Frequently Asked Questions About Orthodontics

We understand that orthodontic treatment can be scary for those who aren’t informed; there can be many questions and concerns building in your mind when considering treatment. Let us ease your curious mind by answering common questions regarding orthodontics:

What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. The technical term for these problems is malocclusion, which means bad bite.

What is an orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dental specialist that has not only completed college and 4 years of dental school, but has also completed an additional 2 to 3 years residency program accredited by the ADA of advanced education in orthodontics. After receiving the additional years of training and education, an orthodontist has learned the skills that are required to treat the misalignment of teeth and facial development with braces, headgear, retainers and other methods.

How can I benefit from orthodontics?

There are many benefits to orthodontics, for people of all ages. They include:

– Improved function of the teeth

– Improved ability to practice good oral hygiene

– Better long-term health of teeth and gums

– A more attractive smile

– Healthier jaw joints (TMJ health)

– A chance for increased self-confidence

– Improved wear patterns and force distribution of the teeth

How can I tell if I need braces?

There are some indicators that you might need braces. These include:

– Teeth that are overlapped or crowded

– Upper front teeth protrude over lower teeth: causing an overbite

– Lower front teeth protrude over or in front of the upper front teeth: causing an underbite

– The centre of the upper and lower teeth do not line up

– Spaces between the teeth

– Teeth wearing excessively or unevenly

– Finger or thumb sucking habits which continue after six or seven years old

How does orthodontic treatment work?

Braces help to move teeth into their proper positions over time by applying gentle, steady pressure. The brackets are the main component of the braces; they are fixed to the teeth and connect with an archwire. The archwire, once connected to the brackets will try and return to its original shape. In doing this it applies the pressure required to move teeth to the correct position.

How long does orthodontic treatment take?

The length of treatment varies from patient to patient, depending on the type and severity of the problems. More commonly, treatment typically takes 2 years to complete. Patient compliance is also a factor when considering the duration of the treatment.

Do braces hurt?

The actual procedure of placing appliances on teeth is not a painful process. However, once the braces and archwires are secured on the teeth some patients experience tenderness in the mouth for a few days. It may take a couple weeks for your mouth to adjust to the appliances.

Can you play sports if you have braces?

Yes, however it is important that patients wear a mouthguard when participating in sporting activities. It acts as a shock absorber to protect your teeth and the appliances.

In our office, all patients will receive 1 FREE custom fit mouthguard when they start their treatment.

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