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Orthodontic FAQs


What is orthodontia?

Orthodontia, also referred to as Orthodontics is a specialized form of dentistry focusing on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities.

Who is an orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has received two to three years of additional training and experience after dental school. Your orthodontist is able to straighten teeth, correct misaligned jaw structure, and improve the function of your smile.

When should you visit an 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, with about one in every five orthodontic patients being over the age of 21. Whether you're considering treatment for yourself or your child, any time is a good time to visit the orthodontist.

How does orthodontic treatment work?

Metal, ceramic, or plastic orthodontic appliances may be removable or may be brackets bonded to the teeth placing constant force in a carefully controlled direction, gradually moving teeth to the proper position.

How long does treatment last?

Active treatment time varies between 6 months and three years, depending on several factors including age, treatment method, and how minor or severe your case is. Patient cooperation also affects treatment duration.

Do braces hurt?

To begin with, braces can cause discomfort as your teeth, gums, cheeks, and lips get used to having braces. After each appointment and adjustment your teeth may be sore for a day or two as they move more.

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

Brushing three times daily to remove any food caught between the braces becomes necessary during treatment. Flossing daily to get in between your teeth and braces where your brush is not able to reach is also important. 

Do I still need regular dental checkups?

Continue routine checkups and cleanings every six months while in active treatment. With braces, the chance of food catching in places your toothbrush can't reach increases, causing bacterial buildup. This can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. We suggest adults in treatment have cleanings every 3-4 months.

Will my braces interfere with my regular activities?

Wearing braces doesn't stop you from participating in any school or extracurricular activity. If you play a contact sport, wear a mouthguard to protect your braces or appliance, and teeth.