Do I need to brush more with braces?
Patients should brush their teeth at least four times each day – after each meal or snack and before going to bed. We will show each patient how to floss and brush their teeth with braces.
Will my child need a retainer before or after treatment with braces? If so, how often will it need to be worn and for how long?
Orthodontics is a process of moving teeth through bone to new positions. The fibers attached to the teeth for support will try to return them toward their old positions before new fibers and bone are produced. Following active orthodontic treatment, retainers will be placed to maintain the new positions of the teeth. Once stabilization occurs, continued retainer wear is recommended. Like all parts of the body, teeth and bone are constantly changing and adapting. Only regular wear of the retainers will keep movement to a minimum.
Will my child need to wear headgear or expander? If so, how often and for how long?
At the completion of the initial examination, we will determine whether a patient will need an expander to widen the bones of the upper jaw or a headgear to move the upper bones back or forward while the lower jaw continues to grow. The use of these appliances is dependant on the bony positions and not on the positions of the teeth on the bone that supports them.
How often will we need to come to your office?
The first few visits will be more frequent but once the braces are placed, we usually will see you every 5-8 weeks. More frequent visits don’t usually shorten the length of treatment, as time is needed in between visits to allow for the physiologic tooth movement. Missed appointments, however, can lengthen treatment time.
If I have braces do I still need to see my dentist?
Yes! In fact, it’s even more important that patients receiving orthodontic treatment visit their dentist regularly. With braces, food may be caught in places that your toothbrush can’t reach. This causes bacteria to build up and can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Your dentist will work closely with your orthodontist to make sure that your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.
Do you object if I seek a second opinion about the treatment you propose?
Whether to seek a second opinion is up to you. Ultimately, you should feel confidence in the orthodontist you select for your orthodontic treatment, and trust the ability of the orthodontist and his/her staff to provide you with the best possible care.
You may have already had more than one orthodontist recommended to you by family, friends or your dentist.
Seeking out a member of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) assures you that if you do opt for a second opinion, that it will come from an educationally qualified orthodontic specialist. Use the Find an Orthodontist service to locate nearby AAO members. The AAO accepts only orthodontists as members. To be an orthodontist means the individual must first graduate from dental school, and then successfully complete an additional 2-3 years of studying orthodontics at an accredited orthodontic residency program. Only those who have attained this level of formal education may call themselves “orthodontists.” And only orthodontists are eligible for admission into the American Association of Orthodontists.
Orthodontists have the training, experience and treatment options to make sure you get your best smile.
What limitations will my child have because of treatment?
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.
It is also recommended to cut out certain food such as chewy foods, ones with sticky consistencies, hard foods, foods that require biting into, and crunchy foods.
Will you need to extract any of my child’s teeth?
Removing teeth is sometimes required to achieve the best orthodontic result. Straight teeth and a balanced facial profile are the goal of orthodontics. However, because new technology has provided advanced orthodontic procedures, removing teeth is not always necessary for orthodontic treatment.
How long will I have braces?
Treatment time obviously depends on each patient’s specific orthodontic problem. In general, treatment times range from 12 to 30 months. The “average” time frame a person is in braces is approximately 22 months.
What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that corrects teeth and jaws that are positioned improperly.