Innovative Orthodontics |Orthodontic Education and Consultation
Professor Moschos A. Papadopoulos | Specialist in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics for Children, Adolescents and Adults
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FAQs in Orthodontics
Why Should I visit an Orthodontist for my braces
instead of a dentist?
Orthodontists are specialists who have gone through extensive training in diagnosis and treatment of tooth and skeletal malalignment.
What causes crooked teeth?
Unfortunately, most crooked teeth are inherited traits, like eye color and hair color. Habits such as thumb sucking and jaw grinding can have an effect on how teeth form. Accidental falls or undue pressure on the teeth and gums may also play a part in the development of crooked teeth. That is why it is very important for children to visit the orthodontist in their formative years.
How do I know if I need braces?
There are many noticeable signs that point to braces - such as major gaps between teeth, crowded teeth, and turned or protruding teeth. However, the need for braces can manifest in the form of bone abnormalities, jaw joint pain, and distortion of the formative teeth. Many times these signs can only be detected by x-ray or involved testing. It is best to talk to your dentist about seeking orthodontic treatment for your children at an early age.
Am I too old for braces?
Many people think of orthodontics as "kid stuff", but this is not true. An increasing number of our patients are adults who, for a variety of medical and aesthetic reasons, are choosing treatment to improve their appearance, health, or both. Modern appliances (braces) can in many cases all but eliminate the "tinsel teeth" appearance that accompanied orthodontic treatment in the past.
How braces can be placed on?
The braces or orthodontic brackets are bonded to the front of the teeth using FDA approved adhesives. Although the adhesives are very strong, hard and sticky foods may break the adhesive bond. The adhesive cannot be too strong or it cannot be removed from the teeth following completion of the orthodontic treatment. The entire painless procedure usually takes between one to one and a half hours due to the drying time of the adhesives and description of home care.
Does it hurt?
Although modern procedures all but eliminate pain, some people still avoid going to the dentist because "it hurts". Orthodontics is a little different. The most important thing to remember is that braces are designed to help you and that following the orthodontist's home care directions will help you live easily with braces. Discomfort or "tooth soreness" may occur after adjustments, but that's just your teeth's way of getting used to the braces. Slow chewing on soft foods will help alleviate any soreness. Also, remember to keep your mouth clean at all times by brushing properly after meals. A clean mouth is a happy mouth!
When will I get my braces off?
Depending on your individual factors, the orthodontist can only estimate the length of time you will wear braces. Outside influences such as growth rates and cooperation with home care can prolong or shorten treatment times. Your orthodontist and you will discuss your projected time frame (can be anywhere from 6 months to 30 months).
What are the benefits of braces?
Braces ultimately provide better appearance of teeth, a harmonious smile, and well-balanced face. Improved self esteem and self confidence are wonderful side effects of these results! Braces also promote cleaner, healthier teeth, an even bite for improved jaw alignment and function, and less strain on muscles and joints. Braces also help prevent future tooth decay and gum disease. Speech and swallowing habits may also be improved. All in all, braces help keep you mouth healthy and beautiful!
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