Orthodontics Q & A
Here you will find all of the answers that you need to know about orthodontics.
What is Orthodontics and What do Orthodontists do?
Orthodontics is a specific field of dentistry which helps to prevent and treat dental and facial abnormalities such as crooked teeth and bad bites. An orthodontist is a specialized dentist that received an additional 2-3 years of specialized education beyond dental school who is equipped with the skills necessary to move teeth and jaws into the correct positions. In the pursuit of continued proficiency and excellence, a small procentage of orthodontists voluntarily take additional tests and present their own cases to the American Board of Orthodontics, obtaining the highest distinction available, board certification.
What are the Benefits of Orthodontics?
Some of the possible benefits of orthodontic care include:
- A beautiful, straighter smile.
- More confidence in your appearance
- Improved function of the teeth and bite
- Better dental hygiene and dental health of the gums and teeth
- Less wearing of the teeth
- Decreasing the chance of injury to front teeth that protrude from the mouth.
Do You Need Braces? Some key signs that you may need braces include:
- You have protruding front teeth
- Your upper teeth are either covering or behind your lower teeth when you bite down.
- Your teeth do not meet when you close your mouth
- The center teeth are not aligned
- You have spaces between your teeth
The list continues so if have any problems, see your dentist and ask if you should see an orthodontist.
Is there an Age Limit to Visit an Orthodontist?
You can begin receiving orthodontic are at any age. The early that problems are detected the better chance you have at correcting them before they create major problems. Children are recommended to see an orthodontist around the age of 7 and most orthodontic care is performed between the ages of 9 and 14. As long as your gums and teeth are in good condition, then you can receive orthodontic treatment while in adulthood without any problems.
How Does Orthodontic Treatment Work?
There are many different types of orthodontic treatments that can be used. The most common is braces, followed by clear removable applainces. They place gradual gentle pressure on your teeth in order to incrementally move them into the right position and create a perfectly straight smile.
How Long Do I Have to Wear Braces For?
The duration of the treatment varies from case to case. The average time is from one to three years, based on individual complexity. Variables include your visits to the orthodontist and compliance, whether you are taking care of your teeth, how your treatment is progressing, how your teeth respond to the treatment and so on. In adition, new surgical “bone softening” techniques such as Propel and Wilckodontics have proved to considerably decrease the time of treatment.
Do Braces Hurt My Teeth?
No, they only help. The first time you have your braces put on you may feel some sensitivity and soreness around your teeth and gums which is normal. Any pain reliever taken for headaches (Tylenol, Advil, Aleve), salt water rinses and orthodontic wax applied on brackets or appliances will help deal with the initial 2-3 days discomfort. Afterwards, your mouth will become accustom to having the braces and you will no longer feel any sensitivity or irritation.
Will Braces Interfere with my Life?
No. You may have to adjust to having braces but they will not interfere with your life. If you play sports it is recommended that you wear a SPECIAL orthodontic mouth guard to prevent injury to your mouth, teeth and braces in case you are hit in the face. In terms of playing wind instruments, you will be able to play with some minor adjustments. You can even purchase brace covers to help you with the transition and prevent any discomfort that you may feel.
How often will I need to see the orthodontist for office visits while in treatment?
Most likeley every 3-8 weeks intervals, depending on each individual treatment plan and applicances that are used for tooth and jaw movement. Should patients in braces choose the fast route (Wilckodontics), more likely biweekly visits will be necessary for routine adjustments, since the whole treatment time is 3-4 times reduced comparative to conventional orthodontics.
Will I need retainers AFTER treatment?
Yes, since they are designed to maintain the final position of the teeth until the surrounding bone and gums tighten and adapt to the new changes. Most likely, while in supervised retention, some patients will still have to complete their growth and have all their wisdom teeth extracted before they graduate from the orthodontic practice. Removable or fixed retainers are needed to hold the aligned dentition.