Ortho and Braces Frequently Asked Questions

What age should I get braces?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends orthodontic screenings for children by the age of 7 years old. Patients of all ages from 7 years old through adulthood are candidates for orthodontic treatment. Treatment started at an early age can help prevent need for surgical procedures during adulthood in order to fix severe over and under bites.

What is an open bite, over bite, deep bite, under bite, cross bite?

  • Over bite:
    A broad term describing the relationship of upper teeth to lower teeth. People normally have a mild over bite and this only becomes a problem when patients have a very deep overbite
  • Open bite:
    Upper teeth and lower teeth do not cover each other
  • Deep bites:
    Upper teeth cover too much of a lower tooth
  • Under bite:
    Lower teeth in front of upper teeth
  • Cross bite:
    Upper teeth bite on the inside of lower teeth

What causes crooked teeth?

Crooked teeth can stem from a variety of factors including genetics, thumb sucking, poor breathing, and premature tooth loss.

Why can’t I get Invisalign?

Invisalign technology can treat many cases however, very severe or special cases cannot be treated with Invisalign technology. Conventional braces are still a highly recommended treatment option and will never be completely replaced by Invisalign.

How long do I need to wear braces or Invisalign retainers?

Each case is different and will be evaluated fully by our team to give you an accurate estimated treatment time during the consultation appointment. Patients can react differently to treatment so doctors may recommend slowing down or speeding up the process depending on many factors.

Will orthodontic treatment hurt?

Mild to moderate discomfort is expected during orthodontic treatments. Teeth are being moved with moderate amounts of pressure being placed on them which may cause discomfort. This usually last for 24-72 hours and can be controlled with Tylenol or Ibuprofen.

Is orthodontic treatment necessary?

Typically, orthodontic treatment is an elective treatment with cosmetic goals. However, there are many cases that maybe recommended due to malocclusion, incorrect bites, and jaw growth deficiencies.

Ortho Treatment Options

Invisalign

An effective treatment option for mild to moderate cases where the esthetics of traditional braces is not sufficient. Patient compliance is crucial for Invisalign to yield results. Retainers must be worn 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Retainers are replaced approximately every 2 weeks.

Conventional braces

The most effective treatment option for complex cases. Patient compliance is not needed to get straight teeth due to the fact that braces cannot be removed by the patient. These lead to another problem. Patients have to spend more time committed to with oral hygiene in order to clean teeth and braces.

Ortho Treatment Options

Invisalign

An effective treatment option for mild to moderate cases where the esthetics of traditional braces is not sufficient. Patient compliance is crucial for Invisalign to yield results. Retainers must be worn 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Retainers are replaced approximately every 2 weeks.

Conventional braces

The most effective treatment option for complex cases. Patient compliance is not needed to get straight teeth due to the fact that braces cannot be removed by the patient. These lead to another problem. Patients have to spend more time committed to with oral hygiene in order to clean teeth and braces.

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Oral Hygiene During Orthodontic Treatment

Straight teeth with cavities is never a goal. When our doctors notice declining oral hygiene, patient will be recommended options to improve oral hygiene like water picks, floss threaders, and interproximal brushes. If oral hygiene continues to decline our team will be forced to removed braces until oral hygiene is improved. This can be costly and time consuming.

Patients with braces should be seen for a professional cleaning every 3 months. Patients should also be brushing their teeth 4 times per day and flossing a minimum of once per day.

Ortho Emergencies

Poking Wire:
Place a ball of wax in warm water and mold it around the pointy part of the wire or try cutting the wire with a nail clipper or cuticle cutter

Loose Bracket:
Avoid playing with the loose bracket and try to remove it. Make sure you save the bracket and bring it in to your appointment

Missing O-ring:
Place a ball of wax in warm water and mold it around the bracket missing the band

Sore teeth:
Sore teeth are normal when starting treatment, making adjustments, and changing wires. Typically, this will last for 24-72 hours and can be controlled with Tylenol or Ibuprofen

Ortho Terms

Spacers

Rubber donuts used to make space between teeth

Brackets

Small attachments that are stuck to your teeth and the orthodontic wire is placed on to move your teeth

O-rings

Rings used to hold wires to brackets

Elastics (rubber bands)

Rubber bands that correct your bite and must be worn consistently

Headgear

Used to correct protrusion of upper or lower jaws and are typically worn at night time

Space Maintainer

An appliance used to save space for permanent teeth when baby teeth are prematurely lost

Palatal Expander

An appliance placed in the roof of the mouth to expand the upper jaw

Retainers

An appliance used after orthodontic treatment to maintain teeth in their new position. Teeth will move if they are not retained in their new positions. It is incredibly important to wear and maintain your retainer as directed

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