Frequently Asked Questions
Orthodontics (also referred to as dentofacial orthopedics) is a specialized form of dentistry, focusing on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities.
An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has received 2 to 3 years of additional training and experience after dental school. Your orthodontist is able to straighten teeth, correct misaligned jaw structure, and improve the health and function of your smile.
If you want to improve the look and feel of your smile, any age can be a great age to contact our office. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist around the age of 7; however, orthodontic treatment is not exclusive to children and teens, with about one in every five orthodontic patients being over the age of 21. Whether you are considering treatment for yourself, or for a child, any time is a good time to visit Dr. Reynolds.
Your orthodontist uses braces to help you improve the look, feel and health of your smile! There are several different types of braces to choose from, including:
- Clear braces
- Ceramic braces
- Invisible braces
- Traditional metal braces
The amount of time spent in braces can vary depending on the individual patient. Every smile responds differently to treatment. Treatment times can take anywhere between 6 to 30 months; however, most standard treatments take about 22 months.
Braces do not hurt; however, you may feel a small amount of discomfort for a couple days as your teeth, gums, cheeks, and mouth gets used to your new braces.
With braces, you should brush your teeth at least three times a day to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy and clean. Brushing regularly will help remove any food that may be caught between the braces. You should also floss daily to get in between your braces where your brush is not able to reach. Dr. Reynolds and her team will show you how to properly brush and floss once your braces are placed.
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 and can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. We will work closely with your dentist to make sure that your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.
- ALWAYS remember to brush your teeth after every meal and floss at least once a day.
- Make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride, and ask our office or your family dentist if you need a fluoride rinse. This will help prevent cavities!
- If you take out your retainer to eat, brush your teeth, and floss, remember to keep it safe in its container so that it does not get lost or broken.
- Keep your retainer clean by brushing it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste. You may also use a special retainer cleaner once a week. Do NOT use hot, boiling water or the dishwasher.
- During your treatment, try to avoid foods high in sugar (sugar increases the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth causing more plaque and possibly cavities).
- Avoid sticky and chewy foods (caramel, chewing gum, gummy bears), hard foods (hard candy, nuts, ice cubes) or any foods that could possibly get stuck in your braces (corn on the cob, soft bagels, ribs, taffy, etc). See our complete lists of foods to avoid and foods you can eat.
- Be sure to schedule your routine check-ups with your family dentist. It is recommended that you continue to visit the dentist every 6 months.
Playing an instrument or a contact sport may require some adjustment when you first get your braces but 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 (NOT the boil and bite style) to protect your braces or appliance.
Simply call or email our practice! Our team 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.