Orthodontics (also referred to as dentofacial orthopedics) is a specialization in dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities.
An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has undergone two to three years of additional training and experience. Your orthodontist is able to straighten teeth, correct misaligned jaw structure, and improve the function of your smile.
If you want to improve the look and feel of your smile, then any age can be a great age to see the orthodontist. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist around the age of seven. However, orthodontic treatment is not exclusive to children and teens, with about one in every five orthodontic patients being over the age of 21. Whether you're considering treatment for yourself or for a child, any time is a good time to visit the orthodontist.
Braces are used by your orthodontist to help you improve the look and feel of your smile. There are several different types of braces to choose from, including:
The amount of time spent in braces will vary depending on the individual patient, because every smile responds differently to treatment. Treatment times can take anywhere between six and 30 months, but most standard treatments take about 22 months.
Braces do not often hurt though you may feel a small amount of discomfort for a couple days as your teeth, gums, cheeks, and mouth get used to your new braces.
With braces, you should brush your teeth at least three times a day to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy and clean. Brushing regularly will help remove any food that may be caught between the braces. You should also floss daily to clean between your braces where your brush isn't able to reach. Your orthodontist can show you how to properly brush and floss once your braces are placed.
Yes! In fact, it's even more important that patients receiving orthodontic treatment visit their dentist regularly. With braces, food may be caught in places that your toothbrush can't reach. This causes bacteria to build up that can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Your dentist will work closely with your orthodontist to make sure that your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.
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.
Simply call our practice! Our front desk staff will be happy to help schedule your next appointment at your convenience. If you are a new patient or have been referred to our practice, please let us know and we will provide you with all of the information you need.
When it comes to straightening your teeth discreetly, clear aligners are a popular choice. Here is a step-by-step process to insert them:
Remember to wear each set of aligners for 20 to 22 hours per day as prescribed by your orthodontist. Only remove them when eating, drinking (except water), brushing, and flossing.
Once you have completed the recommended duration for wearing your clear aligners, it's time to remove them. Removing clear aligners can be a simple and straightforward process if done correctly. Here are some steps to help you safely and easily remove your clear aligners:
Remember, always follow any specific instructions provided by our orthodontist when removing clear aligners, as every case may differ slightly in terms of technique or additional tips they recommend for easy removal.
Here's a step-by-step guide to help you through the process:
Remember to wear your retainer as instructed by our orthodontist — whether during specific times of the day or overnight — as consistent usage is key for effective results.
Removing a retainer can sometimes be a bit tricky, but with the right technique and some patience, it can become an easy part of your daily routine. Here are some tips to help you effectively remove your retainer:
With time and experience, you'll find that this process becomes easier and more effortless.
Losing or breaking orthodontic appliances can be a hassle, but it's important that you do not panic. There are steps you can take to address the situation and ensure that your treatment continues smoothly.
Remember that accidents happen sometimes, and it's crucial that you do not delay seeking professional advice when faced with broken or missing appliances during orthodontic treatment. By taking prompt action and following recommendations from your orthodontist, you'll ensure that any setbacks are resolved efficiently without compromising progress toward achieving a beautiful smile.
Patient started treatment at age 11 and wore braces for 26 months. He loves his new smile.
Patient sucked her thumb as a young child. She started treatment at age 13. She had braces and a special appliance — called a crib — to retrain the tongue, for 28 months. Now she can bite the lettuce out of a sandwich.
This adult patient, age 25, required braces and jaw surgery to correct his severe overbite, with treatment taking two years. His problem could have been corrected without surgery if he had been treated before he was a teenager.
This patient's lateral incisors were congenitally missing. She had braces for 20 months to move the teeth into their correct positions, then the missing teeth were replaced with bonded "Maryland" bridges.
Patient's underbite was causing her jaw joint discomfort and excessive wear patterns on her teeth. After about 30 months of treatment starting at age 32, she now finds smiling and chewing much easier.
Patient was bothered by the spaces between his teeth. Braces closed the spaces and gave him an ideal bite in 24 months. Special glued-in retainers help keep the spaces closed.
At age ten, patient had a big overjet with the top teeth protruding beyond the bottom. She had two phases of treatment. The first helped her jaws to grow more harmoniously and the second aligned her teeth and bite. At age 13, she was proudly displaying her new smile.
Sometimes braces are not needed to get noticeable improvements in tooth alignment. This patient was first seen at age seven for crowding of the lower permanent teeth. A procedure was performed to reduce the width of the adjacent baby teeth and the permanent incisors aligned on their own in nine months.
Patient's parents were concerned about both aesthetics and the health of the erupting permanent teeth when they brought him to the orthodontist at age eight. The lower front teeth were crowded and touching the palate, and the upper front teeth were extremely displaced from their normal positions. After 12 months of Phase-One treatment with an expander and partial braces, patient's appearance and dental function were vastly improved.