What Does An Orthodontist Do?

An orthodontist focuses on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of facial and dental issues. As a specialist, an orthodontist has received an additional two to three years of training above dental school and has experience with straightening teeth and correcting jaw alignment problems to improve the function of your smile. Orthodontists understand growth and development and can help determine the best time to start treatment with you or your child.

Why Do I Need Orthodontic Treatment?

Our patients usually come in for an exam when either they, their dentist, or a parent notice abnormalities with their bite position. Facial or dental irregularities affect the health of your teeth and can cause discomfort in the face and jaw. Orthodontic treatment can alleviate many of the issues you’re facing and produce a smile that looks more appealing.

When Should I Start Seeing An Orthodontist?

Orthodontic treatment can begin at any time, but we recommend that all patients, regardless of whether they are experiencing dental problems, come in for a free consultation by age seven. Once a child reaches seven years of age, an orthodontist has a better chance of identifying alignment issues and any problems with jaw growth. If abnormalities are present, you can receive treatment before they progress and age seven is when the American Association of Orthodontists recommends a child be seen initially.

Do I Need To Wear A Retainer After My Braces Come Off?

All patients who received orthodontic treatment should have some type of retainer which is usually worn just at night. Although your teeth may look and feel straighter, they’ll have a tendency to revert to their original, misaligned positioning due to your jaw’s muscle memory. A retainer will help keep your teeth in their proper place so that you can enjoy your new smile for a lifetime.

If I Go To The Orthodontist, Do I Still Need To Visit The Dentist?

Your regular dental check-ups don’t stop when you start seeing an orthodontist. It’s actually more essential than ever for you to see your dentist for a professional cleaning when you are wearing braces. We recommend that you receive a cleaning every six months since plaque accumulates in hard-to-reach places, making oral hygiene more difficult. Our orthodontists and your dentist can also work together to ensure your treatment plan is progressing properly.

What Does The Initial Examination Look Like?

Your first consultation with your orthodontist is a time for you both to understand the dental issues you are experiencing. Our orthodontist will usually take orthodontic records and check your teeth and jaw for any misalignment. Additionally, they will perform a bite check to see whether your teeth come together normally and make a diagnosis for any abnormalities. If you require treatment, your orthodontist will design a treatment plan that addresses your needs.