Orthodontic FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions About Orthodontics

What is Orthodontics?

Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that is officially known as Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics. The purpose of orthodontics is to treat any type of malocclusion, which is simply another way of saying “bad bite”.

When you have a malocclusion, that means your teeth, lips and/or jaws don’t line up the way they should. As a result, your teeth may be crooked, your bite may not work correctly and your jaws may look unbalanced.

To fix bad bites, orthodontist – dentist who are specially trained – use braces and other corrective procedures, including materials often called “appliances,” to achieve tooth and jaw alignment. This correction of the teeth and other supportive structures makes for a healthy, attractive smile.

What is an Orthodontist?

An Orthodontist is a specialist in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. All orthodontist are dentists, but only about six percent of dentist are orthodontists. Admission to orthodontic programs is extremely competitive and selective. It takes may years to become an orthodontist and the educational requirements are demanding.

An orthodontist must complete college requirements before starting a three – five year graduate program at a dental school accredited by the American Dental Association (ADA). After dental school, at least two or three academic years of advanced specialty education in an ADA-accredited orthodontic program are required to be an orthodontist. The program includes advanced education in biomedical, behavioral and basic sciences. The orthodontic student learns the complex skills required to manage tooth movement (orthodontics) and guide facial development (dentofacial orthopedics).

Only dentist who have successfully completed these advanced specialty education programs may call themselves orthodontists.

 

If I Have Braces, do I Still Need Dental Checkups Every Six Months?

Yes! In fact, it’s even more important that patients receiving orthodontic treatment visit their dentist regularly. With braces, food may be caught in places that your toothbrush can’t reach. This causes bacteria to build up that can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Your dentist will work closely with your orthodontist to make sure that your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.

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.

How do I Schedule My Next Appointment?

Simply call our practice! Our front desk staff will be happy to help schedule your next appointment at your convenience. If you are a new patient or have been referred to our practice, please let us know and we will provide you with all of the information you need.