Frequently Asked Questions about Orthodontic Treatment
We wanted to create a space where multiple questions could receive answers that may not already be given throughout the website. With “Ask an Orthodontist” we are providing a place for comments to be posted and any questions to be asked if we have not provided an answer beforehand, by all means, leave a comment.
Here are a few of the most-asked questions we receive!
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BRACES?
There are many reasons that dentists recommend braces for their patients.
One of the most common reasons is aesthetics. Having straight teeth boosts confidence and self-esteem levels.
Braces can do more for a patient’s overall health than just beautifying a patient’s smile, though.
Straight teeth are easier to brush and floss, helping a patient to achieve healthier gums and teeth.
If a patient’s teeth aren’t aligned, they might not be chewing their food right. Swallowing pieces of food that are too big can make digestion difficult. Once they are straight, they can eat properly and find relief from digestive discomfort.
Overbites, underbites, or crossbites cause wear on a patient’s gums and jaw muscles. This wear can lead to broken teeth, jaw strain, or even tooth loss.
HOW LONG WILL MY TREATMENT BE?
The length of a patient’s treatment is based on factors such as the difficulty of the treatment. The orthodontist will give an ordeal treatment length estimate using their professional judgment and experience with similar cases.
Understanding a patient’s estimated treatment length will mentally prepare them for the upcoming time and energy commitment. This will also let them plan ahead for big events such as graduations, weddings, and family reunions.
HOW OFTEN WILL MY ADJUSTMENTS BE?
Each doctor has their own activation schedule for treatment. This may depend on the type of braces that they use. Confirm if you will be on a 4, 6, 8, or 10-week schedule for activations.
Verifying your appointment interval will help you plan your long-term schedule so you don’t miss any appointments.
HOW MUCH DISCOMFORT WILL THERE BE?
Discomfort is common with braces, especially in the first month. Different braces treatments utilize different amounts of force, so you will want to know what to expect. Additional appliances such as rapid palatal expanders and tongue tamers can elevate the levels of discomfort.
Knowing how much discomfort to expect will help you plan the start of your treatment around work and school schedules. You may want to take a day off or give yourself a weekend to recover.
CAN I PLAY SPORTS WITH BRACES?
Be sure to tell your orthodontist which sports you are active in. Most sports will require an athletic mouthguard. You will need a braces specific athletic mouthguard once you start treatment
Verify which type or brand of athletic mouthguard your orthodontist recommends for your specific treatment. A sports injury with braces can be very serious, so protect yourself at all times. We recommend the OrthoGuard to our patients.
DO I NEED TO HAVE MY WISDOM TEETH TAKEN OUT PRIOR TO STARTING BRACES?
In most cases, wisdom teeth do not need to be removed for the purpose of starting orthodontic treatment. However, there are special circumstances where a treatment plan will require the removal of wisdom teeth right away.
Ask your orthodontist about the need to remove wisdom teeth and the timing of removal at your braces consult.
WHAT LIFESTYLE CHANGES WILL I NEED TO MAKE?
While orthodontic treatment won’t change every aspect of your life, it will change some things. It’s important to have a thorough conversation with your orthodontist about what aspects of your lifestyle you’ll need to change in order to get the most out of your treatment.
These changes typically include how carefully you take care of your dental hygiene, what you eat, and the efforts you make to keep your smile out of harm’s way. While your orthodontist will go over all of this with you as a precaution, it’s important to be thorough and ask anything and everything that may also be on your mind. Which one of my favorite foods do I have to avoid from now on? Can I still play sports? It might be best to make up a list of questions so a patient doesn’t leave anything out!
CAN I WHITEN MY TEETH DURING ORTHO TREATMENT?
Whitening teeth during orthodontic treatment is generally not advised. However, some offices carry whitening products that can be used during active orthodontic treatment.
During your ortho consultation ask what whitening products your orthodontist recommends and when you can use them. Your doctor may recommend whitening before or after orthodontic treatment instead of during treatment.
WILL I HAVE MORE THAN ONE ORTHODONTIST TREATING ME?
In most private practices your treatment will be started and finished by the same orthodontist. In a corporate dental setting, you may experience high doctor turnover. If starting treatment at a large group practice or corporate setting, ask if you will only be treated by one orthodontist.
WHAT IF MY CHILD’S ORAL HYGIENE IS REALLY BAD DURING TREATMENT?
There are circumstances where treatment is discontinued and braces removed prior to treatment being complete. This can happen when a patient’s oral hygiene is consistently poor. If a patient is not willing to take care of their teeth with braces on, your doctor may discontinue treatment.
Ask your doctor about their stance on discontinuing treatment for poor oral hygiene. Ask what the doctor looks for to make this decision and also your options if you find yourself or your child in this unfortunate situation.
WHO CAN I CONTACT IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY DURING MY TREATMENT?
True orthodontic medical emergencies are rare. However, that does not mean that you won’t have a minor emergency after hours or during a long weekend.
During your ortho consultation ask if the office has an after-hours phone line, text messaging, or email system to manage emergencies. This is an important resource for you or your child in braces. You will want to be prepared in the event of an emergency during your treatment.
ORTHODONTIC CARE IS AVAILABLE IN THESE LOCATIONS
With Easter weekend coming up, afterward would be a great time to set up an appointment!
If anyone is needing to visit our orthodontic care center, visit Amazing Smiles Orthodontist with convenient locations in Long Island, Brooklyn, and Queens, NY. Amazing Smiles honors payment plans such as payment installments, insurance, flexible spending programs, and third-party financing.