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Frequently Asked Questions About Orthodontic Care

Article by Dr. Leaver & Dr. Gardner

If you are ready to get that beautiful straight smile or you have a child that is about to be the age that braces normally begin, you probably have a bunch of questions. There are a lot of thing to consider and choices that you are going to need to make when it comes to orthodontic care. The questions that you have are likely similar to most other people.

Leaver & Gardner lists the most frequently asked questions when you are considering orthodontic care.

What Age Should You Get Braces? This is not a question that has an age. Each person will develop their adult teeth and lose their baby teeth at different times. The better question is how many adult teeth you should have when consulting with an orthodontist. Each orthodontist differs but most will want to evaluate a child once they start to lose their baby teeth and the permanent teeth are setting in. The average is about eight adult teeth before any real work can begin with orthodontics.
Will My Braces Hurt? Braces are not going to cause pain but will cause some discomfort on the first day or two. This is due to the tightness of the bands that causes the gums to become slightly inflamed. This will make your teeth feel a little tender. The tenderness subsides after a few days.
How Long Will I Have Braces? This is another question that cannot be given a straight answer. The problem is that each person is going to grow adult teeth at different rates and the amount of treatment required will have to do with what their initial evaluation finds. Some people have a problem with their bite, some have crowding and others have too much space. The custom orthodontic treatment is individualized and will take a different amount of time. If you want an estimate on time, the orthodontist will give it to you at your initial appointment but it can change as the treatment progresses.
What do Rubber Bands do on Braces? This is a band that is given to the patient to put on at home. They need to wear them as often as possible and the orthodontist will show you which teeth to connect with the band. They are to draw a specific tooth down so that it is in line with the rest of the teeth.
Why are the Bands on Braces Changed? Depending on the type of braces you have, if applicable, at each of your appointments the assistant may remove your bands and take out the wire. This will give you a chance to go brush your teeth and to floss them which is always difficult when you have braces on. The orthodontists will look at your progress and make changes base on the next step. This may be a change in the bands or the wire and how they are attached.

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If you have any other questions they can be answered by one of our experienced orthodontists or staff members when you come in for your evaluation.