appliances.
If I get braces, how long do I have to wear them? The amount of time spent in braces will vary depending on the diagnosis. Every smile is unique; treatment times typically range from 8 to 30 months.
Do braces hurt? Braces do not often hurt though you may feel a small amount of discomfort for a few days after they are initially applied. As your teeth, gums, cheeks, and mouth get used to your new braces the discomfort disappears altogether.
If I have braces, do I still need dental checkups every six months? Yes. It’s important that patients receiving orthodontic treatment visit their dentist regularly. Food can easily be caught in places your toothbrush can’t reach. This causes bacteria to build up and can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. We work closely with your dentist to make sure your teeth stay clean and healthy during your treatment.
Will my braces interfere with my school activities like sports, playing an instrument, or singing? No. Playing an instrument or a contact sport may require some minor adjustment when you begin your treatment but it won’t stop you from participating in these activities. If you play a contact sport, it’s recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your braces or appliance.
Are there special instructions for retainers? If you take out your retainer to eat, make sure you brush your teeth, floss. Remember to keep the retainer safe in its container so it does not get lost or broken. Keep your retainer clean by rinsing it gently with cool water or mouthwash. Never put retainers in boiling water or in the dishwasher.