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The Most Commonly Asked Questions Our Orthodontists Receive

Many first-time orthodontic patients will have questions about various treatment methods, procedures and how their treatment will impact their oral health. Here are 10 commonly asked questions our Weyburn dentists have received from patients.

1. What is orthodontic treatment, and what does it entail?

Orthodontic care is necessary for some patients who have dental irregularities. These can be brought on by your teeth or jaw being positioned incorrectly, genetics, accidents or injuries, environmental factors, or other circumstances.

Malocclusion is the umbrella term for all of these irregularities, including crooked or crowded teeth, teeth that may be excessively spaced or have gaps between them, and impacted teeth.

Orthodontic therapy is the solution, and it can help straighten your teeth. Depending on your needs, treatment may involve a variety of approaches. Most likely, your dentist will suggest one of the following:

  • Traditional metal braces
  • Clear(ceramic) braces
  • Clear aligners
  • Retainers

2. Why should I get orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontic treatment can help you achieve a healthier bite and a straighter smile. It can also impact your long-term oral health, as straighter teeth are easier to brush, floss and keep clean.

Conversely, crooked teeth can mean you’ll be at a higher risk of developing gum disease or cavities. A bad bite or misaligned jaw can even cause headaches or jaw pain.

Some people have aesthetic concerns about the way their smile looks in addition to functional ones. By making your smile more symmetrical, orthodontic treatment can help you. You might feel more confident to admit it at the end of your treatment.

3. Which orthodontic treatment is the best?

An individual's needs and desired smile outcomes are taken into account when designing their orthodontic treatment plan. Your oral health right now, the type of malocclusion you have, and the amount of restorative dental work you've done in the past will all play a role in determining which orthodontic treatment is best for you.

Clear aligners may be an option for some people, while braces may be required for others to correct their misalignment. Your choice may also be influenced by personal preferences and financial constraints. Your orthodontist can go over all of your options with you, including the benefits and drawbacks of various braces, clear aligners, and other options.

4. Which orthodontic treatment is the fastest?

Orthodontic treatment is a time and money investment in achieving your smile goals. Braces or clear aligners can help correct tooth and jaw misalignment, putting you on the road to a straighter smile and better oral health.

Here are some tips to ensure your orthodontic treatment goes as quickly and smoothly as possible:

  • Follow your orthodontist or dentist's instructions and treatment plan on every aspect of your orthodontic care, from oral hygiene such as brushing and flossing to what you can and can’t eat during treatment, to how much you have to wear your appliance.
  • Care for your teeth. Not only is oral hygiene important, but so is ensuring your teeth receive the TLC they need as they undergo their change in alignment. This means no grinding or biting down hard, as this can cause extra pressure in addition to wear and tear.
  • Attend your scheduled appointments with your orthodontist and/or dentist. These give them an opportunity to check in to make sure treatment is progressing as planned, with no obstacles, and to answer any questions and concerns.

5. What’s the ideal age for orthodontic treatment?

In general, the earlier orthodontic treatment can commence, the more efficient it will be.

Where traditionally, orthodontic treatment would begin when patients were 12 to 14 years of age, it’s now recognized that early treatment can be key in resolving orthodontic issues efficiently.

Depending on your child’s orthodontic issue, interceptive treatment may begin between 7 to 11 years old.

Having said that, many people wait until adulthood to begin orthodontic treatment. Whatever your age, as long as your teeth are generally healthy, you may be a candidate for orthodontic treatment! Just keep in mind that adult orthodontic treatment typically takes longer than it does for children.

6. How long does treatment last, and what will it cost?

The length of your treatment will be determined by a number of factors, including the nature of your orthodontic issue, the treatment option you and your orthodontist decide is best for you, your age, general health, and your compliance with your custom treatment plan.

The cost of your treatment will vary depending on the treatment option you choose, the severity of your orthodontic problem, the length of your treatment, and other factors. Your orthodontist or dentist can help you weigh treatment options and financing options.

7. What are my options if I don’t want traditional braces?

People are not only using traditional braces to straighten their teeth. Patients now have more treatment options than in the past thanks to advances in orthodontic technology, which range from clear aligners and ceramic braces to lingual braces (which are attached to the back of your teeth).

Depending on the nature of your orthodontic issue, you may also be able to use removable and transparent clear aligners to treat your malocclusion.

8. How often will I have to see an orthodontist while I’m being treated?

How often you’ll need to see an orthodontist will depend on the treatment option you and your orthodontist or dentist choose, whether you encounter any obstacles during treatment and other factors.

You will typically visit your dentist every 4 to 8 weeks while wearing braces for the duration of your treatment. For checkups to make sure your elastics are in place and to make any necessary adjustments, these appointments can last anywhere from 20 minutes to longer for the initial and final appointments.

For clear aligners, there are no elastics to adjust so you can go longer between appointments and see your orthodontist once every 6 to 10 weeks.

Can I drink pop while wearing braces?

We advise against drinking pop if you have metal, ceramic, or lingual braces on your teeth because carbonated beverages can stain the metal brackets. Additionally, the dyes in soda and even in juices can erode enamel and stain the surfaces of your teeth.

Additionally, the high sugar content that is typically present in these drinks can cause tooth decay, so whether you are receiving orthodontic treatment or not, we generally advise avoiding pop entirely!

9. Will my oral hygiene routine need to change during treatment?

While everyone should brush and floss daily and practice good oral hygiene to avoid cavities, this is especially important if you are undergoing orthodontic treatment to ensure your oral health is preserved.

Because bacteria and plaque can get stuck between your teeth and braces or clear aligners, it’s important to be diligent in brushing and flossing your teeth.

Carefully brush and floss around wires and brackets if you have braces, and avoid foods like popcorn, gum, or others that can damage your teeth or appliances.

Brush and floss each time you remove your aligners to eat or drink and drink only water while they are in. This is because food and bacteria can become trapped between your clear aligners and teeth.

While it can have an immediate impact on your appearance, it is more concerning that tooth decay and plaque buildup can flourish when trapped for hours behind clear aligners. Normally, saliva would wash away some of the food particles, but this is impossible with clear aligners, which fit snugly against your teeth.

It’s important to brush after each meal and floss once per day.

Do you have questions about orthodontic treatment? Contact our Weyburn dentists today to book a consultation.

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