Why is orthodontics important?
An attractive smile and improved self-image are just two of the many benefits of orthodontic treatment. Alleviating and preventing physical health problems is just as important. Straight teeth support good periodontal health, which in turn contributes to your general good health. Without treatment, orthodontic problems can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, bone destruction, chewing and digestive difficulties, speech impairments, tooth loss and other dental injuries.
Will my teeth straighten themselves out?
Generally, no. Teeth have a natural tendency to push towards the front of the mouth, and teeth that are not properly aligned will actually become more crowded and crooked with time.
Does my family dentist need to set up an appointment with an orthodontist?
While we do receive referrals from many community dentists, there is no need to have a dentist refer you to come in for an initial exam. Many of our patients choose to begin treatment or seek further information independently.
Will braces hurt?
Most orthodontic patients experience some brief discomfort after their braces are put on and right after the braces are tightened. We recommend Tylenol to ease any soreness. If you are unable to use Tylenol you may use aspirin or ibuprofen. Also, some patients are able to chew certain brands of sugar-free gum, which can help ease discomfort.
How long will I have to undergo orthodontic treatment?
The time needed to undergo orthodontic treatment will vary for each patient, and always depends on how much your jaw needs to change and how far your teeth must move. We are committed to making your treatment as swift and effective as possible.
Will I still be able to play sports?
Yes. It is recommended, however, that patients protect their smiles by wearing a mouth guard when participating in any sporting activity. Mouth guards are inexpensive, comfortable, and come in a fun variety of colors and patterns.
Are retainers necessary and how long will I have to wear one?
Yes, retainers are necessary and very important to the longevity of orthodontic results. A retainer is an appliance designed to prevent your teeth from drifting or moving after braces are removed. The longer you wear your retainer, the better the probability that your teeth will not relapse. Retainers provide assurance that your teeth will stay in alignment while your jaw continues to grow and develop.
Am I too old for braces?
Of course not! No one is too old for braces as long as their teeth and surrounding tissues are healthy. Approximately 25% of orthodontic patients today are adults. Many adults are correcting problems that were never treated when they were children, and are now experiencing the satisfaction of a beautiful smile.
What is malocclusion?
The technical term for teeth that do not fit together correctly is ‘malocclusion’. Most malocclusions are inherited, however, it is possible to acquire a bad bite from habits such as tongue thrusting and thumb sucking. The premature loss of baby teeth or the extraction of adult teeth can cause the development of malocclusion. Inherited malocclusions are usually caused by difference between the size of the teeth and the size of the jaw structure. Whether inherited or acquired, malocclusions affect not only the alignment of the teeth, but also the appearance of the face.
How much will braces cost?
Costs vary depending on the type of treatment. Today many dental insurance policies include orthodontic benefits, making orthodontic fees more affordable than ever before. Our office will work with you to design a feasible payment plan and maximize your benefits.
Can I still make regular appointments with my dentist while I have braces?
Absolutely! Dentists are experienced working with patients undergoing orthodontic treatment, and Dr. Davis partners with your dentist to provide optimal care while in orthodontic treatment. Dr. Davis advises that you see your general dentist every six months for routine cleanings and examinations. Please notify our office of any scheduled dental appointments in advance.
Can I return to school the day I get my braces put on?
Yes. You will not need to miss school for orthodontic treatment beyond the appointment time.