Orthodontic FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions About Orthodontics. Find your answers here.

What is Orthodontics?2022-08-01T07:23:50-05:00

Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that is officially known as Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics. The purpose of orthodontics is to treat any type of malocclusion, which is simply another way of saying “bad bite”.

When you have a malocclusion, that means your teeth, lips and/or jaws don’t line up the way they should. As a result, your teeth may be crooked, your bite may not work correctly and your jaws may look unbalanced.

To fix bad bites, orthodontist – dentist who are specially trained – use braces and other corrective procedures, including materials often called “appliances,” to achieve tooth and jaw alignment. This correction of the teeth and other supportive structures makes for a healthy, attractive smile.

What Can I Eat While Wearing Braces or Aligners?2022-08-01T07:22:02-05:00

You’ve probably heard from your parents, friends, and even your orthodontist, the long list of foods and beverages that you should avoid while wearing braces. While it may seem like you’re giving up a lot, it is important to avoid any hard foods that could break your appliances. It’s also a great idea to avoid acidic drinks which can damage your teeth during treatment.

Will My Braces Interfere With My School Activities Like Sports, Playing an Instrument, or Singing?2022-08-01T07:22:49-05:00

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.

What is an Orthodontist?2022-08-01T07:23:07-05:00

An Orthodontist is a specialist in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. All orthodontist are dentists, but only about six percent of dentist are orthodontists. Admission to orthodontic programs is extremely competitive and selective. It takes may years to become an orthodontist and the educational requirements are demanding.

An orthodontist must complete college requirements before starting a three – five year graduate program at a dental school accredited by the American Dental Association (ADA). After dental school, at least two or three academic years of advanced specialty education in an ADA-accredited orthodontic program are required to be an orthodontist. The program includes advanced education in biomedical, behavioral and basic sciences. The orthodontic student learns the complex skills required to manage tooth movement (orthodontics) and guide facial development (dentofacial orthopedics).

Only dentist who have successfully completed these advanced specialty education programs may call themselves orthodontists.

How Long Will I Have to Wear Braces?2022-08-01T07:22:23-05:00

The amount of time it takes to treat your smile with braces depends on three key factors:

  • Early treatment — Early treatment allows orthodontists to monitor the growth of the jaw and recommend further orthodontic treatment if it becomes necessary. Not everybody receives early orthodontic treatment, and in some cases it may be recommended that a patient wait until he or she is older to receive treatment.
  • What needs correction — The amount of treatment needed to correct a problem will determine how long the process takes. Different patients react to treatments differently, so while it may take one patient only 12 months to complete his or her treatment, it may take another patient 24 months. Treatment times can vary depending on how quickly your body responds and how much work is needed to give you the show-stopping smile you expect.
  • YOU! — Your willingness to use the appliances your orthodontist gives you plays a major role in the length of time it takes to complete your treatment. Always remember to take care of your braces and appliances; this truly will help make your treatment shorter!

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