Orthodontic FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions About Orthodontics

What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics is a dental specialty that focuses on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities, including crooked teeth and dysfunctional bites.

Who is an orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has received two to three years of additional training and experience after graduating from a four-year dental school. Dr. Wing is able to create beautiful smiles, correct misaligned jaw position, and improve the overall health and function of your teeth.

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 to evaluate proper eruption of permanent teeth and ensure there is adequate space for them.

Normally, the ideal age to begin orthodontic treatment is around 12 or 13 when most of the permanent teeth have come in. However, orthodontic treatment is not exclusive to children and teens. About one in every five orthodontic patients being over the age of 21. Whether you’re considering treatment for yourself or for a child, any age is a good time to visit the orthodontist.

How can I take care of my teeth if I’m wearing braces?

  • 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 us or your dentist whether you need a fluoride rinse. This will help prevent cavities and unwanted stains.
  • While in braces, try to minimize foods that are high in sugar. These foods increase the amount of bacteria that can build up on your teeth, and cause more plaque, cavities, and gum disease.
  • Be sure to continue to see your dentist twice a year for routine check-ups and cleanings.

If I get braces, how long do I have to wear them?

The duration of treatment varies from patient to patient, and it depends on the age of the patient, complexity of the case, and how compliant the patient is with the orthodontist’s instructions. Treatment times can range from 6 months to 3 years, but most standard treatments are 18 to 24 months.

Do braces hurt?

Teeth will typically be sore for 2 to 3 days after they are initially placed, and for the same amount of time after each adjustment. Other than this, occasional cheek and lip sores can come and go throughout treatment, as well.

Do I need to brush my teeth more often if I have braces?

While wearing braces, you should brush your teeth at least three times a day to keep your teeth and gums healthy and clean. Brushing regularly will help remove any food that may be caught between the braces. You should also floss daily to get between your braces where your brush isn’t able to reach.

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 dental care specialists regularly. With braces, food may be caught in places your toothbrush can’t reach. This causes bacteria to build up and can lead to cavities and gum disease. Our team will work closely with your dentist to make sure your teeth stay clean and healthy while you’re 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 the braces will not interfere with you singing or playing an instrument. If you play a contact sport, it is recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and braces.