Orthodontists are dental specialists who diagnose and treat problems with the position, alignment or spacing of the teeth, and related irregularities in the face and the jaw. They use a number of special treatments, including braces and other oral appliances, to correct these problems.
Aesthetics and function are the two main reasons.
1. Having an attractive smile not only changes your appearance – it enhances your own self-image as well.
2. Orthodontic treatment also allows your teeth to function better and makes it easier to keep them clean, which can improve your overall health.
You’re never too old to begin orthodontic treatment – but treatment may be easier if you start at an earlier age. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that a child who may need orthodontic treatment should come in for a first visit around age 7.
Unfortunately not. The space available for the front teeth does not increase as you grow. In most people, after the permanent molars erupt, the space available for the front teeth decreases with age.
Treatment is needed when teeth are protruding, crowded together or erupting out of position. It is also important to be on the lookout for mouth breathing, frequent biting of the cheek or palate, speech difficulties, and thumb sucking that goes past 3-4 years of age. It may also indicate an orthodontic problem if teeth don’t meet properly when the mouth closes, or if the jaw makes sounds or shift as they move.
Yes. Some orthodontic problems are significant enough to require early treatment. However, if a patient is not ready for treatment yet, we will follow that patient’s growth and development until the time is right for treatment to begin.
Phase One treatment, if necessary, is usually initiated on children between the ages of 7 and 10, when the child has most of their baby teeth and a few permanent front incisors. Phase One treatment usually lasts about 6-12 months. The main reason for Phase One Treatment is to address significant problems to prevent them from becoming more severe and to improve self-esteem and self-image. These problems include skeletal dysplasia, crossbites and crowding. This early phase treatment turns a difficult future orthodontic treatment into a more manageable one and helps to prevent the need for future extractions or surgery. Most Phase One patients require a Phase Two treatment in order to achieve an ideal bite.
Absolutely not! Only certain bites require early phase treatment. All others can wait until most if not all their permanent teeth erupt.
It is best to assume that your child will need full braces even after Phase One treatment. The period following Phase One treatment is called the “resting period,” during which growth and tooth eruption are closely monitored. Throughout this period, parents and patients will be kept informed of future treatment recommendations. The average age for Phase Two Treatment is 12 years. The goal of Phase Two Treatment is to achieve an ideal occlusion with all of the permanent teeth.
Having braces put on is generally painless. Some people experience minor aches and pains in the first couple of days or so, as they adjust to wearing their appliances; periodic adjustments may sometimes cause soreness as well, though it typically lasts only a short time. Over-the-counter pain relievers can be used to alleviate any discomfort, but are usually unnecessary. Soft ice cream or jelly (something cold) can also help to treat any pain. The intensity of the pain/discomfort, however, is determined by the patient’s physiological pain threshold.
It’s different for each person, but generally the active stage of treatment (that is, wearing braces or other appliances) may take from 18-24 months. After that, a retainer is worn to stabilize the teeth in its new position.
It depends on what’s being done, and how often you need to be monitored. During active treatment, you’ll typically come in to our office once every 6 to 8 weeks.
Removing teeth is sometimes required to achieve the best orthodontic results. If your teeth are severely crowded (because your mouth is too small to properly accommodate all of them) or if you have impacted teeth (teeth that are trapped beneath the gum line by other teeth), then extraction may be necessary. In some cases, the dental arches can be expanded to accommodate the crowded teeth making extractions unnecessary.
Yes — you should avoid types of foods that could damage or become trapped in your braces. Some of these include raw vegetables, biltong and droëwors, hard candy, toffees and ice cubes (fortunately, ice cream is OK). We will give you a list of foods to avoid.
Yes, of course, whether you wear braces or not, but we recommend that you wear a mouthguard when playing most sports. Musicians are generally able to play their instruments just as they did before, but they may need a short adjustment period after getting braces.
You do, in fact, it’s more important than ever! Keeping teeth free of plaque (and potentially, caries) can be challenging when you’re wearing braces. Your dentist and oral hygienist can help you avoid these problems with frequent exams and cleanings. You should actually go for a cleaning every three months with braces, if possible.
Almost always, the answer is yes: If you don’t wear a retainer, your teeth can rapidly move out of position, and then all the effort and money put into your treatment is lost! Your retainer helps you maintain that good-looking smile for a lifetime.
Orthodontic care is a long-term investment in your health and well-being. Many financing options are available that make orthodontic care affordable. Weighed against the true cost of living with problem teeth, however, orthodontic treatment can be a wise investment indeed.
Upon arriving, each patient and parent will be seen by the staff and doctor. We will take the necessary photographs (and X-rays if needed) to allow us to make a proper diagnosis. The doctor will then complete a thorough examination and discuss a few possible options. Doctor will then discuss the final treatment plan during the banding appointment, after the treatment plan has been worked out.
There are five essential questions that we will cover during the initial examination:
1. Is there an orthodontic problem, and if so, what is it?
2. What must be done to correct the problem?
3. Will any teeth need to be removed?
4. How long will the treatment take to complete?
5. How much will the treatment cost?
The placement of the braces (banding appointment) requires a 1 ½ hour appointment and is generally scheduled during the morning. All the 6-8 weekly follow-up appointments (15-30 minutes) can be scheduled in the afternoon after school.
Yes. We understand your busy schedule and we are happy to help you make the most of your time. On some occasions, we may request to speak with a parent when they return, so we ask that parents check in at reception before dropping off their child.
Yes, there is no reason to miss school because of an orthodontic appointment.
No, injections are not necessary in orthodontic treatment.
Absolutely not! It is our belief that each patient should be provided with their own braces to achieve the best orthodontic result possible.
If your braces are causing pain or discomfort or if something breaks, you should phone reception. In most cases, we can address these issues over the telephone. If you require an emergency appointment, we will set aside time for you.
Yes. A tooth with a crown will move just like a tooth with a simple filling. When teeth are missing, orthodontic treatment will aid in the alignment of the remaining teeth.
Teeth and sometimes entire facial structures, are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment. It is important that the treatment be appropriate and properly completed. Orthodontic specialists have extensive and specialized training that enables them to provide their patients with professional, personalized treatments.