Frequently Asked Questions

What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. The practice of orthodontics requires special skills to apply and control corrective appliances (braces) to bring teeth, lips and jaws into proper alignment and to achieve facial balance.

Who is an Orthodontist?

An Orthodontist is a highly trained specialist who has not only graduated as a dentist but has returned to University for post-graduate training on a full time basis. Orthodontic specialists must first attend university, then complete a 4 year graduate program in Dentistry. They must then complete an additional residency program of at least two-three years of advanced education in orthodontics.

What are the benefits of orthodontic treatment?

A beautiful smile is just one of the benefits orthodontics has to offer. Bringing teeth, lips and jaws into proper alignment not only produces a great smile, but a healthy one as well. Straight teeth function better and are easier to clean. As well, the increased confidence and self-esteem that a healthy smile provides can last a lifetime.

When should my child first see an orthodontist?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child should see an orthodontist by the age of 7. Many orthodontic problems are easier to correct if detected early rather than waiting until jaw growth has slowed. Early treatment may mean a patient will avoid surgery or other more serious complications.

Do adults get orthodontic treatment?

Absolutely. In fact, about twenty to twenty-five percent of orthodontic patients are adults. Healthy teeth can be moved at any age. Orthodontic treatment can restore good function and teeth that work better usually look better. A healthy, beautiful smile can improve self-esteem, no matter the age.

What are braces and how do they work?

Braces, also known as brackets, are the most common appliances orthodontists use. Metal brackets are shown below. Tooth colored or clear brackets made of ceramic or plastic are also available.

What are braces and how do they work?

  1. Bands: Rings of metal with the bracket welded to it. These rings are sometimes used on molars (back) teeth.
  2. Brackets/Braces: Attachments that hold the archwire. They are attached directly to each tooth with a dental adhesive or welded to a band.
  3. Archwire: The wire that fits into the bracket slots and connects the brackets to each other. Teeth move from the gentle pressure that is applied by the braces. This pressure comes from the archwire, which guides the direction of tooth movement.
  4. Elastic Ligatures: Also called “O” rings are tiny, colored rubber rings that tie the archwire into the brackets.
  5. Hooks: Small attachments on the brackets that are used to attach elastics (rubber bands).

Frequently Asked Questions

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