As a first-time orthodontic patient, you may have questions about the various treatment methods and procedures available to you, and how your treatment will impact your oral health. Some common areas of concern for first-time patients include the type of treatment being recommended, the length of treatment, the cost of treatment, and any necessary changes to diet or oral hygiene habits during treatment. It is important to discuss these and any other questions or concerns you may have with your orthodontist, so that you can make an informed decision about your treatment.
Here are the ten most common questions that our first-time orthodontic patients ask us:
1. What is orthodontic treatment, and what does it entail?
Orthodontic treatment can be necessary for patients with various dental issues, which can be caused by genetics, injuries, environmental factors, improper tooth or jaw positioning, or other factors. These issues, known as malocclusion, can include crooked or crowded teeth, excessively spaced teeth or gaps between them, and impacted teeth. Orthodontic treatment aims to straighten teeth and address these irregularities, and may involve the use of traditional metal braces, clear ceramic braces, Invisalign clear aligners, or retainers, depending on the patient’s specific needs. Your orthodontist will recommend the most suitable treatment option for you based on your specific dental needs and concerns.
2. Why should I get orthodontic treatment?
Orthodontic treatment can provide a range of benefits for your oral health and appearance. By straightening your teeth and improving your bite, orthodontic treatment can help you maintain better oral hygiene, reduce your risk of gum disease and cavities, and alleviate any associated headaches or jaw pain. In addition to these functional benefits, orthodontic treatment can also improve the symmetry of your smile and boost your confidence in showing it off. Overall, orthodontic treatment can have a positive impact on both your short-term and long-term oral health and well-being.
3. Which orthodontic treatment is the best?
Orthodontic treatment is customized to meet the individual needs and goals of each patient. The most appropriate treatment for you will depend on various factors, including the type and severity of your dental irregularities, your current oral health, and any previous restorative dental work you have had. Your orthodontist will consider all of these factors and discuss the various treatment options available to you, including braces, Invisalign clear aligners, and other orthodontic devices. They will also explain the benefits and drawbacks of each option, taking into account your personal preferences and budget constraints. Ultimately, the goal of orthodontic treatment is to help you achieve a healthy, straight smile that meets your individual needs and goals.
4. Which orthodontic treatment is the fastest?
Orthodontic treatment is a worthwhile investment in achieving your desired smile and improving your oral health. Braces or Invisalign clear aligners can help correct misalignment of the teeth and jaws, leading to a straighter smile and better overall oral health. To ensure that your treatment goes as smoothly and efficiently as possible, it is important to follow your orthodontist’s instructions and treatment plan. This may include specific guidelines for oral hygiene, diet, and appliance use, as well as regular appointments for progress check-ins and to address any questions or concerns. Good care of your teeth is also essential during treatment, including avoiding behaviors that could put extra pressure on or wear down your teeth, such as grinding or biting hard objects. By following these tips, you can help ensure that your orthodontic treatment is a success.
5. What’s the ideal age for orthodontic treatment?
Orthodontic treatment is most effective when started as early as possible. While traditional orthodontic treatment used to begin between the ages of 12 and 14, it is now recognized that early treatment can be critical in addressing orthodontic issues efficiently. For this reason, interceptive treatment may be recommended for children as young as 7 to 11 years old, depending on their specific orthodontic needs. However, it is important to note that orthodontic treatment is not limited to children, and adults can also benefit from it as long as their teeth are generally healthy. Keep in mind that orthodontic treatment for adults may take longer than it does for children, but it can still be an effective way to improve your smile and oral health.
6. How long does treatment last, and what will it cost?
There are several factors that can influence the duration of your orthodontic treatment, including the type and severity of your dental irregularities, the chosen treatment option, your age and overall health, and your adherence to your customized treatment plan. The cost of treatment can also vary based on these factors, as well as the specific treatment option selected, the length of treatment, and other considerations. Your orthodontist or dentist can help you understand your treatment options and available financing options, so you can make an informed decision about your care.
7. If I don’t want traditional braces, what are my options?
In addition to traditional braces, there are now several other treatment options available for straightening teeth, thanks to advances in orthodontic technology. These options include Invisalign clear aligners and ceramic braces. Depending on your specific orthodontic needs, you may be able to use removable and transparent Invisalign clear aligners to correct your dental irregularities. Your orthodontist will assess your needs and recommend the most appropriate treatment option for you.
8. How often will I have to see an orthodontist while I’m being treated?
The frequency of your visits to the orthodontist will depend on the treatment option chosen, any challenges or complications that arise during treatment, and other factors. Generally, patients with braces will need to visit their orthodontist every 4 to 8 weeks for the duration of treatment. These appointments may be shorter check-ups to ensure that elastics are in place and make any necessary adjustments, or longer initial and final appointments. On the other hand, patients who are using Invisalign clear aligners may be able to go longer between appointments, typically seeing the orthodontist once every 6 to 10 weeks. These appointments may be shorter because there are no elastics to adjust. Your orthodontist will provide you with a treatment plan that outlines the frequency and duration of your appointments.
9. Can I drink pop while wearing braces?
If you have metal or ceramic braces, it is best to avoid carbonated drinks, as they can stain the metal brackets of your teeth and the dyes in these drinks can also discolour your teeth and erode enamel. In addition, carbonated drinks tend to have a high sugar content, which can increase your risk of tooth decay. For these reasons, we recommend avoiding carbonated drinks altogether, not just during orthodontic treatment but also for overall oral health. Instead, choose water or other low-sugar, non-carbonated beverages to help protect your teeth and keep them healthy.
10. Will my oral hygiene routine need to change during treatment?
Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial for everyone, but it is especially important during orthodontic treatment. Proper brushing and flossing can help prevent cavities and preserve your oral health while you are undergoing treatment. If you have braces, it is important to brush and floss carefully around the wires and brackets, and avoid foods that can damage your teeth or appliances, such as popcorn and gum. If you are using Invisalign clear aligners, it is important to brush and floss each time you remove them to eat or drink, and only consume water while they are in place. This is because food and bacteria can become trapped between the aligners and your teeth, potentially leading to tooth decay and plaque buildup. To help prevent these issues, it is important to brush after each meal and floss once per day. By following these oral hygiene guidelines, you can help ensure that your teeth and appliances stay healthy and clean during orthodontic treatment.
Are you curious about orthodontic treatment and want to learn more? If so, we encourage you to contact Alliston Orthodontics & Oral Surgery to schedule a consultation. Our team is here to answer any questions you may have and help you understand your options for achieving a healthy, straight smile.