Frequently Asked Questions about orthodontics
What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics 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 dentist who has received two to three years of additional training and experience. Your orthodontist is able to straighten teeth, correct misaligned jaw structure, and improve the function of your smile.
What is the best age to visit the orthodontist?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist around the age of seven. However, orthodontic treatment is not exclusive to children and teens. About one in five orthodontic patients is over the age of 21. Any age can be a great age to visit Drs. Brown and Fasy if you want to improve the look and feel or your smile or your child's smile.
How can I take care of my teeth if I am wearing braces or a retainer?
- ALWAYS remember to brush your teeth after every meal and floss at least once a day.
- Make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride, and ask your orthodontist or family dentist if you need a fluoride rinse. This will help prevent cavities.
- If you take out your retainer to eat, make sure you keep the retainer safe in its container so it does not get lost or broken.
- Keep your retainer clean by brushing it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste. You may also soak it in retainer cleaner or denture cleaner as instructed. Do not put your retainer in boiling water or in the dishwasher.
- Try to avoid foods with a lot of sugar, which increases the amount of bacteria in your mouth and can cause 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, etc.).
- Be sure to schedule your routine checkups with your family dentist. It is recommended that you continue to visit the dentist every six months.
What are braces?
Braces are used to help improve the look and feel of your smile. There are several different types of braces to choose from, including:
- Clear braces
- Self-ligating braces
- Invisible braces
- Traditional metal braces
If I get braces, how long do I have to wear them?
The amount of time spent in braces will vary because every smile responds differently to treatment. Treatment times can take anywhere from six to 30 months, but most standard treatments take 24 months.
Do braces hurt?
Braces do not often hurt, but you will likely feel a small amount of discomfort for a couple days as your teeth, gums, cheeks, and mouth get used to your new braces.
Do I need to brush my teeth more often if I have braces?
You should brush your teeth at least three times a day to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy and clean. Brushing regularly will help remove any food that may be caught between the braces.
You should also floss daily to get between your braces. We will show you how to brush and floss properly once your braces are placed.
If I have braces, do I still need dental checkups every six months?
Yes! It is even more important that patients receiving orthodontic treatment visit their dentist regularly. Your dentist will work closely with your orthodontist to make sure your teeth stay clean and healthy while you are wearing braces.
Will my braces interfere with my school activities like sports, playing an instrument, or singing?
Playing an instrument or singing may require some adjustment when you first get your braces, but you can still participate in any of your school activities. If you play a contact sport, it is recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your braces or appliance.
How do I schedule my next appointment?
Simply call our office! Our front desk staff will be happy to schedule your next appointment. If you are a new patient or have been referred to our practice, please let us know and we will provide you with all the information you need.