What is orthodontics and who is an Orthodontist?
Orthodontics is a specialty in dentistry focusing on studying and correction of dental, facial and bite irregularities. An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has received an additional two to three years of full time specialty training after graduating from an accredited dental school. By learning about tooth movement and management of facial development, orthodontists are uniquely educated experts in dentistry with very high level of expertise in aligning teeth and fixing jaw imperfections.
When should my child see the orthodontist for the first time?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children’s first visit to an orthodontist be around the age of 7. This helps us make sure that the growth and the development of the face, teeth and the jaws are following the correct pattern and pace.
Is my family dentist also an orthodontist?
The short answer is no. General dentists are allowed to perform specialty services such as orthodontics. However, an orthodontist has been trained for an additional two to three years at a university or hospital setting to gain intimate knowledge and experience in the ﬁeld. General dentists are exposed to orthodontics by taking a weekend courses in orthodontics and have limited level of exposure to complex cases. A good comparison would be to compare a general surgeon to an orthopedic surgeon, while both can perform surgery, the orthopedic surgeon has spent many additional years sharpening his/her skills and knowledge and can perform orthopedic surgeries at a higher level. We would recommend to at least obtain an opinion from a orthodontic specialist who is a member of the AAO (American Association of Orthodontists) before committing to any treatment.
Is it too late for me to get braces?
No, its never too late to transform your smile. If your teeth are healthy, they can be moved to achieve that perfect smile that you deserve at any age. In fact, we regularly treat patients in their 50’s and 60’s.
Do braces hurt?
Getting braces placed on your teeth is not uncomfortable at all. After the wire is placed, you may feel a small amount of soreness as your teeth, gums and cheeks get use to the new appliance and your teeth start to move!
Do I need to brush my teeth more often when I have braces?
Yes, normally the saliva flow and muscle activity in your mouth help clean the majority of the food particles after a meal. With braces, this process can not fully take place, which makes brushing and flossing 2-3 times a day more essential.
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 toothbrush bristle isn’t able to reach. After your braces are placed, our team members will show you how to properly brush and floss and take care of your new appliances.
Are regular dental check-ups still needed while I have braces?
Regular dental check-ups are absolutely necessary! Patients with orthodontic appliances must be extra vigilant about receiving regular dental care. Food stuck in braces or in hard to reach areas can cause gum disease, gingivitis or cavities which can also damage your braces. Your dentist will work with Dr. Lee to ensure your teeth are healthy while under our care.
If I am active in sports or enjoy playing an instrument will I still be able to participate?
Absolutely! You can still maintain all of your favorite school and extracurricular activities when you wear braces. The only change you will need to make if you play contact sports is to wear a mouth guard. This will protect your braces or appliance.
How will my next appointment be scheduled?
If it was not scheduled at the end of your last appointment, just call our office and we will schedule you for a time that is convenient for your family.