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 two to three years of additional training and experience. Your orthodontist is able to straighten teeth, correct misaligned jaw structure, and improve the function of your smile.
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- A hard time chewing or biting food
- Mouth breathing
- Finger or thumb sucking
- Crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth
- Jaws that pop or make sounds when opening and closing
- Teeth that come together abnormally, or do not come together at all
- Jaws and teeth that are not proportionate to the rest of the face
The amount of time spent in braces will vary depending on the individual patient, because every smile responds differently to treatment. Treatment times can take anywhere between 12 and 30 months, but most standard treatments take about 22 months.
Putting off treatment can result in a need for more invasive treatment later in life that may not completely fix your smile. Early treatment is most effective for achieving lasting results.
Life With Braces:
Braces do not often hurt, though you may feel a small amount of discomfort for a couple days as your teeth, gums, cheeks, and mouth get used to your new braces.
Playing an instrument or a contact sport may require some adjustment when you first get your braces, but wearing braces 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 to protect your braces or appliance.
Even with braces or an appliance it’s still possible to take great care of your teeth. Always remember to brush your teeth after every meal and floss at least once a day. During treatment food can get stuck behind wires or teeth you can’t reach, so make sure to carefully brush after every meal is especially important. Also make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride and ask your orthodontist or dentist if you need a fluoride rinse. This will help prevent cavities!
Don’t worry, you’ll be eating popcorn and snacking on potato chips again in no time! However, before you can start enjoying some of the treats you love, you will need to take special care to avoid any foods that could damage your new appliances.
Foods to avoid with braces:
- Chewy foods — bagels, licorice
- Crunchy foods — popcorn, chips, ice
- Sticky foods — caramel candies, chewing gum
- Hard foods — nuts, hard candies
- Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob, apples, carrots
- Continue to enjoy these foods with braces:
- Dairy — soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
- Breads — soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts
- Grains — pasta, soft cooked rice
- Meats/poultry — soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
- Seafood — tuna, salmon, crab cakes
- Vegetables — mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans
- Fruits — applesauce, bananas, fruit juice
- Treats — ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake
When you first get your braces, you may notice that your teeth and mouth feel a little tender or sore. This is perfectly normal, and we promise your mouth will not be sore forever! To relieve the pain, we recommend dissolving one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water. Swish and gargle this solution in your mouth for just a couple of minutes (do not swallow the saltwater).
If the pain is more severe and does not go away after rinsing, you can also try taking a pain reliever. It is also not uncommon for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become use to the braces. We would be happy to give you some wax that you can put over the braces to lessen the tenderness. If you need some more wax, please let us know!
If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it. If the wire comes out entirely, wrap the bracket with a tissue and bring it in as soon as possible, so we can reattach it.
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 that can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Your dentist will work closely with your orthodontist to make sure that your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.
Sometimes headgear discomfort is caused by not wearing the headgear as instructed by your orthodontist. Please refer to the instructions provided by your orthodontist. If the facebow is bent, please call our office for assistance. Surprisingly, the headgear may actually hurt less as you wear it more, so be sure you’re getting in the prescribed number of hours!
Patient Rewards Hub:
Patient Rewards Hub is a system we use to reward you for being an awesome patient. Each time you come in for a visit, we will give you points for doing a great job with your teeth and treatment, and even things like having a great report card or winning your tennis tournament! After you earn enough points, you can cash them in for gift cards to your favorite places like Dave & Buster’s, AMC Theaters, and Best Buy. The Patient Rewards Hub is also full of other fun stuff like dozens of games you can play at home.
Next time you come in to see Dr. Glenn, ask us about setting up an account, we’d be happy to help you out! Once we activate your card in the office, you will be able to log on using the temporary username and password on the back of the card and create and edit your account information.
Points can be earned for almost anything! Being on time for your appointment, having nothing loose or broken, and having excellent oral hygiene are among the many things you can do to make sure you get as many points as possible. You can also earn points by interacting with us on social media, liking our posts or pages, or participating in our contests. And of course we love to celebrate you and everything that you do! Personal achievements, community service, and A’s and B’s on your report card are also great ways to earn points for things you’re already doing. You can see the full Reward Menu on your account online, or ask us next time you come in!
You can cash in your points online at Patient Rewards Hub. Click on the Get Rewards tab at the top of the page. Here you will be able to see all of the gift cards available for purchase and redeem your points. To purchase a gift card, select the gift card you want to buy and the option to Pay by Points. Add the item to your shopping cart and keep browsing, or checkout. If you have questions or need help redeeming your points, we would love to help you out. Shop away!