WHAT IS ORTHODONTICS?
Orthodontics (also referred to as dentofacial orthopedics) is a specialized form of dentistry focusing on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities.
WHO IS AN ORTHODONTIST?
An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has received two to three years of additional training and experience. An orthodontic specialist 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?
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.
HOW CAN I TAKE CARE OF MY TEETH IF I'M WEARING BRACES OR A RETAINER?
WHAT ARE BRACES?
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:
IF I GET BRACES, HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO WEAR THEM?
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 20-22 months.
DO BRACES HURT?
Braces do not often hurt though you may feel a small amount of discomfort for a couple of days as your teeth, gums, cheeks, and mouth get used to your new braces.
DO I NEED TO BRUSH MY TEETH MORE OFTEN IF I HAVE 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 get in 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.
IF I HAVE BRACES, DO I STILL NEED DENTAL CHECKUPS EVERY SIX MONTHS?
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, which 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.
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. In fact, Dr. Swan rocked the saxophone in the High School Jazz band while wearing braces! If you play a contact sport, it is recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your braces or appliance.
HOW DO I SCHEDULE MY NEXT APPOINTMENT?
Simply call our practice and the Swan Ortho staff will get you on the schedule! Our front desk staff will be happy to help schedule your next appointment at your convenience, and if you are an existing patient of Swan Smiles Family and Pediatric Dentistry, we’ll try to coordinate your cleaning and orthodontic visits to save you time! 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.