WHAT IS ORTHODONTICS?
The oldest specialty in all of dentistry, Orthodontics is a specialized form of dentistry focusing on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities and malocclusions.
WHAT IS AN ORTHODONTIST?
An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has received two to three years of additional training and experience. Your orthodontist is able to straighten teeth, correct misaligned jaw structure, and improve the function of your bite and aesthetics of your smile.
WHAT'S THE BEST AGE TO VISIT THE ORTHODONTIST?
If you want to improve the look of your smile and function of your bite, then any age can be a great age to see an orthodontist. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist around the age of seven; however, orthodontic treatment is not exclusive to children and teens, with about one in every five orthodontic patients being over the age of 21. Whether you're considering treatment for yourself or for a child, any time is a good time to visit the orthodontist.
WHAT ARE BRACES?
Braces are used by your orthodontist to help you improve the alignment of your teeth and the function of your bite. There are several different types of braces to choose from, includes:
- Traditional metal braces
- Ceramic (clear) braces
- Lingual braces (behind the teeth)
- Clear aligners (Invisalign)
Orthodontic treatment can help realign teeth to create a beautiful, healthy smile. Using the latest in technology, Dr. Turner and our staff will comfortably shift the position of your teeth, creating a healthier bite a more beautiful smile.
Most people are familiar with braces – but they may not know how they work. Just as a doctor uses medication to treat a patient, an orthodontist uses carefully planned, light forces to guide teeth into alignment. Here’s what they are comprised of:
- Archwires- Thin wires that guide the teeth into the desired positions – think of them as the “track”.
- Bands- Metal rings that are sometimes used on back teeth that surround the entire tooth.
- Brackets- Small squares that secure the archwires to the teeth, like small “handlebars.”
- Ligature Ties- Tiny rubber rings or fine wires that secure the archwires to the brackets.
- Elastics- Rubber bands that help align the upper and lower teeth so they fit together properly.
Stainless steel braces are most common and have become smaller, more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing over time – you can even create your own color palette. But there are other types created to suit individual treatment and aesthetic preferences, too.
What to Expect
Do braces hurt? You should feel fine during an adjustment but might experience some discomfort for a few days thereafter. Over-the-counter medication is usually sufficient for relief.
Braces shouldn’t change the way you live – you will be able to play an instrument, participate in sports and enjoy your usual activities. We do recommend wearing a mouthguard while participating in sports - be sure to ask a member of our staff, we have lots of options at our office!
HOW CAN I TAKE CARE OF MY TEETH IF I'M WEARING BRACES OR A RETAINER?
- ALWAYS remember to brush your teeth after every meal and floss at least once a day.
- Make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride and ask your orthodontist or family dentist if you need a fluoride rinse. This will help prevent cavities!
- If you take out your retainer to eat, make sure you brush your teeth, floss, and remember to keep it safe in its container so that it does not get lost or broken.
- Keep your retainer clean, too, by brushing it gently with a toothbrush and dawn dish soap. You may also soak it in denture cleaner as instructed by your orthodontist. Do not put your retainer in boiling water or in the dishwasher.
- During your treatment, try to avoid foods with a lot of sugar, which increases the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth, causing more plaque and possibly cavities.
- Avoid sticky and chewy foods (caramel, 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, soft bagels, ribs, taffy, etc.).
- Be sure to schedule your routine checkups with your family dentist. It is recommended that you continue to visit the dentist every six months.
IF I GET BRACES, HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO WEAR THEM?
The amount of time spent in braces will vary depending on the individual patient, because every smile responds differently to treatment. Treatment times can take anywhere between six and 36 months, but most standard treatments take about 22 months.
DO BRACES HURT?
Orthodontic tooth movement causes discomfort and tenderness that typically goes away in about 48 hours. Braces do not cause significant pain, and should not affect normal life or interfere with daily activities.
DO I NEED TO BRUSH MY TEETH MORE OFTEN IF I HAVE BRACES?
With braces, you should brush your teeth at least three times a day to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy and clean. Brushing regularly will help remove any food that may be caught between the braces. You should also floss daily to get in between your braces where your brush isn't able to 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?
Yes! In fact, it's even more important that patients receiving orthodontic treatment visit their dentist regularly. As a specialty practice, Turner Orthodontics is not permitted to clean teeth or provide care otherwise performed by your general dentist. With braces, food may be caught in places that your toothbrush can't reach. This causes bacteria to build up that can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Your dentist will work closely with your orthodontist to make sure that your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.
WILL MY BRACES INTERFERE WITH MY SCHOOL ACTIVITIES LIKE SPORTS, PLAYING AN INSTRUMENT, OR SINGING?
Playing an instrument or a contact sport may require some adjustment when you first get your braces, but wearing braces will not stop you from participating in any of your school activities. If you play a contact sport, it is recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your braces or appliance. Let us know if you are participating in these activities, a team member can give suggestions based on years of experience!
HOW DO I SCHEDULE MY NEXT APPOINTMENT?
Simply CONTACT (HYPERLINK TO CONTACT INFORMATION) our practice! Our front desk staff will be happy to help SCHEDULE (HYPERLINK TO BOOK AN APPOINTMENT) your next appointment at your convenience. If you are a new patient or have been referred to our practice, please let us know and we will provide you with all of the information you need.