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 Orthodontics recommends children first visit an Orthodontist around 7 years old to assess growth and development of the dental and skeletal components of the head and neck.
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)
If I need orthodontic treatment, how long should I expect it to last?
Treatment duration depends on the complexity of the case. Whether you’re using traditional braces or clear aligners, most cases will take between 18-24 months, with more simple cases taking less time. All treatment estimations are dependent on the patient complying with certain at home responsibilities.
Do braces hurt?
Braces and clear aligners move teeth by applying light, continuous force to the teeth. This sets off a series of events within the ligament space that holds the teeth to the jawbone, and ultimately will create some mild discomfort.
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?

The American Dental Association recommends biannual visits to the dentist for regular maintenance and care regardless if you are under orthodontic care. Braces do not cause cavities, but they do enable food to build up easier when they are present. Maintaining regular visits to the dentist during orthodontic treatment is always recommended and encouraged.

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.