Other Common Dental Questions

Below is a list of some of the questions we get asked most frequently from our patients regarding common dental questions, including orthodontic care. If you have a question that isn't answered below, feel free to give our office a call at (519) 669-1526 and we'll be happy to assist you.
 
• How can I take care of my teeth if I'm wearing braces or a retainer?
ALWAYS remember to brush your teeth after every meal and floss at least once a day. Make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride, and ask your orthodontist or family dentist if you need a fluoride rinse. This will help prevent cavities! If you take out your retainer to eat, make sure you brush your teeth, floss, and remember to keep it safe in its container so that it does not get lost or broken. Keep your retainer clean, too, by brushing it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste. You may also soak it in denture cleaner as instructed by your orthodontist. Do not put your retainer in boiling water or in the dishwasher. During your treatment, try to avoid foods with a lot of sugar, which increases the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth, causing more plaque and possibly cavities. Avoid sticky and chewy foods (caramel, chewing gum, gummy bears), hard foods (hard candy, nuts, ice cubes), or any foods that could possibly get stuck in your braces (corn on the cob, soft bagels, ribs, taffy, etc.). Be sure to schedule your routine checkups with your family dentist. It is recommended that you continue to visit the dentist every six months.
 
• Will my braces interfere with my school activities like sports, playing an instrument, or singing?
Playing an instrument or a contact sport may require some adjustment when you first get your braces, but wearing braces will not stop you from participating in any of your school activities. If you play a contact sport, it is recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your braces or appliance.
 
• Do I need to brush my teeth more often if I have braces?
With braces, you should brush your teeth at least three times a day to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy and clean. Brushing regularly will help remove any food that may be caught between the braces. You should also floss daily to get in between your braces where your brush isn't able to reach. Your orthodontist can show you how to properly brush and floss once your braces are placed.
 
• What kind of braces are available? 

Today, braces can be a fashion statement. At times, instead of traditional metal braces, contemporary looking braces can be used. For Self-ligating braces, which require no elastic ties, can possibly reduce the number of orthodontic visits. There are several types of so-called "invisible braces." Some of these are "clear/transparent" in color but work like traditional metal braces. In addition, there are a series of invisible mouth guard like appliances (not really braces) that patients can remove to eat and clean. The choice appliance is somewhat dependent on the arrangement of the crooked teeth.
 
• What is Orthodontics?
Orthodontics is the specialty of dentistry concerned with the straightening of teeth to correct functional or cosmetic issues. Using specially designed and fitted appliances, constant and gentle pressure is applied to the teeth causing them to move into the desired position. While orthodontic appliances were traditionally made of metal, orthodontists now provide patients with the option of metal, ceramic, or plastic appliances. Such appliances can be removable or bonded to the teeth, based on the patient’s wants and the doctor’s recommendation. The movement of the teeth is triggered by a static yet gentle force which slowly shifts the teeth in a controlled direction. Braces are no longer an unpleasant impediment. Today, orthodontists provide their patients with top of the line products which are less painful, appearance-abusive, and much more effective! With the option of selecting between metallic or ceramic brackets, the color of the ties holding the brackets, and the style of braces, orthodontists have made wearing braces fun and easy!
 
• What age should my child have an orthodontic evaluation?
Although treatment it is rarely needed at this age, the Canadian Association of Orthodontists (CAO) recommends an orthodontic screening for children by AGE 7. This is around the time that jaws are developed enough to predict if treatment will be needed in the future. Having an early screening allows pediatric dentists and orthodontists to assess and monitor the development of the patient before a problem occurs. When you have time on your side, you can plan ahead and prevent the formation of serious problems by intervening when necessary.
 
• Do braces hurt?
When teeth are first moved, mild discomfort may result. The sensation usually lasts about 24 to 72 hours. Patients report a lessening of discomfort as the treatment progresses. Medicines such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) may be taken to alleviate the discomfort.
 
• What are some signs that braces may be needed?

- Upper Front Teeth Protrude Excessively over Lower Teeth or Are Bucked

- Upper Front Teeth Cover the Majority of Lower Teeth When Biting (Deep Bite)

- Upper Front Teeth Are behind/inside Lower Front Teeth (Underbite)

- Upper & Lower Front Teeth Don't Touch When Biting (Open Bite)

- Crowded or Overlapped Teeth

- Center of Upper & Lower Teeth Doesn't Align

- Finger- or Thumb-Sucking Habits Continue after Age 6 or 7

- Difficulty Chewing

- Teeth Wearing Unevenly or Excessively

- Lower Jaw Shifts to one Side When Biting

- Spaces between Teeth