COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT ORTHODONTICS
What is an orthodontist?
- An orthodontist is a dental specialist who focuses only on treatment with braces, clear aligners, and retainers. An orthodontist has pursued 2-3 years of additional training beyond dental school in order to specialize in the growth and development of facial structures.
What Problems does an orthodontist fix?
- Common orthodontic problems include crowding or spacing of teeth, uneven smile, impacted or unerupted teeth, and improper jaw alignment.
What is the best age to see dr. Zach for the first time?
- In general, anyone wishing to improve his or her smile can schedule an exam at any age from children to adults! Most full orthodontic treatments will begin around age 11-13 to coincide with the start of adolescence and the loss of remaining baby teeth. However, some problems can still develop before this age and necessitate a form of early treatment as early as age 7. Please see our Early Treatment section to learn about problems addressed in younger children.
will getting braces hurt?
- Generally, there is a short period of discomfort for a couple of days in your teeth, gums, and cheeks as you mouth gets adjusted to the braces. Dr. Zach will discuss with you or your parents the best way to manage this discomfort.
How do I take care of my braces?
- Excellent brushing and flossing habits are necessary to take care of your braces and teeth. Also, you will need to follow our instructions on how to avoid any broken appliances and problems. Please see our Home Care section for more details.
How long will my treatment take?
- Treatment times will vary on an individual basis depending on your goals and how challenging the tooth movements will be. Treatment times can range from 6 months to 30 months, and the most common treatments average about 18-20 months for a beautiful smile.
Do I still need to see a dentist every 6 months?
- Yes! It is absolutely necessary to see your general dentist every 6 months for regular check-ups and cleanings. The health of your teeth is our number one priority, and your dentist is essential in the maintenance of your teeth before, during, and after treatment.
Will I have problems playing sports or playing musical instruments?
- Although there is an initial adjustment period, you should not have problems participating in your normal activities with braces. We recommend wearing a mouth guard during contact sports.
Will I have to wear a retainer?
- Yes, at the conclusion of orthodontic treatment, a retainer is required to maintain the result and keep your smile beautiful. Dr. Zach will discuss retainer options and make recommendations on an individual basis. Please see our Retainers section for more information.