As a first-time orthodontic patient, you may have many questions about different treatment methods, procedures, and how your treatment will affect your oral health. Here are ten common questions asked by patients in North York:
1. What is orthodontic treatment, and what does it entail?
Orthodontic treatment may be necessary for some patients due to dental issues caused by genetics, injuries or accidents, environmental factors, improper tooth or jaw positioning, or other factors. These irregularities are collectively referred to as malocclusion and may include crooked or crowded teeth, teeth that are excessively spaced or have gaps between them, and impacted teeth.
Orthodontic treatment can help straighten the teeth and may involve a variety of approaches. Your dentist may recommend one of the following options:
- Traditional metal braces
- Clear (ceramic) braces
- Invisalign Clear Aligners
2. Why should I get orthodontic treatment?
Orthodontic treatment can not only give you a healthier bite and a straighter smile, but it can also have long-term benefits for your oral health. Straight teeth are easier to clean, brush, and floss, reducing the risk of gum disease and cavities. Misaligned teeth or a bad bite can even cause headaches or jaw pain.
In addition to the functional benefits, orthodontic treatment can also improve the symmetry of your smile, boosting your confidence and making you feel more comfortable showing it off. Don’t let crooked teeth or a misaligned jaw hold you back – consider orthodontic treatment to improve your oral health and enhance your smile.
3. Which orthodontic treatment is the best?
Orthodontic treatment is designed to meet the unique needs and goals of each patient. The best treatment option for you will depend on various factors, including the type and severity of your malocclusion, your current oral health, and any previous restorative dental work you have had.
While some patients may need braces to correct misalignment, others may be candidates for Invisalign Clear Aligners. Personal preference and budget considerations may also play a role in your decision. Your orthodontist can provide information on the various types of braces, Invisalign Clear Aligners, and other orthodontic devices, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of each option, to help you make an informed decision.
4. Which orthodontic treatment is the fastest?
Orthodontic treatment is a significant time and financial investment that can help you achieve a straighter smile and better oral health. Braces or Invisalign Clear Aligners can correct tooth and jaw misalignment, but it’s important to follow your orthodontist’s or dentist’s instructions and treatment plan to ensure the process goes as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
Here are some tips to make the most of your orthodontic treatment:
- Follow your orthodontist’s or dentist’s instructions for all aspects of your care, including oral hygiene, diet, and appliance wear time.
- Take good care of your teeth by maintaining good oral hygiene and avoiding grinding or biting down hard, which can cause extra pressure and wear and tear on your teeth.
- Attend all of your orthodontist and/or dentist appointments to ensure treatment is progressing as planned and address any questions or concerns.
5. What’s the ideal age for orthodontic treatment?
Orthodontic treatment is usually more effective when it begins at an early age. While orthodontic treatment used to start when patients were around 12 to 14 years old, it is now recognized that early treatment can be more efficient in resolving orthodontic issues. Depending on the specific issue, interceptive treatment may begin between 7 and 11 years old.
However, many people choose to start orthodontic treatment as adults. As long as your teeth are generally healthy, you may be a candidate for orthodontic treatment at any age. It’s worth noting that treatment for adults typically takes longer than it does for children.
6. How long does treatment last, and what will it cost?
The duration of your treatment will be determined by several factors, including the type and severity of your orthodontic issue, the treatment option you and your orthodontist choose, your age, overall health, and your compliance with your customized treatment plan.
The cost of treatment will depend on the treatment option, the severity of your orthodontic problem, the length of treatment, and other factors. Your orthodontist or dentist can help you evaluate treatment options and financing options to find the best solution for your needs and budget.
7. If I don’t want traditional braces, what are my options?
In addition to traditional braces, there are now several other options for straightening teeth thanks to advances in orthodontic technology. These options include ceramic braces and Invisalign Clear Aligners.
Depending on the specific nature of your orthodontic issue, you may be able to use removable and transparent Invisalign Clear Aligners to treat your malocclusion. Talk to your orthodontist or dentist to determine which treatment option is best for you.
8. How often will I have to see an orthodontist while I’m being treated?
The frequency of your orthodontist appointments will depend on the treatment option you choose, any obstacles that arise during treatment, and other factors.
For patients with braces, checkup appointments are typically scheduled every 4 to 8 weeks and may last anywhere from 20 minutes for quick checkups to longer initial and final appointments.
For Invisalign Clear Aligners, there are no elastics to adjust, so you may be able to go longer between appointments, seeing your orthodontist once every 6 to 10 weeks. Your orthodontist or dentist can provide more specific information about the frequency of appointments for your treatment plan.
9. Can I drink pop while wearing braces?
If you have metal or ceramic braces, it is generally recommended to avoid carbonated drinks, as they can stain the brackets and may erode the enamel of your teeth. The dyes in carbonated drinks and juices can also cause staining, and the high sugar content can lead to tooth decay.
We recommend avoiding carbonated drinks altogether, whether you are undergoing orthodontic treatment or not, to maintain good oral health.
10. Will my oral hygiene routine need to change during treatment?
Good oral hygiene is important for everyone to prevent cavities, but it is especially crucial if you are undergoing orthodontic treatment. Bacteria and plaque can become trapped between your teeth and braces or Invisalign Clear Aligners, so it is important to brush and floss carefully around wires and brackets if you have braces and avoid hard or sticky foods that could damage your teeth or appliances.
When using Invisalign Clear Aligners, it is important to brush and floss each time you remove them to eat or drink, and to drink only water while they are in place. This is because food and bacteria can become trapped between the aligners and your teeth, leading to plaque buildup and tooth decay. It is also important to brush after every meal and floss once a day to maintain good oral hygiene.
Do you have questions about orthodontic treatment? Our team at York Mills Orthodontics is here to help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Morrow and get the answers you need to get started.