What is an orthodontist?
An orthodontist is a specially trained dentist who has attended an advanced education program for a continual training period of 2 to 3 years. An orthodontist is dedicated to creating healthy, beautiful smiles that last a lifetime.
When should I visit the orthodontist?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children visit an orthodontist no later than age 7. Orthodontic treatment likely will not start at that age, but the orthodontist can monitor the development of permanent teeth to detect any deficiencies in the formation of the teeth. Adults should visit an orthodontist to improve the appearance of their smile and their overall dental health at any time. It's never too late to have a beautiful smile! Visit www.jadeorthodontics.com.
What can I expect on my first visit?
Your first visit to the orthodontist will give you an opportunity to meet the doctor and our knowledgeable staff, who will answer any questions you may have. You will receive a complimentary clinical examination to determine whether orthodontic treatment is necessary and will be beneficial. A course of treatment, as well as an estimate of the treatment duration and fee, will be decided. If treatment is required, the clinical staff will take the required x-rays and a convenient appointment will be made for your fitting.
Who should wear braces?
Braces may be worn by both children and adults, not only to improve the attractiveness of their smile, but also because braces correct improper alignment of teeth that can lead to gum disease and early tooth loss. Left untreated, crooked teeth with irregular spacing make cleaning harder and allow cavities to more easily develop. Properly aligned teeth also make it easier to chew all types of food, and eliminate the headaches and pain caused by uneven chewing. Uneven teeth may result in weak enamel, gum problems and jaw misalignment.
How will braces straighten my teeth?
Braces exert a gentle pressure on teeth over time to straighten them. The two main components include the brackets placed on the teeth and the arch wire that connects them. The bracket is a specially-shaped metal or ceramic affixed to each tooth and the arch wire is bent to reflect the bite that the patient should have after treatment. The wire threads through the brackets. As the wire tries to return to its original shape, it applies pressure to move the teeth.
Do braces hurt?
There have been some fantastic advances in modern orthodontics to make treatment more comfortable for patients. There are now smaller, smoother brackets and gentler wires which provide a continuous small force over a long period of time rather than a strong force for only a short period. Typically there is some discomfort two to three days after each adjustment. Over the counter pain relievers may be used in case of any significant pain.
Will braces affect playing sports?
You should be able to play just about any sport or activity. However, many orthodontists recommend wearing a mouth guard in contact sports or any sport where there is a chance you can get hit in the face.
Why are retainers so important?
Retainers help keep your teeth straight at the completion of treatment. If they are not worn as instructed, your teeth will move or tend to relapse. Retainers are particularly important right after the braces are removed while the teeth stabilize.
How long will my orthodontic treatment last?
Treatment may last from 18 to 30 months, though this will vary depending on your individual case. Your cooperation in keeping scheduled orthodontic appointments, maintaining proper hygiene and taking care of your braces may allow you to finish your orthodontic treatment early.