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Orthodontic FAQs
Your questions. Answered.

Orthodontic FAQs

boy with glasses smilingWe understand you may have questions about orthodontics and orthodontic treatment, so to address your main concerns, here are a few key orthodontic FAQs.

What is Orthodontics?

Orthodontics is a specialist type of dentistry. We focus on teeth, including the prevention and treatment of dental problems and facial abnormalities.

What is a Dentist vs. an Orthodontist?

A dentist is a certified doctor trained to work on general conditions related to oral health. This can include plaque removal, root canals, bridges, and fillings. Dentists are highly skilled at a variety of tasks related to keeping your mouth healthy.

An orthodontist is a dentist who in addition to dental school has completed a two-to-three year post-doctoral residency in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics. Orthodontists complete training in how to correct jaw abnormalities, straighten teeth, and give you the perfect smile. Like many orthodontists, Dr. Shannon Lewis received her certification from the American Board of Orthodontics for excellence in patient care after an extensive testing process given by her peers.

Where dentists provide a variety of essential services on a daily basis, orthodontists specialize in the movement of teeth exclusively for a healthy bite and good-looking smile. Selecting an ABO certified orthodontist ensures the highest level of orthodontic treatment.

Is there a Recommended Age to Visit an Orthodontist?

Anyone can benefit from seeing an orthodontist. You are never too old to achieve a perfect smile! The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first appointment with an orthodontist when they are seven years old. This allows the orthodontist to prevent problems with the teeth and growth of the face and jaws.

How Do I Keep My Teeth Clean with Braces or a Retainer?

You need to take extra special care of your teeth when you are wearing braces or a retainer. Always brush your teeth after each meal to prevent a buildup of plaque. If you wear a retainer, remove it when you eat and remember to brush and floss after eating. Choose toothpaste containing fluoride and ask your dentist if a fluoride rinse could be beneficial.

Retainers should be kept nice and clean. A gentle brush without toothpaste is fine, although we recommend you can use denture cleaner to keep them as bright as possible. Please do not use boiling water or the dishwasher to clean your retainer, as this will damage it.

Try and avoid eating sugary foods or drinking soda. Sugar attracts bacteria and leads to an increased risk of cavities. You should also avoid sticky foods, hard foods, and anything that might get stuck in the wires of your braces.

What are the Most Common Types of Braces?

We use braces to help move your teeth into the correct position. There are a number of different types of braces, including:

  • Traditional Braces
  • Ceramic Braces
  • Lingual Braces
  • Clear Braces
  • Self-ligating Braces
  • Invisible Braces

How Long Do I Need to Wear My Braces?

Treatment times vary as everyone is different, but the average time it takes for a treatment plan to conclude is 18-months. However, you could achieve your perfect smile within a year!

Are Braces Painful?

There can be some discomfort from braces, usually after they are adjusted. It can also take a while for your mouth, cheeks, gums, and teeth to adjust to the sensation of wearing a brace. You may feel sore for a few days after having braces fitted, but the discomfort rarely lasts long.

Should I have My Six-Monthly Dental Check-ups?

It is advisable that you stick to your routine six-monthly check-ups with your family dentist. This will help prevent any tooth decay or oral hygiene problems.

Should I Brush My Teeth More Often with Braces?

You should always try to brush and floss your teeth after each meal, preferably two times a day for two minutes. This will help to prevent a buildup of food and plaque around your braces. Use floss or interdental brushes to reach the hard to reach places. Water picks can be helpful before you brush your teeth but cannot be used alone.

Will Wearing Braces Affect My Life?

There will be a period of adjustment once you have braces fitted, but don’t worry, you will soon get used to wearing them! Wearing braces should not prevent you from playing sports or a musical instrument, However, if you play contact sports, we recommend that you use a mouth guard for extra protection.

What is the Difference Between a Local Orthodontist and Online Braces?

Have you ever bought a cheaper appliance to save money only to find it breaks the day after the one-year warranty? Then the repair costs as much as the appliance and you have to buy a new one. So really you have made double! This can be frustrating to say the least. With online braces/aligners, this can happen to you. Getting your teeth straight requires in-office procedures to make sure this happens. So without seeing a doctor, you may be paying thousands of dollars and still not have the result you were looking for in the first place.

At Lewis Orthodontics, we don’t want this to happen to you! We have some less expensive options depending on your needs and expectations, where you can see Dr. Lewis and get the procedures necessary to get the results for that beautiful smile. We believe in doing it right the first time! Online braces may be less expensive initially, but you may end up doing it twice to get your expectations met!

In some cases, the health of your teeth may be compromised by doing online braces because a doctor did not see them prior to the start of treatment. Gum, bone and tooth loss can occur from this. Also sometimes certain teeth may not move, wouldn’t that be nice to know before you pay for treatment that may not work? At the least, you may not even have straight teeth after paying for treatment. Dr. Lewis can help you if this happens to you. She can give you the results you want the first time. Please contact our office today!

A local ABO certified orthodontist has the training and experience to customize your treatment ensuring the outcome you are expecting. He or she is able to keep your treatment on schedule minimizing simple problems before they become expensive time-consuming problems. This can only come from in-office appointments and proper treatment planning from an orthodontist who has diagnosed your case personally.

Online orthodontic products are designed to cut costs for the producer of the products and their investors at the expense of patient health. Often in online braces companies one orthodontist or dentist is assigned hundreds of cases for patients a thousand miles away with no personal contact. The treatment is initially less expensive, but the corrective problems become very expensive on the back end of treatment. This creates the scenario where patients may be forced to pay for braces twice for the outcome to be correct. Possible problems include improper bite placement, misaligned teeth, loose teeth, loss of teeth, teeth that won’t move, still having crooked teeth after treatment, and poor patient care when problems are detected. If you have purchased online braces and are not happy with your bite and your tooth location, please contact Dr. Lewis to correct these problems.

It is always recommended to select a local ABO certified orthodontist to maximize your treatment and to do it right the first time.

How do I Make an Appointment?

Call the office at (405) 330-5095 or book an appointment online.

If you have any more questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch! We are always happy to offer advice or give you all the information you need.

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