Orthodontic FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions About Orthodontics

Who is an orthodontist?

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

What's 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 every five orthodontic patients is 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.

Do you take dental and orthodontic insurance?

We will gladly work with any orthodontic insurance plan. We will fill out and submit all of the appropriate paperwork. As long as you remain active with your policy you will be able to utilize your benefits during the course of treatment.

What are braces?

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

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 six and 30 months, but most standard treatments take about 22 months.

Do braces hurt?

Braces do not often hurt, though you may feel a small amount of discomfort for a couple of days as your teeth, gums, cheeks, and mouth get used to your new braces. This soreness can usually be easily managed with the common non-prescription pain relievers you currently use for a headache (e.g., Advil®, Tylenol®, Aleve®, etc.).

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 to get between your braces where your brush isn’t able to reach. Your orthodontist can 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! 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 your teeth stay clean and healthy while you’re wearing braces.

Are there foods to avoid with braces?

While in braces you should avoid hard, sticky, gooey, or crunchy foods. Items such as caramel, taffy, and chewing gum can stick to your braces and pull them off your teeth. Hard, crunchy foods like carrots and apples can still be eaten if cut into small pieces to avoid knocking braces off your teeth.

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 the information you need.