Frequently Asked Questions About Orthodontics
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.
What is an orthodontist?
An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has received two to three years of additional training and experience. Dr. Megna 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?
If you want to improve the look and feel of your smile, then any age can be a great age to see the orthodontist. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist around the age of seven; however, orthodontic treatment is not exclusive to children and teens, with 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 time is a good time to visit the orthodontist.
How can I take care of my teeth during your orthodontic treatment?
Brushing and Flossing
- 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 SCO or your family dentist if you need a fluoride rinse. This will help prevent cavities!
Foods to Avoid
During your treatment, try to avoid foods with lots of sugar, which increases the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth, causing more plaque and possibly cavities.
Avoid sticky and chewy foods (caramel, chewing gum, taffy),hard foods (hard candies, nuts, ice), or any foods that could possibly get stuck in your braces (corn on the cob, apples, corn chips)
Avoid chewing on pen end caps
- If you take out your retainer to eat, make sure you brush your teeth, floss, and remember to keep it safe in its container so that it does not get lost or broken.
- Keep your retainer clean by brushing it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste. You may also soak it in denture cleaner as instructed. Do not put your retainer in boiling water or in the dishwasher.
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:
If I get braces, how long do I have to wear them?
- Traditional Metal Braces
- Self-Ligating Stainless Steel Brackets
- Ceramic (Clear) Braces
- Invisalign Clear Aligners
- Various appliances to correct jaw misalignments
- Sleep Apnea Therapy (Snoring)
- TMJ Therapy
The amount of time spent in braces will vary depending on each individual patient. As our Office motto states: "Smiles Designed with Uniqueness in Mind" TM - meaning every smile responds differently to each patient's unique needs and designed treatment. Most treatment times typically are between 18 - 20 months.
Do braces hurt?
Braces have had a reputation of "hurting" however, with the advances in modern technology and smaller sized brackets as well as flexible wires, braces do not usually hurt. You may feel a small amount of discomfort for a couple of days as your teeth, gums, checcks 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. Our orthodontic assistants will show you how to properly brush and floss once your braces are placed.
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 teeth, braces or appliances.
How do I schedule my next appointment?
If you are a new patient or have been referred to our practice, please call our office at (210) 479-7000 and our friendly receptionist will provide you with all of the information you need to schedule your initial orthodontic consultation.
For our current patients, at the end of each of your appointments, our front office receptionist will be scheduling your next follow-up appointment.