Frequently Asked Questions About Orthodontics
If you’re considering braces or you have orthodontic treatments planned in the near future, you may have a few questions in mind. At Wonder West Orthodontics, we know that getting braces can seem like a daunting task, but our team is always on hand to help make the transition a smooth one. Here are just a few frequently asked questions about orthodontics we hear from patients about to undergo orthodontic treatment:
Questions about Orthodontics
Orthodontics, dentofacial orthopedics or orthodontia, is a specific form of dentistry that focuses on diagnosing, preventing, and correcting misplaced or poorly positioned teeth as well as facial abnormalities.
An orthodontist is a dental professional or specialist whose primary focus is to straighten misaligned teeth. They will work to diagnose and prevent malpositioned teeth and develop treatment plans specific to the patient.
Although many assume that orthodontists and dentists are quite similar, their roles are quite different. A dentist will focus on the health of teeth, the mouth, jaw, gums, and nerves found in this region, whereas an orthodontist’s focus is a little more specialized towards treating misaligned teeth.
The Canadian Association of Orthodontists suggests that children should have their first visit around the age of 7. However, this is not a firm age, as some dentists may recommend a consultation earlier. It’s also important to note that braces and orthodontic treatments are not unique to children and teens. Orthodontic treatment can begin at any age, even into adulthood, depending on the patient’s needs.
Questions About Braces
- Remember to brush your teeth after each meal
- Be sure to floss daily
- To prevent cavities during your orthodontic treatment, use toothpaste that contains fluoride and use a fluoride rinse if recommended by your orthodontist
- If you are using a removable retainer, be sure to take out your retainer before eating and keep it safe in its travel container to avoid damage when it’s not being worn
- Keep your removable retainer clean by brushing it gently daily with a mild toothpaste and gentle toothbrush
- When wearing your braces, avoid sticky, hard foods with excess sugar. This will prevent bacteria that can cause plaque, which can lead to cavities
- Do not put your removable retainer in boiling hot water or the dishwasher as this can alter the shape and size of your retainer
- During your orthodontic treatment, avoid sticky foods such as chewing gum, gummies and caramel, hard foods such as ice cubes, nuts and hard candy, as well as foods that can easily get stuck in your braces such as corn on the cob, taffy, ribs etc.
- Be sure to schedule regular follow up appointments with your orthodontist and continue seeing your family dentist every 6 months
Braces are orthodontic appliances that are applied to teeth by an orthodontist and used to straighten and reposition teeth while also improving a patient’s bite
Besides giving you a beautiful smile, braces help solve teeth problems that can lead to serious health issues down the line. Braces go beyond improving your oral health and can help prevent these health concerns:
- Prevent gum disease
- Prevent dental cavities
- Prevent bone erosion
- Prevent injury
- Assist with speech
There are several styles of orthodontic braces available. The right style of braces for a patient should be determined by your orthodontist. The team at Wonder West Orthodontics can help choose the right style based on your lifestyle and the treatment required. Styles include:
The length of braces treatment can vary depending on the patient. Typically, braces treatments can last anywhere from six to thirty months, however, the average length of standard braces treatment is roughly 22 months.
Getting braces put on does not hurt, but you may feel some discomfort for the first few days. The discomfort is manageable, and your teeth, gums, cheeks, and mouth will start to adjust to the new orthodontic appliances over time.
To avoid the buildup of plaque and the development of cavities when wearing braces, you should be brushing your teeth at least three times a day. Food can easily get caught in your brackets and wires, so it’s important to keep your braces clean.
Absolutely! Regular dental checkups every 6 months are important, especially when you are receiving orthodontic treatment. Food can easily get caught between your braces, causing a potential buildup of bacteria that can lead to issues such as gum disease, gingivitis, and cavities. Your dentist can help monitor these concerns and will work alongside your orthodontist to ensure your teeth stay clean throughout your orthodontic treatment.
Braces may not directly impact your voice when it comes to singing, however, you may need to get used to the way your lips, cheeks and tongue rest against your teeth. Your mouth movements will change when you have braces put on, so there may be a period of discomfort and adjustment when singing after you’ve had braces put on.
Depending on the patient’s treatment and the cause for getting braces, there may be some slight adjustments to a patient’s facial structure in the lower half of the face. For instance, if braces are used to correct an overbite, the orthodontic treatment will correct the way that the jaw and teeth are aligned – resulting in a more unified facial layout.