What to Expect from Orthodontic Care
Everyone is unique, and the exact diagnosis and treatment will vary from patient to patient. No matter what the diagnosis, we strive to provide the most advanced technology and treatment available. It is our goal to make sure that your child has a beautiful smile with healthy teeth as soon as possible. New patients can rest assured that we put every possible effort into making orthodontic treatment as pleasant as possible.
What are some warning signs for a bad bite that may require orthodontic treatment?
There are a number of signs.
- Protruding or bucked upper teeth
- Top teeth behind the bottom teeth
- Baby teeth that are slow to fall out
- Thumb sucking that continues beyond toddler years
- Teeth that are overcrowded
- Teeth that are too widely spaced
- A gap between front teeth
- Teeth that overlap
What is the best age to bring my child in for a first consultation?
By recommendation of the American Association of Orthodontics, you should bring your child in for a consultation by the age of seven. Our dentists are able to identify potential problems even while some baby teeth have not fallen out. The earlier you can schedule a consultation, the better. With proper timing, orthodontic treatment can save both time and money.
What benefits are there for early treatment?
Your child benefits in a number of ways from early treatment.
- Guiding the growth of the jaw is much easier than altering it later in life
- Early dental work has a lower chance of trauma for protruding front teeth
- Bad oral habits are easier to correct in early childhood, and have less time to cause damage
- An improved appearance early on leads to higher self-esteem and more confidence
- Treatment while teeth are still growing allows permanent teeth to be positioned more easily
- Cosmetic issues with the lips can be corrected
How important is proper brushing and oral hygiene to orthodontic treatment?
Very! Keeping your teeth clean and your gums healthy will help prevent problems with braces. Don’t forget to brush your teeth and not just your braces.
Can I chew gum? What about sugar-free gum?
It is best if you avoid chewing any sort of gum. Gum is sticky and can tangle up in your braces, which might loosen them and cause your treatment to take longer.
Will braces stain my teeth?
Not if you take care of them properly. It is only when your teeth are not properly cared for that you end up with stains when the braces are removed.
What should I do if my braces break or come loose?
If your braces break, become loose or detach from your teeth, you should give us a call. We can schedule you to have them fixed before any damage is done.
How do you remove my braces?
We have special orthodontic instruments to remove your braces. We don’t chip them off, break them off, yank them off or do anything that might cause you pain. We put a lot of pride and effort into your smile, and we want you to be happy with it when we’re done.
What does tightening my braces do?
Braces apply slow pressure to move your teeth gradually and naturally. We need to tighten your braces to adjust this pressure so your teeth grow into the right spots. This is also an opportunity for us to replace the wire and bands, and for you to choose new colors.
Possible Issues with Orthodontic Treatment
Braces are a complicated and ongoing procedure, and that means there are plenty of small things that can go wrong. Don’t worry! Nothing that goes wrong is permanent and anything can be corrected. Here are several concerns we frequently address.
- Installing braces does not hurt. Many people fear that braces are painful to have installed. The first few days after installation, your teeth will probably be uncomfortable and maybe a little sore, but nothing a little pain reliever won’t solve.
- Brackets glued to your teeth might occasionally come loose. When this happens, it might cause an irritation in your mouth. If this happens, let us know! We can schedule you an appointment to have it glued back on. If it causes irritation, you can either remove it and save it for your appointment, or you can cover it with wax to smooth off the edges that cause the irritation.
- It is possible that excess wire sticks out of the rear fixture of your braces. If this causes irritation, you can either cover it with a small amount of wax or cut it shorter with nail clippers.
- The wire that applies tension to your braces may come loose if you eat hard or sticky foods. If this happens, it can be replaced with careful use of needle-nose pliers or tweezers. If you can’t replace it, feel free to schedule an appointment for us to fix it for you.
- Some braces include brackets that have small hooks for elastics. Just like the wires or loose brackets, occasionally these hooks will cause an irritation in the mouth, especially if they are bent. You can bend them back in with a pencil eraser, or you can apply a ball of wax to smooth out the area.
If you encounter a problem and you cannot solve it with wax or any of the other tricks above, feel free to give us a call. We are always available to fix these and any other issues to make your braces experience as pleasant as possible.