Please Click on any of the subjects below to get the answers to frequently asked questions.
You can schedule your appointment by calling our office and a staff member will be happy to help you.
Before your first visit, please fill out a patient information form and bring it with you if possible. You’ll find the forms by clicking
Your first orthodontic visit is our opportunity to get to know you and to address your specific questions and concerns. It also gives our doctors the chance to make a preliminary evaluation of the position of your teeth and jaws. We will take time to discuss with you any current or anticipated problems and recommend treatment if necessary. If treatment is indicated, the next step is to gather additional diagnostic records.
The purpose of diagnostics and records is to provide information (in addition to the clinical examination) which allows our doctors to determine the complexity of the problem and develop an appropriate treatment plan.
Records typically include:
• Plaster Models of the teeth so that we may analyze the exact tooth size, position, and relationship between teeth.
• X-rays of the teeth and jaws (panoramic and cephalometric) to determine the jaw relations and the relationship of the teeth to the jaw bones, and to the face.
• Photographs of your face and teeth to study facial balance and contour.
BRUSHING & FLOSSING
Dentists unanimously agree that the best way to ensure a clean and healthy smile are by brushing and flossing. Food particles can accumulate on teeth and in brackets, and over time turn into plaque. The bacteria resulting from plaque accumulation can lead to gum disease, tooth decay, and possibly eventual loss of teeth. To avoid these problems while you are in orthodontic treatment, take special care of your brackets, teeth, and gums to ensure the best possible results.
• Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small strip of fluoride toothpaste.
• When you brush your teeth, move the brush in small, circular motions to reach food particles that may be under you gum line. Hold the toothbrush at an angle and brush slowly and carefully, covering all areas between teeth, between brackets, and the surface of each tooth. It will take you several minutes to thoroughly brush your teeth. Brush up on the lower teeth, down on the upper teeth, and the outside, inside, and chewing surface of your front and back teeth.
• Brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth before you rinse.
• Use dental floss regularly to remove food particles and plaque for areas between the teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach. Flossing takes more time and patience when you are wearing brackets, but it is important to floss your teeth every day.
• Use care around your archwire and do not floss too forcefully around it or put too much pressure on it. After you floss between your archwire and brackets, floss between your other teeth and gums.
• Put a small length of floss and slide it up and down between your teeth. You will be able to feel when the tooth is clean and hear the squeak of the floss against your clean teeth.
LIVING WITH BRACES
Braces don’t hurt. They only cause uncomfortable soreness that can usually be alleviated with a mild painkiller such as Advil or Tylenol. Patients may return to normal school, work, and sports activities immediately after receiving brackets.
Brush your teeth 4 times each day, most importantly after meals.
It is important to continue visiting your family dentist for regular check-ups while in braces.
Foods to avoid are ice, hard candies, raw vegetables, and all sticky foods such as chewing gum, caramel, taffy.
If you break or loosen any of your appliances, call our office as soon as possible and ask to make an emergency appointment.
Loose Brackets or BandsCall our office immediately for advice if a bracket or wire is loosened. The bracket may need to be repaired as soon as possible. You may have a situation that requires cutting a wire or sliding a bracket off a wire at night or over the weekend. If you need to cut a wire in case of emergency, you may use fingernail clippers that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol. Please call our office the next business day so that we may schedule an appointment for you.Discomfort with Orthodontic TreatmentDuring the first week after your brackets are in place and routine adjustments are complete, you will likely feel some pain, soreness, or discomfort. You may take acetaminophen or other non-aspirin pain relievers while you adjust to your new brackets. A warm washcloth or heating pad may reduce the soreness in your jaws.Lost SeparatorsIt’s very common for patients lose a separator during their treatment. If this happens, call our office.Wire IrritationsSometimes discomfort caused by a wire on your brackets can be resolved by moving the wire away from the irritated area with a cotton swab or eraser. If the wire will not move, try covering the end of it with a small piece of cotton or small amount of wax. If the wire is painful, you can cut it with nail clippers or scissors that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol. If you cannot resolve the wire irritation, call our office for an appointment.
BRACES: FACT AND MYTH
Braces can cause discomfort and soreness but normally they don’t “hurt.” If you experience a lot of pain, call our office.
Patients with braces can continue with all their normal activities. We recommend wearing mouth guards for all athletes.
Although the age of 7 is the most ideal for starting orthodontic treatment, braces aren’t just for kids anymore. Teeth alignment can be corrected at any age if gum and bone structure are healthy. Today, 25% of all orthodontic patients are adults.
There’s more to braces than metal. Your options also include translucent braces and even transparent aligners, which are virtually unnoticeable.
Untreated orthodontic problems can lead to tooth decay and gum disease, which can cause tooth loss. Orthodontic treatment plays an important role in the reduction of wear on the teeth and jaw bone stress, which caused by incorrect bite.
Orthodontic treatment can correct bad bites (malocclusions) and unaligned jaw bones. These uncorrected conditions can cause problems with eating and speech.
There’s little doubt that an attractive smile can increase self-esteem and a boost in self-image.