WHY IS TREATMENT IMPORTANT?
Orthodontic treatment helps ensure
proper function and create healthy,
beautiful smiles. Teeth that are
misaligned are harder to clean and
maintain as well as can cause
abnormal wearing of tooth enamel
which can lead to extensive and
expensive dental procedures.
WHY SEE AN ORTHODONTIC SPECIALIST?
They are the dental professionals with
the skills and experience to best treat
orthodontic problems. Aligning teeth
to function properly and look great,
too, is what an orthodontic specialist
WHAT CAUSES ORTHODONTIC PROBLEMS?
Most problems are inherited – such as
crowding, spacing, protrusion, extra or
missing teeth and some jaw growth
problems. Others can be a result of
thumb- or finger-sucking, dental
disease, accidents, the early or late
loss of baby teeth or other causes.
WHAT IS MY ROLE?
You are a partner in the process. Keep
appointments, maintain oral hygiene,
follow care instructions and continue
to see your primary dentist.
WHEN SHOULD CHILDREN GET THEIR FIRST CHECK-UP?
The best time for treatment is when
an orthodontic problem arises, but as
a general rule, age 7 is an ideal time
to get an evaluation. There is usually
an optimal time in your child’s life to
achieve the best results, so you won't
regret getting an early consultation
from an orthodontic
AM I TOO OLD FOR ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT?
Age doesn’t matter. The key factor in
determining a good candidate for
treatment is the health of teeth and
HOW LONG DOES TREATMENT TAKE?
It depends on the complexity of the
case and what the patient wants to
achieve. A short-term touch up can be
as little as several months while
comprehensive treatment could last
WHAT'S THE COST?
Orthodontic specialists customize
both treatments and fees. After a
face-to-face consultation, you can
determine what type of treatment,
appliances and results might work
best for you. A flexible payment plan,
which can include dental insurances,
FSAs and HSAs, may be used to
construct an affordable plan.
CAN I GET APPLIANCES THAT ARE LESS NOTICEABLE?
Many of today's orthodontic treatments are designed to minimize the appearance of the appliance and better fit an adult lifestyle. Keep in mind, limiting your treatment options may limit your results. Whether it is clear braces, braces behind your teeth or clear aligners, you have discreet choices to help achieve your desired result.
WILL TREATMENT FIT MY LIFESTYLE?
Certainly. You can still sing, play an instrument, dine out, kiss and do almost anything. Some temporary adjustments may be necessary, but most patients adapt quickly.
HOW OFTEN ARE CHECK-UPS?
It will depend on the treatment recommendation, but the average is once every six weeks during active treatment.
CAN TREATMENT HELP SOMEONE WHO HAS MISSING TEETH?
Yes! Orthodontic treatment can properly align your teeth and create the proper space for future dental procedures like veneers, crowns, implants, etc.
DOES GUM DISEASE IMPACT ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT?
It is imperative to have a periodontal (gum) check up with either a periodontist or your general dentist to make sure that your mouth is a good candidate for treatment.
WILL I EXPERIENCE DISCOMFORT?
Treatment is more comfortable than ever, thanks to new techniques and appliances. Discomfort, if any, is shortlived and can be managed with overthe-counter analgesics.
WHY CONSULT EARLY?
Early diagnosis is the key to better treatment. Delaying an orthodontic consultation can lead to extended treatment times, cause a potential problem to get worse and limit results.
EARLY TREATMENT CAN:
- Guide permanent teeth into a more
- Guide permanent teeth into a more
- Correct harmful oral habits
- Reduce the severity of the case and
subsequent future treatment
- Improve your child’s bite and selfconfidence
WHAT'S THE BEST TIME FOR TREATMENT?
The best time for treatment is when an orthodontic problem arises, but as a general rule, age 7 is an ideal time to get an evaluation.
AAO orthodontic specialists have the skills and training to detect warning signs and can offer the best treatment at the right age. There is usually an optimal time in your child’s life to achieve the best results, so you won't regret getting an early consultation.
WHEN TO BRUSH AND FLOSS?
Brush after every meal or snack. If you can't brush, make sure to at least rinse your mouth with water. Floss at least once a day. Make sure your teeth are thoroughly clean before bed.
HOW TO BRUSH?
Use fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristle toothbrush or power toothbrush. Begin brushing with water only, so you can see what you're doing. Look for clean and shiny braces, where you can see all the edges of the brackets clearly. Next, add toothpaste. Brush around all the parts of your braces and every surface of your teeth in small circles for at least two minutes. Brush your tongue, roof of the mouth and gums. Rinse thoroughly after brushing with water or a mouth rinse. Finish with inspecting your braces for loose or broken brackets. Change your toothbrush or toothbrush head at the first sign of wear or at least every three months.
HOW TO FLOSS?
Slide dental floss up and down the sides of each tooth to remove plaque between the teeth. Floss threader, pre-threaded floss and small interproximal brushes are available to help you get under your wires more easily.
- Interproximal brush – slip this tool under your archwire to help remove
plaque and food particles.
- Fluoride toothpaste or rinse – use with your interproximal brush for
- Power toothbrush
RISKS OF POOR ORAL HEALTH?
Plaque and food can accumulate around your braces and lead to permanent white marks (decalcification), cavities, gum disease, periodonitis or advanced periodontitis (where the gums start to pull away, forming gaps or pockets between teeth or teeth begin to fall out).
FOODS TO AVOID:
Avoid sugary, crunchy, sticky, chewy and hard foods such as caramels, taffy, hard candy, popcorn, pizza crusts, nuts, etc. Eating ice, chewing on pencils or pens and biting into whole apples can cause damage to your appliances. Maintain a healthy diet to provide essential nutrients to bones and tissues undergoing change during treatment. Also, avoid carbonated drinks that may create white spots around your braces.