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Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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.
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.
  • 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)

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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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