The placement of bands and brackets on your teeth does not hurt. Once your braces are placed and connected with the archwires, you may feel some soreness in your teeth for one to four days. Your lips and cheeks may need one to two weeks to get used to the braces on your teeth.
What is an orthodontist?
An orthodontist is a specialist who has completed a 2-3 year advanced education program following dental school to learn the extensive skills required to manage tooth movement and guide facial development.
What are some signs that braces may be needed?
Upper front teeth protrude excessively over the lower teeth or are bucked
Upper front teeth cover the majority of the lower teeth when biting together (deep bite)
Upper front teeth are behind or inside the lower front teeth (underbite)
The upper and lower front teeth do not touch when biting together (open bite)
Crowded or overlapped teeth
The center of the upper and lower teeth do not line up
Finger- or thumb-sucking habits which continue after six or seven years old
Teeth wearing unevenly or excessively
The lower jaw shifts to one side or the other when biting together
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that a child visit an orthodontist by age seven or earlier to check on growth and development. Many orthodontic problems are easier to correct if detected early before jaw growth has slowed down. Early treatment may mean that a patient can avoid surgery and more serious complications.
Would an adult patient benefit from orthodontics?
Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age. Everyone wants a beautiful and healthy smile. Twenty to twenty-five percent of orthodontic patients today are adults.
How does orthodontic treatment work?
Braces use steady gentle pressure to move teeth into their ideal positions gradually. The brackets that are placed on your teeth and the archwire that connects them are the main components. When the archwire is placed into the brackets, it tries to return to its original shape. As it does so, it applies pressure to move your teeth to their new, more ideal positions.
How long does orthodontic treatment take?
Treatment times vary on a case-by-case basis, but the average time is one to two years. Actual treatment time can be affected by the growth rate and severity of the correction necessary. Treatment length is also dependent upon patient compliance. Maintaining good oral hygiene and keeping regular appointments are important in keeping treatment time on schedule.
Should I see my general dentist while I have braces?
Yes, you should continue to see your general dentist every six months for cleanings and dental checkups. It is important to keep your teeth and gums clean and free of plaque while your braces are on.
What is TMJ and how is that different from TMD?
TMJ is short for Temporomandibular Joint, which refers to your jaw joint. It is a hinge-like joint that connects your lower jaw to your skull.
TMD is short for Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, which affects your TMJ and jaw muscles. Symptoms of TMD include pain in your jaw, neck, and shoulder, limited jaw opening, clicking or popping you hear when opening and closing your mouth, headaches, and tinnitus.