Frequently Asked Questions

When should a child have an orthodontic evaluation?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children get an orthodontic check up no later than the age of 7. This is when most adult permanent molars (as well as some front teeth) begin to erupt, and also when issues with growth and development of the jaws become more apparent. Even though most people think of pre-teens and teens when they think of orthodontics, there are good reasons your child should get an orthodontic evaluation much sooner. Although most children do not need early orthodontics (Phase one of treatment), at our office, we offer Growth and Development Evaluations at this age are free of charge so that our doctors can monitor development and detect potential issues before they have a chance to become more serious.

Why is it important to select an orthodontist?

Orthodontists are dental specialists who have two to three years of additional training beyond dental school to be able to correctly diagnose and treat dental and skeletal irregularities. Our doctors' expertise not only allows us to create beautiful smiles but to also ensure optimal bite correction and function. Only those with formal additional specialty education may call themselves “orthodontists” due to the high level training involved to properly treat orthodontic patients.

What causes orthodontic problems?

Most orthodontic problems are usually inherited from a family member, such as crowding, spacing, extra or missing teeth, underbites, protrusion, periodontal disease and jaw growth issues. However, some malocclusions can be created by things such as finger or thumb sucking, accidents, early or late loss of baby teeth, chronic mouth breathing, premature birth or other causes.

Can adults benefit from orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontic treatment is becoming more popular for adults: today, one of every four orthodontic patients is over the age of 18. Today’s latest technologies offer smaller, less visible and more comfortable orthodontic appliances, from ceramic braces to Invisalign, adults are finding treatment more appealing.

Why is orthodontic treatment so important?

Orthodontic treatment is important for several reasons. Misalignment of the teeth and jaws can cause abnormal wear of tooth surfaces, difficulty chewing and or speaking, and excessive stress on supporting bone and gum tissues. Without treatment, many of these issues will lead to more-extensive dental treatment later in life. Facial esthetics and the positions of the lips can also be improved with orthodontic treatment. Crooked and crowded teeth are aesthetically unpleasing but more importantly they are hard to clean and maintain. Orthodontics is more than just straightening teeth; it can provide the foundation for proper tooth, jaw and lip support.

How long will orthodontic treatment take?

The duration of orthodontic treatment ultimately depends on the severity of the dental issues, such as bite and crowding, as well as compliance and goals of treatment. Typically orthodontic treatment ranges from 1 to 3 years, which is determined through a free consultation with our doctors.

What should I eat while I have braces?

Establishing a good diet is important for the overall health of your teeth during orthodontic treatment. This will include avoiding sticky, hard, chewy foods such as candy and nuts as well as damaging drinks such as soda and juices (Link to blog page of foods to avoid with braces). You can still enjoy plenty of delicious meals and snacks(link to blog of delicious braces friendly recipes)!

How can I keep my braces clean?

It is very important to keep your teeth and gingiva (gums) clean during orthodontic treatment to avoid staining. Bacteria (dental plaque) often sticks to our teeth (especially by the gum line and between the teeth). Adding brackets to your teeth creates more surfaces that the bacteria can hang on to. This is why it is so important to brush your teeth regularly and as often as possible, especially in the morning and at night and after eating. We recommend products such as a water flosser and plaque-detecting toothpastes such as PlaqueHD, that are helpful aids in your care for your braces.

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