Whether old or new, our patients always have great questions to ask our orthodontists. While we love answering our patient's questions, it sometimes can be hard for new patients or people thinking about becoming patients to ask them. Here you can find a list of questions we most commonly get from new patients. If we don’t have your question, feel free to contact our offices today!
What do orthodontists do?
Orthodontists are dental specialists who diagnose and treat problems with the position, alignment or spacing of the teeth, and related irregularities in the face and the jaw. We use a number of special treatments, including braces and Invisalign, to correct these problems.
Why should I (or my loved ones) get orthodontic treatment?
There are two good reasons: aesthetics and function. Having a straight smile not only changes the way people see you, but it also enhances your self-image and confidence as well. Orthodontic treatment also allows your teeth to function better and makes it easier to keep them clean, which can improve your overall health.
When should orthodontic treatment be started?
You're never too old to begin orthodontic treatment; however, if you start at an earlier age, your problems may be easier to treat. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that a child should come in for their first visit around age 7. At this time, an orthodontist will be able to tell if there are any underlying issues that may cause orthodontic problems in the future.
How can I recognize a potential bite problem?
Teeth that are protruding, crowded together, or erupting out of position are clear indications that treatment is needed. Less apparent signs include mouth breathing, frequent biting of the cheek or palate, speech difficulties, and thumb sucking that continues past 3-4 years of age. If teeth do not meet properly when the mouth closes, or if jaws make sounds or shift as they move, this may also indicate an orthodontic problem. It is best for an orthodontist to assess your teeth and analyze if a potential bite problem exists.
Does getting braces hurt? What about wearing them?
Having braces put on is generally painless. Some people experience minor pain in the first couple of days, as they adjust to wearing their appliances. Periodic adjustments may sometimes cause soreness as well, though it typically lasts only a short time. Over-the-counter pain relievers can be used to alleviate any discomfort, but are usually unnecessary.
How long will treatment take?
It's different for each person, but generally, the active stage of treatment (wearing braces or Invisalign) may take from 6-30 months. After that, a permanent retainer is recommended, and a removable retainer is worn for at least several months. Each patient will have an orthodontic treatment specific to them and their needs.
How often will I come in for an appointment?
It depends on what's being done, and how often you need to be monitored. During active treatment, you'll typically come into our office once every 4 to 10 weeks. Again, this will depend on the specific patient and their orthodontic needs.
Will I need to have any teeth extracted?
If your teeth are severely crowded (because your mouth is too small to properly accommodate all of them), or if you have impacted teeth (teeth that are trapped beneath the gum line by other teeth), then extraction may be necessary. In the case of younger patients, early treatment may make removal unnecessary. The extraction will be different for each patient.
Will I have to watch what I eat?
If you have traditional braces, yes, you should pass on the types of foods that could damage or become trapped in your braces. Some of these include raw vegetables, hard candy, caramel, taffy, and ice cubes. We will give you a list of foods to avoid. But, if you have Invisalign, you can eat all the foods you normally eat because you will take out your plastic aligners at all mealtimes.
Will I be able to play sports or play my instrument?
Yes! Of course, whether you wear braces or not, we recommend you wear a mouthguard when playing most sports. Musicians are generally able to play their instruments just as they did before, but they may need a short adjustment period after getting braces.
Do I still need to see my regular dentist while I'm getting orthodontic treatment?
Yes, you do, it's more important than ever! Keeping your teeth free of plaque (and potential decay) can be challenging when you're wearing braces. Your dentist can help you avoid these problems with frequent cleanings and exams.
Will I wear a retainer when my braces come off?
Yes. If you don't wear a retainer, your teeth can rapidly shift out of position, and then all the effort put into your treatment is lost! Your retainer helps you maintain your good-looking and functional smile for a lifetime.
Is orthodontic care very expensive?
Orthodontic care is a long-term investment in your health and well-being. Its cost hasn't increased as fast as many other consumer prices, and financing options are available that make orthodontic care affordable. Weighed against the actual cost of living with problem teeth, however, orthodontic treatment can be a wise investment indeed.
Other questions or concerns?
If you have a different question or concern that was not listed above, please call or stop by Accorde Orthodontists in Maple Grove, Champlin, Rogers, or Albertville. Our doctors and friendly staff will be able to assist you with any question you may have.