Q. What is orthodontics?

A. Orthodontics is described by the American Association of Orthodontics as the branch of dentistry that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities

Q. What is an orthodontist?

A. An orthodontist is a dentist who has been specially trained to diagnose, prevent, and treat dental and facial irregularities in patients. All orthodontists must graduate all required dental training programs accredited by the American Dental Association's Commission on Dental Accreditation.

Q. What causes orthodontic problems?

A. While most orthodontic problems such as crowding and spacing are hereditary certain irregularities can cultivate over time. Some reasons for the progression of such idiosyncrasies are inadequate dental care, thumb-sucking and irregular swallowing.

Q. Why get treatment?

A. Aside from the aesthetic benefits of properly aligned teeth, maintenance of straight teeth is much easier than that of crooked or crowded teeth. Poor upkeep can than lead to such problems as tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss. Also, as people mature so too can their facial and dental irregularities. Left untreated, these problems can eventually necessitate costly surgery.  Also the visual appeal of beautifully straight teeth can be just as rewarding and can provide a beneficial boost of self-confidence.

Q. When should children first get checked?

A. Although most children do not begin active orthodontic treatment until around age 9-14 yrs., it is important to meet with an orthodontist no later than age 7. Coming in a few years before treatment can help orthodontists spot forming irregularities, thereby increasing the chances that such problems can be fixed sooner rather than later.

Q. Is it ever too late for treatment?

A. It is never too late to start treatment. While orthodontia is normally associated with younger children, mostly due to the fact that treatment is easier on newly forming teeth, orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age. Also, with new technology making braces more comfortable, on the eyes and the mouth, more and more adults are becoming enlightened to the fact that they too can have the beautiful smile they have always wanted.

Q. Is it required that my family dentist refer me for an appointment with the orthodontist?

A.No, it is not. Many of our patients are referred by their family dentist, yet many other patients take initiative to schedule an examination themselves.

Q. Can adults benefit from orthodontic treatment?

A.Orthodontic treatment can be successful at almost any age. In fact, about one in every five orthodontic patients today is over age 18. Thanks to today's smaller, less visible, more comfortable orthodontic appliances, including fixed braces and removable appliances, adults are finding treatment more appealing.

Q. What is my role in treatment?

A. Orthodontic treatment is a partnership if the doctor and patient. The orthodontist provides custom-made fixed of removable appliances that use gentle pressure to move teeth into their proper positions. For the patient, orthodontic treatment always requires following the orthodontist's instructions, keeping scheduled orthodontic appointments and maintaining excellent oral appointments and maintaining excellent oral hygeine to achieve the best results. You will also need to see your general dentist as recommended to continue your general dental care.

Q. How long does treatment take?

A. Patients who need orthodontic treatment generally have one to three years of active treatment, plus retention.

Q. How much does treatment cost?

A. The cost of orthodontic treatment will depend on many factors, including the severity of the problem, its complexity and length of treatment. Your orthodontist will be glad to discuss the cost of treatment and your financing options with you before treatment begins. Patients are finding that braces are more affordable today than ever.

Q. Can I still play sports?

A.Yes. We recommend a mouth guard for all sports.

Q. Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?

A. Yes! Regular checkups with your family dentist are important while in braces. Your family dentist will determine the intervals between cleaning appointments while you are in braces.

Q. Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?

A. Yes, Once treatment begins, we will explain the complete instructions and provide a comprehensive list of foods to avoid. Some of those foods include: ice, hard candy, raw vegentables and all sticky foods (i.e. caramel and taffy). You can avoid most emergency appointments to repair broken or damaged braces by carefully following our instructions.

Q. How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?

A. Patients should brush their teeth at least four times each day - after each meal and before going to bed. We will show each patient how to floss their teeth with braces and may also provide a prescription for a special flouride, if necessary.

Q. What is an emergency appointment? How are those handled?

A. If your braces are causing extreme pain or if something breaks, you should call our office. In most cases, we can address these issues over the telephone. If you require an emergency appointment, we will set aside time for you.

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