Frequently Asked Questions


What is Orthodontics?

Orthodontics (also referred to as dentofacial orthopedics) is a specialized form of dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities.

Who is an Orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has received 2 to 3 years of additional training and experience. Orthodontists straighten teeth, correct misaligned jaw structure, and improve the function of your smile.

What’s the best age to visit the Orthodontist?

Any age is a good age to visit an Orthodontist. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an Orthodontist around the age of 7. However, one in five orthodontic patients is over the age of 21. Any age is a good age to see an orthodontist, and whether you are looking for an Orthodontist for yourself or your child any time is a good time.

How can I take care of my teeth if I’m wearing braces or a retainer?

  • You need to brush your teeth after every meal and floss at least once a day
  • Use toothpaste with fluoride to prevent cavities and use a fluoride rinse for better prevention
  • If you wear a retainer remember to take it out before you eat and to brush your teeth and floss before you put it back in. You should also make sure to put it in its case when eating so it does not get lost or broken.
  • Clean your retainer by gently brushing it with a toothbrush and toothpaste; you can also use denture cleaner twice a week. Do not try to clean it with hot or boiling water or stick it in the dishwasher.
  • Do your best to avoid foods with a high sugar treatment as they can increase the amount of plaque and cause cavities.
  • Avoid sticky and chewy foods (taffy, chewing gum, gummy bears), hard foods (hard candy, nuts, ice cubes) or any foods that could possibly get stuck in your braces (corn on the cob, whole apples, ribs, caramel, etc).  See our complete lists of foods to avoid and foods you can eat.
  • Make sure you are keeping regular dentist visits (around once every six months)

What are braces?

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

  • Clear braces
  • Ceramic braces
  • Gold braces
  • Lingual braces
  • Self-ligating braces
  • Invisible braces
  • Traditional metal braces

If I get braces, how long do I have to wear them?

The amount of time a patient has braces depends on the individual. Treatments can range from 6 to 30 months, but most treatments take around 22 months.

Do braces hurt?

Braces do not usually cause discomfort. However, it is possible for your mouth to be uncomfortable for the first few days after you receive braces while your mouth is adjusting to them.

Do I need to brush my teeth more often if I have braces?

You should brush your teeth at least three times a day if you have braces. This helps keep your teeth, gums and mouth healthy and clean. It also ensures that you are getting rid of any food that has become stuck in your braces. You should also floss daily to clean the places that your toothbrush couldn’t reach. Your orthodontist can show you how to properly brush and floss once your braces are placed.

If I have braces, do I still need dental checkups every six months?

When wearing braces it is more important than ever to visit the dentist. Wearing braces can cause food to get caught in places that your brush can’t reach. This causes bacteria to build up and can cause cavities and gingivitis.

Will my braces interfere with my school activities; like sports, playing an instrument, or singing?

Playing an instrument or a contact sport does not mean that you will not be able to wear braces. However, it may require some adjustment when you first get your braces. 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?

To schedule an appointment all you need to do is call. 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 of the information you need.

When to Visit the Orthodontist?

Posted by on Jun 4, 2012 in St. Louis Orthodontics | 0 comments

When to Visit the Orthodontist?

At Azar Orthodontics we strive to maximize your treatment outcome by treating your child during their early adolescent years. Far too often parents are lead to believe “the earlier, the better” when it comes to orthodontic treatment. We support the American Association of Orthodontists and agree an initial consultation is necessary between 7-8 years old. However, early treatment is rarely indicated excepting in cases of severe skeletal and dental irregularities. Dr. Azar always provides a consultation free of charge no matter if you are a...

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Is Invisalign Right For You?

Posted by on Jun 1, 2012 in Front Page, St. Louis Orthodontics | 0 comments

Is Invisalign Right For You?

When choosing an option for straightening your teeth, it’s important to consider what works best for not only your appearance, but your lifestyle as well. Invisalign is one of the most advanced methods for straightening teeth. This dental appliance is a custom-created aligner designed and constructed for the unique contours of your teeth and only your teeth. The aligners are devised of a smooth & nearly invisible plastic that is as comfortable as they are effective in creating a better smile. Once your orthodontist or dentist plans...

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O’Fallon Office

Posted by on Jun 12, 2011 in O'Fallon | 0 comments

O’Fallon Office

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O’Fallon Office

Posted by on Jun 12, 2011 in O'Fallon | 0 comments

O’Fallon Office

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O’Fallon Office

Posted by on Jun 12, 2011 in O'Fallon | 0 comments

O’Fallon Office

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