Orthodontic Questions

When you're considering orthodontic treatment options, we can certainly understand that you have questions. We have answered some of the most common questions that we have heard over the years below.

What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics is a specialized form of dentistry. It focuses on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities.

What does an orthodontist do?

Orthodontists are dental specialists who focus on dental and facial abnormalities. This usually takes 2-3 years of additional training. As an orthodontist, Dr. Leite is able to straighten teeth, correct misaligned jaw structure, and improve the function of your smile.

What’s the best age to visit the orthodontist?

It's really doesn't matter. Any age is a great time to improve your smile. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children visit an orthodontist around the age of seven. But, orthodontic treatment can be helpful to people of any age. In fact, about one in every five orthodontic patients is over the age of 21! Contact us today for more information.

What do I need to remember if I'm wearing a retainer?

  • Brushing your teeth and flossing daily is essential!
  • Brush with a fluoride toothpaste. You can also rinse with a fluoride mouthwash.
  • Keep your retainer clean. Store it in its container and brush it gently with toothpaste and a toothbrush. You can soak it in denture cleaner, too. Just make sure you check with the office for instructions.
  • Avoiding sugar is always a good idea. Sugary foods lead to an increase in harmful oral bacteria.
  • Avoiding sticky & chewy foods, hard foods, or foods that are small enough to get stuck in your braces can help keep your retainer clean and your teeth healthy.
  • Keep up your regular dental appointments with your family dentist.

What are braces?

Orthodontists use braces to help straighten teeth and improve your smile. There are several different types of braces to choose from, including clear braces, ceramic braces, lingual braces, self-ligating braces, invisible braces, and traditional metal braces.

How long do I have to wear braces?

This varies. It depends on the individual patient. Every smile responds differently to treatment so treatment times can last between 6 and 30 months. You can expect that your treatment will likely take about 22 months.

Do braces hurt?

It's usually not the case that braces hurt. You may feel a small amount of discomfort for a couple days. This happens because your teeth, gums, cheeks, and mouth need to get used to your new braces.

How often do I need to brush my teeth if I have braces?

At least three times a day to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy and clean! When you brush regularly, you will help remove any food that may be caught between the braces. And don't forget to floss! Flossing daily helps to clean between your braces where your brush isn’t able to reach. Dr. Leite can show you how to brush and floss properly once your braces are placed.

You can learn more about living with braces here.

Will my braces interfere with my school activities like sports, playing an instrument, or singing?

Playing an instrument or a contact sport may require some adjustment when you first get your braces, but wearing braces will not stop you from participating in any of your school activities. If you play a contact sport, it is recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your braces or appliance.

Still have questions?

We know that you may still have questions about your child's dental care. Please reach out to us. We are always happy to answer the questions that you may have!