Why is orthodontics important?
An attractive smile, improved function, and an enhanced self-image are some of the benefits of orthodontic treatment. Without treatment, orthodontic problems can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, chewing and digestive difficulties, speech impairments, tooth loss and other dental injuries.

Will braces hurt?
Most people have no discomfort while they are in the office for treatment, whether placing or adjusting the braces. At times, some people may feel some soreness in their teeth for a few days after braces are placed or adjusted. If you have no allergy to these medications, you can use ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or a non-aspirin pain reliever to help you adjust to your braces.

At what age should orthodontic treatment begin?
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that all children have an orthodontic screening by the age of 7. Orthodontic treatment can be started at any age, but some orthodontic problems are easier to correct if detected at an early age. Problems that may require early treatment include crossbites, severe underbite/overbite/deep bite, severe crowding, and/or orthodontic concerns that cause psychological concerns (i.e. poor self esteem or teasing by others).

How long will I wear braces?
The time needed for orthodontic treatment will differ from one patient to the other. It always depends on the degree of change needed in jaw and/or tooth position. We are committed to giving you the best smile as quickly and effectively as possible.

What types of braces are available?
The decision to use metal, plastic, or ceramic is made by the patient in consultation with the orthodontist, and is discussed at the initial exam and consultation. Although most patients wear metal braces, ceramic (clear) braces can be used to enhance the patient's appearance.

What are spacers (separators)?
Teeth normally fit tightly against one another. Spacers are inserted before placement of your braces to provide some space between teeth for band attachment. In a few days, the spacers gently move the desired teeth apart. Spacers can cause some soreness, but this usually goes away in a few days. If you are not allergic to these medications, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or a non-aspirin pain reliever may be used for discomfort. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water may help to relive any irritations. Surprisingly, your normal chewing usually helps your teeth feel better much sooner.

Can I play sports while wearing braces?
Yes. However, it is recommended that patients protect their smiles by wearing a mouth guard when participating in any sporting activity. Mouth guards are inexpensive and usually comfortable. A "boil and bite" mouth guard is not recommended for orthodontic patients.

Will braces interfere with playing musical instruments?
No. However, there may be an initial period of adjustment. For additional comfort, brace covers are available to prevent discomfort.

Are retainers necessary? How long will I have to wear it?
A retainer is absolutely necessary after orthodontic treatment. The retainer is designed to prevent your teeth from moving while the bone around your teeth rehardens and stabilizes. Retainers are worn on a regimented schedule for the first year and primarily at night for the time thereafter. The longer you wear your retainer, the better your chances are that your teeth will not relapse.

Am I too old for orthodontics?
Absolutely not. About 25% of orthodontic patients are adults. Many adults are correcting concerns that were never addressed when they were children or re-addressing new concerns. A beautiful smile is for all ages.

What is TMJ?
The Temporo-Mandibular Joint (TMJ) is involved with the movements of the lower jaw. Dysfunction of the joint occurs when the joint is misaligned or malfunctioning in a way that subjects the jaw to abnormal pressures or movements. TMJ dysfunction can seriously affect your mouth and often includes symptoms ranging from headaches and neck pains to popping and clicking noises.

What is malocclusion?
Malocclusion is basically a term to describe a "bad bite." Although most malocclusions are inherited, some may be acquired environmentally from thumb sucking and premature tooth loss. Inherited malocclusions are usually caused by a difference in the size of the jaws compared to the size of the teeth. Whether inherited or acquired, malocclusions affect both your teeth and your face.

How much will it cost?
Costs vary depending on the severity of the problem and the type of treatment needed to correct your concern. Today many dental policies include orthodontic benefits that make orthodontics more affordable than ever before.