Orthodontics FAQs

Students
Why is orthodontic treatment important?

Crooked teeth are harder to clean and maintain. A bad bite can also cause abnormal wear on tooth surfaces, difficulty speaking, and possibly joint problems (TMJ).

There can also be a psychological aspect to an unattractive smile. Children with untreated orthodontic problems may go through life with low self-esteem.

Braces are affordable and convenient

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Video Courtesy American Association of Orthodontists

When should children visit the orthodontist?

Although most orthodontic treatment begins between the ages of 9 and 14, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that your child get an orthodontic check-up no later than age 7. The reason is that orthodontists can spot certain problems with the emergence of teeth or jaw growth that are best treated earlier than usual. In those situations treating the problem early may prevent more serious problems from developing, allowing the orthodontists to achieve results that may not be possible after facial growth is complete.

Is it too late to start?

It’s never too late to start! Even if your child is older than 7, it’s still important to have an orthodontic check-up as soon as possible. Most orthodontic problems can be successfully treated in the early teens since they are still growing at that time. In fact healthy teeth, bones, and gums respond well to orthodontic treatment at any age. Thus many orthodontic problems can even be treated during adulthood. Thanks to the various esthetic treatment options that are now available, more and more adults are finding orthodontic treatment appealing.

two-young-boys-caucasian_croppedWhat will my child’s treatment involve?

Orthodontic treatment usually involves using custom made appliance that gently move the teeth and/or jaws to their correct positions.

To achieve the desired results, the patient needs to accurately follow the orthodontist’s instructions about wearing orthodontic appliances, avoid certain types of food, and practice good hygiene habits. During treatment a patient is often seen by the orthodontist once every 4 to 6 weeks, and must continue to visit the family dentist for regular cleanings and check-ups to make sure the teeth remain healthy.

How long does orthodontic treatment take?

Retainers keep your teeth from becoming crooked again

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Video Courtesy American Association of Orthodontists

Orthodontic treatment times vary between 12 and 36 months depending on the severity of the problem being treated and how well the patient follows the given instructions.

Patient Testimonial

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Video Courtesy American Association of Orthodontists

Patients who brush and floss properly, avoid hard and sticky foods, wear their rubber bands and/or other appliances as instructed, and keep their appointments usually end up finishing on-time with good results. After orthodontic treatment, patients need to wear retainers to keep their teeth in their new positions, and often remain under their orthodontist’s supervision after treatment to ensure that the teeth stay aligned.