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The Most Commonly Asked Questions Our Orthodontists Receive

Do you have questions about the different types of orthodontic treatments and how they affect oral health? Our orthodontist at Abbotsford has compiled a list of 10 frequently asked questions that can help clear up any confusion.

1. What is orthodontic treatment, and what does it entail?

Some patients may have dental issues that require orthodontic treatment. These problems can be caused by various factors such as genetics, injuries, environmental factors, improper positioning of teeth or jaw, or other circumstances.

When we talk about these irregularities, we use the term "malocclusion," which covers conditions like crooked or crowded teeth, teeth that are too far apart or have gaps, and impacted teeth.

Orthodontic treatment is the solution for these problems, as it helps in straightening your teeth. The treatment can involve different approaches depending on your specific needs. Your dentist will likely suggest one of the following options:

  • Traditional metal braces
  • Clear(ceramic) braces
  • Clear aligners
  • Retainers

2. Why should I get orthodontic treatment?

Achieving a healthier bite and a straighter smile is possible with orthodontic treatment. It can positively impact your long-term oral health by making it easier to brush, floss, and keep your teeth clean.

On the other hand, having crooked teeth can increase the risk of developing gum disease or cavities. A bad bite or a misaligned jaw can even cause headaches or jaw pain. In addition to functional benefits, some people are concerned about the appearance of their smile.

Orthodontic treatment can improve the symmetry of your smile, making it more aesthetically pleasing. By the end of your treatment, you may feel confident and proud to show it off.

3. Which orthodontic treatment is the best?

When it comes to orthodontic treatment, it's important to remember that each person's needs and smile goals are unique. The best treatment plan for you will depend on factors like the extent of your malocclusion, your current oral health, and any previous dental work you've had. While braces may be necessary for some, others may find clear aligners to be a suitable option. Ultimately, your decision may also be influenced by personal preferences and budget. Your orthodontist can guide you through the various options available and provide insights on the pros and cons of each, so you can make an informed decision.

4. Which orthodontic treatment is the fastest?

Orthodontic treatment requires time and money to achieve your desired smile. Braces or clear aligners can correct teeth and jaw misalignment, leading to a straighter smile and improved oral health.

To ensure a smooth and speedy orthodontic treatment, follow these tips:

  • Adhere to your orthodontist's instructions and treatment plan. This includes proper oral hygiene practices like brushing and flossing, as well as following dietary restrictions during treatment. Additionally, make sure to wear your appliance as directed.
  • Care for your teeth. Not only is oral hygiene important, but so is ensuring your teeth receive the TLC they need as they undergo their change in alignment. This means no grinding or biting down hard, as this can cause extra pressure in addition to wear and tear.
  • Attend all your scheduled appointments with your orthodontist or dentist. These visits allow them to monitor the progress of your treatment, address any concerns, and ensure there are no obstacles in achieving your desired results.

5. What’s the ideal age for orthodontic treatment?

Starting orthodontic treatment earlier generally leads to more efficient outcomes. While it used to be common to begin treatment at 12 to 14 years old, it's now recognized that addressing orthodontic issues early on can be key.

Depending on the specific issue, treatment may begin as early as 7 to 11 years old. However, it's never too late to consider orthodontic treatment, even as an adult, as long as your teeth are generally healthy.

Just keep in mind that treatment may take longer for adults compared to children.

6. How long does treatment last, and what will it cost?

The duration of your treatment will be determined by several factors including the type of orthodontic problem you have, the treatment option that you and your orthodontist consider most suitable, your age, overall health, and how well you follow your customized treatment plan.

The cost of your treatment will vary based on the chosen treatment option, the severity of your orthodontic issue, how long the treatment lasts, and other factors. Your orthodontist or dentist can assist you in assessing treatment choices and exploring financing possibilities.

7. If I don’t want traditional braces, what are my options?

There are various types of braces available for people who wish to straighten their teeth, aside from traditional braces. Thanks to advancements in orthodontic technology, patients have more options such as clear aligners, ceramic braces, and lingual braces (which are attached to the back of your teeth). Depending on your orthodontic issue, you may also have the option to use removable and transparent clear aligners to treat your malocclusion.

8. How often will I have to see an orthodontist while I’m being treated?

The frequency of your visits to the orthodontist depends on several factors, including your chosen treatment option, any challenges you encounter during the treatment, and other considerations.

If you opt for braces, you will typically need to visit your dentist every 4 to 8 weeks throughout the treatment period. These appointments can vary in duration, ranging from around 20 minutes for regular checkups to ensure proper positioning of your elastics and necessary adjustments, to longer initial and final appointments.

In the case of clear aligners, since there are no elastics to be adjusted, you may be able to extend the time between appointments. With this treatment, you will likely see your orthodontist once every 6 to 10 weeks.

Can I drink pop while wearing braces?

If you're wearing metal, ceramic or lingual braces, it's best to steer clear of carbonated drinks like pop as they can discolor the braces. Even juices with dyes can stain the surface of your teeth and wear down the enamel. Moreover, sugary drinks can cause tooth decay, which is why we suggest avoiding pop altogether, regardless of whether you're undergoing orthodontic treatment or not.

9. Will my oral hygiene routine need to change during treatment?

Taking care of your oral health is crucial for preventing cavities, especially if you're undergoing orthodontic treatment. When you have braces or clear aligners, it's essential to be extra diligent in your oral hygiene routine to keep bacteria and plaque at bay.

If you have braces, make sure to brush and floss carefully around the wires and brackets. Also, be mindful of what you eat, avoiding foods like popcorn and gum that can cause damage to your teeth or appliances.

For clear aligners, remember to brush and floss every time you remove them to eat or drink. While wearing aligners, it's best to stick to water only. Food and bacteria can easily get trapped between your aligners and teeth, leading to tooth decay and plaque buildup.

One important thing to note is that clear aligners snugly fit to your teeth, preventing saliva from washing away food particles. This increases the risk of tooth decay. To counter this, it's crucial to brush after each meal and floss at least once a day.

Do you have questions about orthodontic treatment? Contact our Abbotsford dentists today to book a consultation.

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