Frequently Asked Questions about Orthodontics
What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics is a specialized form of dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities. Your family dentist will likely refer you to an orthodontist such as James T. Hutta Orthodontics should you be in need of specialized dental care.
What is an orthodontist?
An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has received two to three years of additional training and experience. Altogether, it takes about ten years of higher education to become a licensed orthodontist.
Orthodontists straighten teeth, correct misaligned jaw structure, and improve the function of your smile. Together, Dr. Hutta and Dr. Price have 30 years of experience creating beautiful smiles, so you can feel confident that you’re with the right orthodontist when you come to our practice.
What’s the best age to visit the orthodontist?
Orthodontists tend to work with younger populations because that’s the best time in a person’s life to address orthodontic problems. Age seven is an ideal time for a child’s first orthodontic appointment because enough adult teeth have come in that we can begin to see the relationship of the teeth to the rest of the mouth and make a professional assessment.
However, orthodontists are trained to correct crooked or crowded teeth or misaligned jaw structure for a person at any age, so if you’d like to brighten your smile, schedule your complimentary consultation today.
How can I take care of my teeth if I’m wearing braces or a retainer?
- ALWAYS brush your teeth after every meal and floss at least once a day.
- Use toothpaste that contains fluoride to prevent cavities. Ask about a fluoride rinse, too.
- If you take out your retainer to eat, make sure to place it in its container and to brush your teeth and floss after the meal.
- You can keep your retainer clean by brushing it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste. You may also soak it in denture cleaner as instructed by our office. Keep your retainer out of high temperatures such as boiling water or the dishwasher.
- While wearing braces, avoid foods with a lot of sugar. Sugar increases oral bacteria, which can lead to plaque buildup and cavities.
- Avoid sticky and chewy foods such as hard candies or gum. Ask us for a full list of foods to avoid.
- Adhere to routine checkups with your family dentist. These checkups are recommended every six months.
If I get braces, how long do I have to wear them?
The amount of time spent in braces will vary from patient to patient, but the average amount of time is about 22 months.
Do braces hurt?
Braces can be uncomfortable at first as your mouth gets used to the orthodontic appliance, but they should not be painful. If you are experiencing severe pain with your braces, contact us as soon as possible.
Will my braces interfere with my school activities like sports, playing an instrument, or singing?
It depends on what extracurriculars you’re involved in! You will still be allowed to participate in all your events; however, extra care may be required when engaging in certain activities such as football or basketball. Where contact is likely, a mouthguard will be sufficient to protect your braces and mouth.
How do I schedule my next appointment?
You may schedule appointments at any time by contacting our practice during open hours. Our team will be happy to assist you, whether you’re a returning patient or a new patient!