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 2 to 3 years of additional training and experience. Your orthodontist 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?
A common question we get asked is, "what is the best age to start orthodontic treatment?" While many of our patients are actually adults, the answer is, we don't treat by age because no two children are alike. We always treat according to our patient's needs and routine preventive orthodontic treatment is performed for children who require it, always being careful not to start treatment too early if it is not needed. Children who can benefit from preventive treatment may reduce the chances of future gum problems, growth problems, abnormal tooth wear and can minimize the need for surgeries or extractions of adult teeth as well as simultaneously decrease their discomfort and the number of visits required. We encourage our patients to visit their family dentist regularly but do not require a referral. Anyone can schedule a complimentary consultation by calling our office at (905) 949-6688. We will be pleased to explain whether your child may benefit from preventive orthodontic treatment.
How can I take care of my teeth if I'm 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 your orthodontist or family dentist if you need a fluoride rinse. This will help prevent cavities!
- If you take out your retainer to eat, brush your teeth, and floss, then remember to keep it safe in its container so that it does not get lost or broken.
- Keep your retainer clean, too, by brushing it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste. You may also use denture cleaner twice a week. Do not use hot, boiling water or the dishwasher.
- 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). See our complete lists of foods to avoid and foods you can eat.
- Be sure to schedule your routine checkups with your family dentist. It is recommended that you continue to visit the dentist every six months.
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:
- Clear braces
- Ceramic braces
- Metal braces
- Functional Invisalign®
- Invisible braces
- Traditional metal braces
If I get braces, how long do I have to wear them?
The amount of time spent in braces can vary depending on the individual patient. Every smile responds differently to treatment. Treatment times can take anywhere between 6 to 30 months; however, most standard treatments take about 22 months.
Do braces hurt?
Treatment is not painful, however, 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. 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?
As Orthondontic Specialists, we do not check for cavities or do cleanings. Patients are encouraged to return to their family dentist regularily every 3 to 6 months for cleanings and check-ups.
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?
We offer free, complete and comprehensive exams which take 45 minutes to one hour. During this time we will determine if treatment is necessary and if so, the best appropriate time to begin. Our goal is to help you understand the treatment options and address any concerns or questions you may have. We do not routinely take x-rays as part of our consultation but rather we take them only if required to make a diagnosis. Consultations are FREE and no referral from your family dentist is required. Simply call (905) 789-8888!