Orthodontic FAQs

Orthodontic FAQs - frequently asked questions about braces by Michael Bryant Orthodontics in Windsor Mill, MD

If you’re seeking orthodontic treatment for yourself or your child for the first time you probably have some questions. We’ve compiled this list of orthodontic FAQs that may contain some of the information you’ve been hoping to find. It’s broken down into two sections: “frequently asked questions in orthodontics” and “frequently asked questions about braces.” If you still have questions after reading through these Orthodontic FAQs, the staff at our office would be happy to assist you in discovering the answers you need to make smart choices regarding orthopedic care for yourself and your family.

Frequently Asked Questions in Orthodontics

Orthodontics is a specialized field of oral medicine that focuses on moving teeth into proper alignment. Orthodontic care can improve the look and feel of your teeth, as well as help to prevent dental health problems that are caused by misaligned teeth.

Many people choose orthodontic care to enhance the look of their smile and gain self-confidence. Others choose orthodontic care because of the associated health benefits. Candidates for orthodontic care would include people with crooked teeth, overbites, underbites, crossbites, open bites, excessive crowding or spacing, or misplaced midlines. An orthodontist can help to determine if you have any of the above conditions or other tooth placement problems that could be improved through orthodontic care.

Orthodontics is often considered a completely cosmetic treatment option. This perception is false. Orthodontic treatment can prevent a whole host of potential health problems, such as gum disease, tooth decay, tooth loss, bone deterioration, difficulties with chewing and digesting food, speech impediments, and the ability to fight infections.

The American Association of Orthodontists has put out a recommendation that children should receive their first orthodontic consultation by the age of seven. Though this may seem early since many patients don’t require braces until several years later, a checkup at this age could catch problems that are beginning to occur before they become more pronounced. If a child does need early orthodontic intervention, the sooner the problems are diagnosed, the sooner treatment can begin and complications can hopefully be avoided. If you waited until after this recommended age a checkup should be scheduled as soon as possible to determine what, if any, orthopedic care is necessary.

Initial visits to the orthodontist often involve getting to know our friendly staff members, having x-rays taken of your teeth, and allowing the dentist to examine the x-rays to decide if a diagnosis needs to be made. Then the orthodontist will meet with you to discuss your treatment options. You will have time to ask questions and make plans for your care, as well as discuss the cost that will be involved in your treatment.

You’ll discover whether or not you have an orthodontic problem that will require treatment. If a problem is diagnosed, the orthodontist will lay out a plan of action to address the problem. You’ll find out if you’ll need to have teeth removed, an approximate amount of time necessary for treatment to be completed, and how much your treatment is projected to cost.

The amount of time orthodontic treatment requires differs from patient to patient. Usually, the more extensively misaligned your jaws or teeth are, the longer you can expect your treatment to take. Our goal is to provide you with successful treatment that is completed in a timely, cost-effective manner.

Once you receive a diagnosis for any orthodontic problems you may have you can find out a realistic expectation of often you’ll need to come into the office. A visit every six to eight weeks is the normal routine for most patients wearing conventional braces. Certain patients may have conditions that require more or less frequent appointments.

The cost of orthodontic treatment varies from patient to patient based on the type of treatment chosen. Orthodontic insurance is sometimes available as part of a dental insurance plan, which can help with affordability. At Bryant Orthodontics, our fees range from $2500-$5497, and monthly payments average around $150-$200. We also offer customizable plans to fit your budget. In house options require a down payment, and 15-20 months to payoff the treatment. Care Credit is accepted if you prefer to use that method.

Frequently Asked Questions About Braces

Yes, some people whose teeth are straight should still get braces. Bite problems, such as cross bites, overbites, underbites, and misplaced midlines, can lead to various health problems. These would include jaw aches, headaches, and tooth grinding. When the jaws are misaligned and teeth are not coming together properly during chewing this can lead to tooth damage as well as cheek or lip damage caused by accidentally biting these sensitive areas.

Yes, braces will still be effective even if you are missing teeth or you have crowns. The teeth with crowns on them respond just like other teeth to orthodontic tooth alignment treatments. If you have missing teeth orthodontic treatment can actually help to reposition your remaining teeth into a more comfortable, aesthetically pleasing alignment.

Yes, many adults get braces. They can be just as effective in correcting tooth misalignment in adults as they are in adolescents or children. If you’re concerned about the look of your smile while wearing your braces, you can check out some of the less visible braces options that are currently available.

There are a number of different types of braces which all have their pros and cons. These would include conventional metal braces, ceramic braces, self-ligating braces, lingual braces, and invisible alignment braces. Some of these types of braces offer advantages of lower cost, increased effectiveness, decreased discomfort, or decreased visibility. Your orthodontist can discuss the various options with you to try to help you determine the right type of braces for your situation.

Whether or not teeth need to be extracted before braces can be put on will be determined on a case by case basis. With recent innovations in orthodontic treatment options, tooth extractions aren’t necessary as frequently as they were in the past.

Dental checkups are vital to good oral health, and that doesn’t change while you’re wearing braces. We encourage you to follow good oral hygiene habits and maintain regularly scheduled dental visits. Orthodontic treatment complements rather than replaces your general dental care.

Yes, you should avoid any foods that are so hard or so sticky that they could cause your braces to break off or become damaged. When you come to the office we can give you a comprehensive list of foods to stay away from the entire time you wear braces. The more careful you are to follow these instructions, the less likely you’ll be to need to have your braces repaired.

The average treatment time ranges between 12-18 months. Results depend on original concern, malocclusion, crowding, and spacing. With cooperation of diet instructions, elastic wear and keeping appointments is also dependent upon treatment time. Brushing is very important to success.

During the first few days, up to a week there is an adjustment to the pressure of the braces adjacent to the lips and cheeks. Any pain can usually be solved by taking  Advil, Tylenol or whatever pain relief is preferred. No injections during treatment are required.

We hope that these frequently asked questions in orthodontics and frequently asked questions about braces have been beneficial for you in your journey toward better oral health. Let us know if there’s anything else you’d like to know about orthodontic treatment in general or about the specific care available at our office.