10 Common Questions About Braces and Orthodontics

10 Questions about Orthodontic Treatment

If you’re thinking about getting braces, you probably have a lot of questions like most people. The information below sheds light on many of the questions that arise about braces and orthodontics.

1. What’s the best time to consult with an orthodontist?

According to the American Association of Orthodontists, your child should see an orthodontist before the age of 8. In fact, age 7 is the best time because there are a lot of issues that can occur by that season in a child’s life. Keep in mind that visiting an orthodontist doesn’t mean braces are needed. Additionally, it’s prudent for adults to visit an orthodontist for an evaluation as soon as possible to make sure their oral health is optimal.

2. How do I know if I need braces?

Sometimes it’s evident when a person needs braces because the problems are visible. However, there is a big difference between needing and wanting braces. Many people want braces because they desire to feel more confident. There are some people that need braces because they have a serious overbite or underbite, which will also require a surgical procedure.

3. Is a referral from a dentist required to see an orthodontist?

Unless it’s required by your insurance provider, you don’t need to get a referral from a dentist to see an orthodontist. You can simply visit an Orthodontist of your choosing. Sometimes people get referrals from friends or family.

4. Will I need to get shots?

There are some instances when a shot is required because surgery is involved. However, that isn’t usually the case. Basic orthodontia treatments do not require shots.

5. Is there a lot of pain involved?

Wearing braces isn’t painful, but there is some pain involved. For starters, when you first get braces, your mouth will feel sore the following day and it could last for several days before dissipating. Pain medication is provided after the installation. Beyond the initial pain, there’s a chance that the friction caused by your braces rubbing against your lips, tongue and cheeks will cause a small amount of pain. This can be fixed by using orthodontic wax.

6. Will my teeth straighten naturally over time?

Without getting braces, your teeth won’t likely straighten on their own. Sometimes the spaces between teeth will get smaller, but that doesn’t mean braces are no longer needed.

7. How often will I need to see an orthodontist after getting braces?

After you receive your braces, you will have about 3 appointments back to back. Thereafter, you will have to visit your orthodontist approximately every 4-8 weeks. They will establish a schedule based on your situation.

8. What types of foods should I avoid when wearing braces?

When you wear braces, the goal is to make sure you don’t eat foods that will break your braces or damage your teeth, which includes anything hard. For instance, eating popcorn is a problem because the kernels are hard. The same applies to eating meat with bones. You just have to be careful.

9. Are elastics necessary?

Elastics are small rubber bands that help to fix your bite. Installing elastics isn’t difficult. You will likely receive a tutorial and instructions from your orthodontist.

10. Is it possible to just get braces on the top or bottom?

While you might think that braces are only needed for the top or bottom, that’s probably not the case. It’s not often recommended because doing so might result in a malocclusion. This can end up damaging your jaw joints, teeth and the tissues in your mouth.