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Frequently Asked Questions About Orthodontics

What is orthodontics?

  • Orthodontics is a specialized form of dentistry focusing on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities.  Orthodontics is the gradual movement of teeth into ideal esthetics and bite. 

What is an orthodontist?

  • An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has received two to three years of additional training and experience in a Residency program beyond dental school. Your orthodontist is able to straighten teeth, correct misaligned jaw structure (known as Dentofacial Orthopedics), and improve the function of your smile.

What’s the best age to visit the orthodontist?

  •  ANY age can be a great age to see the orthodontist! The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that children first visit an orthodontist around age 7; however, orthodontic treatment is not exclusive to children and teens, with about one in four orthodontic patients being over the age of 21. Whether you’re considering treatment for yourself or for a child, ANY time is a good time to visit the orthodontist.


How can I take care of my teeth if I’m 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 also use a fluoride rinse. This will help prevent cavities!

  • If you take out your retainer to eat, make sure you brush your teeth, floss, and remember to keep it safe in its container.

  • Keep your retainer clean by brushing it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste. You may also soak it in denture cleaner as instructed by your orthodontist. Do not put your retainer in boiling water or in the dishwasher.

  • During your treatment, try to avoid foods with a lot of sugar, which increases the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth, causing more plaque and possibly cavities.

  • Avoid sticky and chewy foods (caramel, chewing gum, gummy bears), hard foods (hard candy, nuts, ice cubes), or any foods that could knock your braces off (corn on the cob, soft bagels, ribs, taffy, etc.).

What are braces?

  • Braces are used by your orthodontist to help you improve the look and feel of your smile. There are several different types of braces to choose from, including:

  • Clear braces

  • Lingual braces

  • Self-ligating braces

  • Invisible Clear Aligners

  • Traditional metal braces

If I get braces, how long do I have to wear them?

  • The amount of time spent in braces will vary depending on the individual patient, because every smile responds differently to treatment. Treatment times can take anywhere between 6 and 30 months, but most standard treatments take 18-20 months.

Do braces hurt?

  •  Typically a small amount of discomfort is normal for a couple days as your teeth, gums, cheeks, and mouth get used to your new  braces and after regular adjustments. 

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

  • With 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.

If I have braces, do I still need dental checkups every six months?

  • Yes! In fact, it’s even more important that patients receiving orthodontic treatment visit their dentist regularly. 

Will my braces interfere with my school activities like sports, playing an instrument, or singing?

  • Playing an instrument or a contact sport may require some adjustment when you first get your braces, but wearing braces will NOT stop you from participating 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 practice! Our front desk staff will be happy to help schedule your next appointment at your convenience. If you are a new patient or have been referred to our practice, please let us know and we will provide you with all of the information you need.



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