An orthodontist is a specialist within the field of dentistry. They attend 2-3 years of advanced training after dental school, focusing on tooth movement and facial development.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is an orthodontist?
What’s the best age to visit the orthodontist?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child first visit an orthodontist by age seven. Many orthodontic problems can be solved more easily at a younger age, before jaw growth slows, to avoid the need for more complicated procedures. That being said, treatment can be sought out at any age, and there are many attractive treatment options available to adults today that ensure an efficient, aesthetic, and comfortable orthodontic experience.
Will my braces interfere with my school activities like sports, playing an instrument, or singing?
It may take a little getting used to, but you can definitely play sports or an instrument while wearing braces. We highly recommend a mouthguard to protect your teeth and appliance while participating in athletic activities.
I have some general soreness- is this normal?
Sore teeth during orthodontic treatment is normal and results from the forces placed on the teeth to move them. There may be some discomfort and soreness for a few weeks after getting your braces on and for several days after an adjustment. Ibuprofen or acetaminophen may be taken to help reduce the soreness.
Areas of your mouth like your lips, cheeks and tongue may become irritated as they adjust to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this discomfort.
My appliance seems loose- what should I do?
If a bonded appliance (i.e. Herbst, Carriere, etc.) comes loose, it can cause irritation and soreness. A loose orthodontic appliance will not move teeth to their proper positions. This can result in a delay in treatment progress. It is important to call us to inquire about scheduling an appointment to repair the loose appliance.
I have a loose bracket – what should I do?
In most cases, a loose bracket will remain attached to the wire and is not cause for an emergency visit. Sometimes the brace may move or slide back and forth on the wire. Tweezers can be used to reposition the brace if it flips around the wire. If tissue irritation occurs, cover the loose brace with orthodontic wax to help the sore area heal.
A wire in my braces is loose- can I do something to help?
If a wire causes irritation, push the wire away from the area using the eraser end of a pencil or a cotton swab. If the wire cannot be tucked away, cover the end of the wire with a small piece of wax, a cotton ball, or a piece of sugarless gum, until you can see us for an adjustment.
There is a wire poking me- can I do something?
If a wire is poking you, place a piece of wax over the area and call our office to schedule an adjustment appointment. If the wire is poking you and wax does not help, the wire can be cut with a small wire cutter or nail clipper close to the back of the last brace. This is a last resort until you can see us for an adjustment.