- What is an Orthodontist?
- What does orthodontics have to do with my health?
- How do I know if I (or my child) need(s) braces?
- Will braces hurt?
- How long are braces going to take?
- How often do I need to brush my teeth while wearing dental braces?
- Why do I need to see my dentist every six months if I’m seeing an orthodontist?
- Should I stop playing sports while wearing braces?
- Will it be difficult to play a wind instrument while wearing braces?
- How do I get dental braces?
An Orthodontist corrects teeth and jaw abnormalities and deformities. Put more simply, Dr. Lewis (and other orthodontics professionals) straighten crooked teeth and fix jaws that aren’t aligned properly. Although orthodontists are commonly thought of as dentists for braces, they actually provide a variety of services aimed at a healthier, happier, and a more comfortable smile. Braces are just one of the tools they might use.
Although people often focus on the benefit to their appearance when seeking an orthodontist, it’s important not to underestimate the benefits to your health. One of the biggest benefits to your health is that straight teeth are much easier to clean correctly. Teeth that are no longer crooked are much less likely to be susceptible to periodontal disease and tooth decay, sparing you painful and expensive treatment down the line.
A much less commonly known health benefit of orthodontics is that it can prevent neck, back, and shoulder pain, as well as TMD syndrome and other problems with your jaw and facial muscles. Crooked teeth and a misaligned jaw can cause extra work for facial muscles when you are chewing, talking, or opening your mouth. This can often lead to discomfort in your face, the joint area of your jaw, your neck, shoulders, and your ears. If you have any of these symptoms, contact Lewis Orthodontics to schedule a free consultation.
The best person to determine if you need braces is an orthodontist. Sometimes your general dentist can provide good reference, but an Orthodontist is the best resource since they are dedicated orthodontics. While patients think of braces as a way to straighten crooked teeth, there are also other considerations for determining if a patient needs braces. For example, dental braces are also used to correct overbites, underbites, open bites, deep bites, and cross bites.
The best way to know for sure if you need braces is to schedule an appointment with Dr. Lewis so that she can accurately diagnose, prevent, or recommend a course of treatment for any abnormalities.
What’s the best age to be seen by an orthodontist?
If you want to improve the look and feel of your smile, then any age can be a great age to see the orthodontist. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist around the age of seven. Whether you're considering treatment for yourself or for a child, any time is a good time to visit the orthodontist.
Typically, it really won't hurt to get braces, although some patients do experience a little discomfort. For example, right after you get your braces on for the first time, you may feel a little tenderness around your mouth for up to a week. Most patients comment on how “weird” braces feel when they first get them, as opposed remembering any notable pain. It should take about a week or so to get use to the feel of braces in your mouth.
Braces can take as little as 6 months, or up to 22 months. There are several things that factor into how long your braces will take. The length of time spent in braces depends on the age of the patient, the severity of the problem, the patient’s cooperation, and the degree of movement possible. Dr. Lewis will determine your treatment time at your free consultation.
It’s easy to get food caught in your dental braces, so in order to avoid cavities, and other dental problems you will need to brush your teeth more. You’ll need to brush and floss your teeth 3-4 times a day in order to keep your mouth clean. Although we know that’s a little more than you are use to, it’s an important step for oral health while having braces.
While wearing your braces it’s more important than ever to get your teeth cleaned because sugar, food, and plaque can work it’s way behind your braces. If you don’t want cavities, you’ll still need to see your dentist while wearing braces. Your orthodontist doesn’t replace your dentist, they work hand in hand to make sure you have a healthy smile.
There is no need to stop playing sports while wearing dental braces. However, It is important to wear a mouthguard (especially while wearing braces) to protect your teeth. Dr. Lewis also provides custom mouthguards for a safe and comfortable experience while playing sports once you’ve completed your treatment.
You can still play a wind instrument while wearing braces. It’s likely there will be a bit of an adjustment period right after you get braces that will briefly affect things like tone quality. However, It shouldn’t take very long to adjust to the feel of your new braces and shortly thereafter adjust your music to your new braces.
Only an orthodontist can truly determine if you need braces. The best way to get braces is to schedule an appointment with an orthodontist so that they can determine the best treatment options for your smile. Dr. Lewis offers free consultations in her Lyndhurst, OH, orthodontics office.