What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics, sometimes also called dentofacial orthopedics, is a specialized form of dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities.

What is an orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a specialized dentist who has received 2-3 years of additional training and experience in orthodontics after completing dental school. An orthodontist is able to straighten teeth, correct misaligned jaw structure, and improve the overall function of your smile.

What’s the best age to first visit an orthodontist?

Andros Orthodontics, along with the American Association of Orthodontists, recommends that children first visit an orthodontist before they reach the age of seven. This allows any active treatment needed to begin between the ages of 10-14, when most permanent teeth have already erupted. However, it’s sometimes better for treatment to start earlier in order to take advantage of the natural growth process of the jaw.

Orthodontic treatment is not exclusive to children and teens, though! About one in every five current orthodontic patients are over the age of 21. Whether you’re considering treatment for yourself or for your child, any time is a good time to visit the orthodontist.

What are braces?

Braces are straightening tools used by your orthodontist to help improve the look, feel, and function of your smile. There are several different types of braces to choose from, including:

How can I take care of my teeth if I’m wearing braces or Invisalign?

  • ALWAYS brush your teeth thoroughly after every meal and before bed, and floss at least once a day.
  • Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride, and a soft orthodontic toothbrush or electric toothbrush with a soft bristled head.
  • During treatment, try to avoid sugary foods and drinks. Sugar increases the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth, causing more plaque and possibly cavities.
  • Avoid all sticky and chewy foods (caramel, gum), hard and crunchy foods (hard candy, nuts) or any foods that could easily stick in your braces (corn on the cob, some meat).
  • Keep up with routine dental check-ups. We recommend you continue to visit your dentist every six months even while you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment.

How long will I have to wear braces?

The amount of time spent in braces varies depending on each individual patient. Every smile responds differently to treatment! Most treatments will take anywhere from eight to thirty months, sometimes less, sometimes more.

Do braces hurt?

Braces don’t hurt, but you may feel a small amount of discomfort for a couple days as your teeth, gums, cheeks, and mouth get used to your new braces. You may also have a day or two of mild soreness any time your braces are adjusted.

Will my braces interfere with extracurricular activities such as sports, band, or chorus?

If you play an instrument or a contact sport, it may require some adjustment when you first get your braces. If you play a contact sport, we recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your braces, but wearing braces won’t stop you from participating in any of your school activities.