What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics 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 that has received two to three years of training beyond dental school in straightening teeth, correcting misaligned jaw structures, and improving the function of your smile.
What’s the best age to visit 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 your child, any time is a good time to visit VanderWall Orthodontics.
What can I do to take care of my teeth while wearing braces or a retainer?
- ALWAYS remember to brush your teeth after every meal and floss at least once a day.
- Make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride, and ask Dr. VanderWall or your family dentist if you require a fluoride rinse. This will help prevent cavities!
- If you take out your retainer to eat, keep it safe in its container so that it does not get lost or broken.
- Keep your retainer clean, by brushing it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
- During your treatment, try to avoid foods with a lot of sugar. Sugar increases the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth, causing more plaque and possibly cavities.
- Avoid sticky and chewy foods (caramel, chewing gum, gummy bears), hard foods (hard candy, nuts, ice cubes), or any foods that could possibly get stuck in your braces (corn on the cob, soft bagels, ribs, taffy, etc.).
- Be sure to schedule routine checkups with your family dentist. It is recommended that you continue to visit the dentist every six months.
What are braces?
Braces are appliances used by Dr. VanderWall to help you improve the look and feel of your smile. There are several different types of braces to choose from, including:
- Self-ligating braces
- Tooth-colored braces
- Invisalign (clear aligners)
- Traditional metal braces
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 patient responds differently to treatment. Treatment times can take anywhere between six and 30 months, but most standard treatments take about 22 months.
Do braces hurt?
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.
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. Dr. VanderWall and his staff 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 and this can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Your dentist will work closely with Dr. VanderWall 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. 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! 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.