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Orthodontic FAQs

What does an orthodontist do?

An orthodontist goes through much of the same schooling that a dentist would, except that an orthodontist goes through a few years of specialized training as well. Using this training, orthodontists are able to correct alignment problems with your teeth and jaw.

What age should an orthodontist see my child?

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) official recommendation is that you have your child evaluated by a professional orthodontist by the time they turn 7 years old. The reason for this is that, in order to take corrective action and avoid complications later on, early detection of certain orthodontic problems is critical.

Can you be too old for braces?

No, age is not a factor, only the health of your gums and bones that support your teeth.

What length of time should I expect to wear braces?

If you choose to go with braces, your treatment time can vary considerably depending on your individual circumstances. For this reason, treatment time may last as briefly as half a year or as long as three years. However, the most likely case for you is that you’ll be somewhere near the average of 22 months.

Can I still have braces if I have missing teeth?

Yes. When teeth are missing, adjacent teeth will drift into an empty space. This will cause a functional, aesthetic or periodontal problem. Orthodontic treatment will correct and prevent these problems to provide proper alignment for your dentist to replace the missing tooth.

How do I properly take care of my teeth while wearing braces or a retainer?

  • Remember to ALWAYS brush your teeth after EVERY meal.
  • Floss at least once a day.
  • If you wear a retainer that you remove when it’s time to eat, be sure to store the retainer in a safe container where it won’t get broken or lost. Also, don’t forget to brush and floss often.
  • Clean your retainer regularly by brushing it using your regular toothpaste and toothbrush. If it’s hard to remove anything from your retainer, try using a denture cleaner. However, remember that you should never place a retainer of any kind into the dishwasher or hot/boiling water.
  • Try to avoid foods with a lot of sugar. These foods increase the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth which causes plaque and may lead to cavities.
  • Get in the habit of scheduling regular appointments for your dentist to do routine checkups.
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