How are teeth moved?
Teeth respond to the gentle forces that are applied to them. Braces are a combination of bracket and wires. The interaction of the bracket and arch wires enable the orthodontist to have three-dimensional control over the movement of the teeth. In many cases, additional forces are needed to help balance the underlying jaw structure and to help the upper and lower teeth fit properly together to make the bite right. Examples of these extra forces include: elastics (rubber bands) hooked to teeth; forsus appliance; functional appliances; and palatal expanders.
Are there different types of braces?
Braces vary in appearance. Some braces are clear, nearly invisible, while others are made of stainless steel and may or may not have colored elastics around them. We also offer Invisalign© which are clear aligners that straighten teeth like traditional braces.
Can my child play sports while wearing braces?
Yes. But wearing a protective mouth guard is advised while riding a bike, skating, or playing any contact sports, whether organized sports or a neighborhood game. Your orthodontist can recommend a specific mouth guard.
Will braces interfere with playing musical instruments?
Playing wind or brass instruments, such as the trumpet, will clearly require some adaptation to braces. With practice and a period of adjustment, braces typically do not interfere with the playing of musical instruments.
How long does orthodontic treatment take?
Treatment times vary on a case-by-case basis, but the average time is from one to two years. Actual treatment time can be affected by rate of growth and severity of the correction necessary. Treatment length is also dependent upon patient compliance. Maintaining good oral hygiene and keeping regular appointments are important in keeping treatment time on schedule.
Why does orthodontic treatment times sometimes last longer than anticipated?
Estimates of treatment time can only be that – estimates. Patients grow at different rates and will respond in their own ways to orthodontic treatment. The orthodontist has specific treatment goals in mind, and will usually continue treatment until these goals are achieved. Patient cooperation; however, is the single best predictor of staying on time with treatment. Patients who cooperate by wearing rubber bands, forsus appliance or other needed appliances as directed, while taking care not to damage appliances, will most often lead to on-time and excellent treatment results. Missed appointments can also cause delay in treatment times.
What can I do to get my braces off sooner?
Follow the instructions your orthodontist gives you with regards to oral hygiene (keeping your teeth and gums clean) and wearing your appliances (e.g.: elastics, forsus appliance, etc.) Your cooperation may help speed up your treatment.
What is Patient Cooperation and how important is it during orthodontic treatment?
Good “patient cooperation” means that the patient not only follows the orthodontist’s instructions on wearing appliances as prescribed and tending to oral hygiene and diet, but is also an active partner in orthodontic treatment.
Successful orthodontic treatment is a “two-way street” that requires a consistent, cooperative effort by both the orthodontist and patient. To successfully complete the treatment plan, the patient must carefully clean his or her teeth, wear rubber bands or other appliances as prescribed by the orthodontist, avoid foods that might damage braces and keep appointments as scheduled. Damaged appliances can lengthen the treatment time and may undesirably affect the outcome of treatment. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their desired positions if the patient consistently wears the forces to the teeth, such as rubber bands, as prescribed. Patients who do their part consistently make themselves look good and their orthodontist look smart.
To keep teeth and gums healthy, regular visits to the family dentist must continue during orthodontic treatment.
What is Phase I and Phase II treatment?
Phase I, or early interceptive treatment, is limited orthodontic treatment (i.e. expander or partial braces) before all of the permanent teeth have erupted. Such treatment can occur between the ages of six and ten. This treatment is sometimes recommended to make more space for developing teeth, correction of cross bites, overbites, and under bites, or harmful oral habits. Phase II treatment is also called comprehensive treatment because it involves full braces when all of the permanent teeth have erupted, usually between the ages of eleven and thirteen.
How much will treatment cost?
The cost of treatment depends on the severity of the patient’s problem. You will be able to discuss fees and payment options before treatment begins. We have payment plans to suit different budgets, including a no-down-payment option. We also accept assignment from most insurance plans, and file the necessary papers to the insurance company. We work hard to make orthodontics affordable.
Do braces hurt?
The placement of bands and brackets on your teeth does not hurt. Once your braces are placed and connected with the arch wires you may feel some soreness of your teeth for one to four days. Your lips and cheeks may need one to two weeks to get used to the braces on your teeth.
Should I see my general dentist while I have braces?
Yes, you should continue to see your general dentist every six months for cleanings and dental checkups.
Do you have any suggestions on what foods I CAN eat?
Choose foods that are soft. Right after you get braces or whenever they are adjusted, you may want foods that require little or no chewing such as soup and macaroni and cheese. Cut or tear sandwiches and pizza rather than biting into them.