FAQs about Orthodontics
Answered by Our Corpus Christi Orthodontist
If you have been referred to an orthodontist or if you simply have questions about orthodontics in general, you are in the right place. For over five decades, Vaughan & Vaughan has provided proficient and personalized orthodontic services to patients across Texas. As a result, we are deeply familiar with this complex area of dentistry. Here, we answered some of the questions we most commonly receive. If you do not see your questions listed below or if you have further questions regarding the answers we provided, call us today at (361) 210-3481.
What Is Orthodontics?
Also called dentofacial orthopedics, orthodontics is a specialty area of dentistry that focuses on the treatment, prevention, and diagnosis of malpositioned jaws and teeth.
What Is an Orthodontist?
Orthodontists are dental specialists who have received at least several years of additional schooling and training. An orthodontist has the ability to correct misaligned jaws, straighten teeth, and improve the function of their patients’ smiles.
At What Age Is It Recommended to Visit an Orthodontist?
If you are seeking to improve the feel and look of your smile, then you can visit an orthodontist at any age. It is recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists that children have their first orthodontist visit around the time they turn seven years old. However, orthodontics is not just for children and teenagers. Approximately 1 out of every 5 orthodontics patients is over 21 years old. Whether you are considering orthodontic treatment for your child or yourself, any time is a good time to schedule a visit to see an orthodontist.
If I Am Wearing a Retainer or Braces, How Do I Care for My Teeth?
- Avoid chewy or sticky foods, hard foods, or any foods that could potentially get stuck in your braces.
- Avoid foods that have a lot of sugar because they could increase the amount of bacteria in your mouth, thereby leading to plaque and cavities.
- You can keep your retainer clean by gently brushing it with toothpaste and a toothbrush. Also, you can soak your retainer in denture cleaner, but you should not put it in the dishwasher or in boiling water.
- If you temporarily remove your retainer to eat, make sure to floss, brush your teeth, and remember to keep it safe in the container to prevent it from breaking or getting lost.
- Try to use toothpaste that has fluoride in it. Also, ask your family dentist or orthodontist if you need a fluoride rinse. This will help keep your teeth and mouth free of cavities.
- Always remember to floss at least once per day, and brush your teeth after every meal.
- Make sure to set up your routine checkups with your family dentist. It is highly recommended that you make regular visits to the dentist’s office twice a year.
What Are Braces?
Braces are dental devices which are used to straighten and align teeth in their proper position. They improve the feel and look of your smile.
There are several different types of braces from which you can choose, including:
- Traditional metal braces
- Invisible braces
- Clear braces
How Long Do I Have to Wear Braces for If I Get Them?
Since every smile responds differently to treatment, each patient’s amount of time with braces will vary. While treatment times are generally anywhere from 6 to 30 months, the average treatment time is approximately 22 months.
Are Braces Painful to Wear?
Though you may experience slight discomfort wearing your braces during your first couple of days with them, they do not hurt often. Once your mouth, cheeks, gums, and teeth get used to your braces, they will feel more comfortable.
If I Have Braces, Do I Need to Brush More Often?
If you have braces, it is recommended that you brush your teeth at least three times per day to keep your mouth, gums, and teeth clean and healthy. By brushing regularly, you can help remove food particles that get stuck in your braces. Make sure to floss at least once per day in order to reach the areas your toothbrush cannot reach. Once your braces are placed, your orthodontist can show you how to properly floss and brush.
Do I Still Need Dental Checkups Every Six Months If I Have Braces?
Yes! Actually, it is more important for patients who have braces to schedule regular visits to their dentist. Food can easily get stuck in your braces, making your teeth more susceptible to plaque and cavities. Once it gets stuck, it is hard to remove unless you brush and floss regularly. Food particles can lead to gum disease, gingivitis, and cavities. Your orthodontist and dentist will work together to ensure your mouth and teeth stay clean and healthy while you wear braces.
If I Wear Braces, Will They Interfere with My School Activities Like Playing an Instrument, Sports, or Singing?
Playing a contact sport or an instrument may take some getting used to when you first start wearing braces, but braces will not prevent you from participating in school activities. It is highly recommended that you wear a mouth guard to protect your braces if you play a contact sport.
How Do I Set Up My Next Appointment?
Simply call Vaughan & Vaughan today at (361) 210-3481! Our front desk staff would be more than happy to help you schedule your next appointment whenever is most convenient for you. If you have been referred to our practice or if you are a new patient, please let us know and we will give you all the information you need.