The Benefits Of Orthodontic TreatmentFor most people, a beautiful smile is the most obvious benefit of orthodontics, however, there are functional benefits to having healthy teeth and a good bite. Crooked and crowded teeth are hard to clean and maintain which can result in tooth decay and gum disease possibly leading to tooth loss. Other orthodontic problems can contribute to excessive tooth wear, difficulty eating or jaw joint problems.
Orthodontic Treatment Is For All AgesAdults
Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age, and many of our patients are adults. In fact, Dr Taylor had her orthodontic treatment done as an adult!
It is recommended that children see an orthodontist by age 7. At that time crossbites, crowding and other problems can be evaluated. Early treatment can improve the width of the dental arches, gain space for permanent teeth, avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions, reduce likelihood of impacted permanent teeth and correct thumb-sucking. In other words, early treatment can simplify later treatment.
How Orthodontic Treatment WorksOrthodontic treatment works by placing a constant, gentle force in a carefully controlled direction which moves the teeth into the correct position. This can be done with removable appliances (such as retainers or Invisalign) or with braces which are bonded to teeth. You can choose braces that are clear or metallic color. You can choose any color of the ties that hold the wire in the braces. These ties are changed each visit allowing you to pick a different color each time. You can choose ties that are colorful or ones that blend in.
Regular Dental CheckupsBefore orthodontic treatment begins, it will be necessary to visit your family dentist for a checkup and complete any necessary dental work. Throughout orthodontic treatment, you will be expected to continue to see your family dentist for regular 3-6 month checkups and routine care.
Please advise us of any changes to your medical or dental history and also let us know if you have changed your family dentist throughout treatment.
Duration Of Orthodontic TreatmentTreatment time typically ranges from one to three years, depending on the severity of the problem.
Does Orthodontic Treatment Hurt?Some tooth soreness can be expected after most appointments but especially after the initial placement of the braces. Generally soreness subsides after 2-3 days but there is a lot of variability amongst individuals. It is not unusual for only some of the teeth to be sore although some patients will find all of their teeth are sore. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) can help alleviate the discomfort.
The lips and cheeks can become irritated from rubbing against the braces. This irritation should not last too long since these areas quickly "toughen up". Wax can be used on any braces that feel rough in the mouth. We will supply you with lots of wax and show you how you place it.
Eating With BracesFor the first day or so, after starting orthodontic treatment, your teeth will be tender so it is best to stick to soft foods. After a couple of days your teeth will be less tender but it is still important to try to avoid foods that can damage the braces. Avoid hard, sticky foods such as popcorn, nuts, caramels and hard candies. Gum is ok, sugarless is best. Don't worry it will not stick to your braces. Chewing on hard things (for example, pens, pencils or fingernails) can damage the braces. Damaged braces will cause treatment to take longer.
Oral HygieneAt each orthodontic appointment, your oral hygiene will be checked. Braces act as a plaque trap and large amounts of plaque can form on the teeth, especially between the gums and braces. If the plaque is not removed daily, then swollen gums, cavities, and receding gums can occur. Extra effort must be made to clean the teeth when braces are present. We will show you how. The risk of getting cavities and gum disease is very high while braces are on, even for those patients who have never had a problem before.
RetentionWhether you are a child or adult, and regardless of the type of orthodontic treatment you had, once your orthodontic treatment is completed you will need to hold your teeth in the ideal position with retainers. These retainers can be removable or cemented in (where they are not visible) and we will discuss with you what the best choice is.
Unfortunately, perfectly straight teeth are not what nature intended and teeth tend to age (just like our skin wrinkles with age) so retainers are like diamonds, FOREVER!
If you ever have any problems with your retainers, it is imperative to call us within days (not weeks) because your teeth will start to move back immediately! Problems with your retainers may include lost or broken retainers. If your retainer does not fit properly, it is not holding your teeth in position and you need to call us right away!