Orthodontic treatment can sometimes seem overwhelming. To help you prepare for and learn to live with your braces, Invisalign® aligners, or other orthodontic treatment, we have provided this page of answers to frequently asked questions about orthodontics. If you have further questions about orthodontics in Marietta, Georgia, and to schedule your appointment with our dentists at Morton Aesthetic and Implant Dentistry, please contact us at 770-973-0141.
What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics is one of the nine recognized fields of dental specialties. It deals specifically with the alignment and aesthetics of your teeth and jaws, and may involve treatments as simple as correcting misaligned teeth or as complex as jaw surgery. At Morton Aesthetic and Implant Dentistry, we offer orthodontics to correct misaligned teeth in the form of braces and Invisalign® clear aligners.
Why and when are braces necessary?
Braces are generally necessary when teeth are misaligned. Even if the misalignment is not visible, it can affect the wear of your teeth. When misaligned teeth are not corrected, it can lead to chronic jaw pain, uneven tooth wear, and other serious dental problems.
At what age should my child receive an orthodontic evaluation?
Children should receive their initial orthodontic evaluation at about age 7. By this age, their permanent teeth have begun to erupt, and our dentists can see the beginnings of any potential alignment problems to determine if and when treatment is necessary.
My teenager hates the metallic appearance of braces. Are there other options?
Yes! Modern braces come in a variety of colors, as well as clear or tooth-colored options for an almost-invisible look. Other options for braces include lingual braces, which sit behind the teeth, or clear aligners.
What are Invisalign® braces?
Invisalign® braces are transparent plastic aligning trays. Eat set of trays is form-fitted to the teeth, and is exchanged every couple of weeks as small changes to the alignment of your teeth are complete. These clear aligners are as close to invisible orthodontic treatment as you can get, and can be removed easily to eat, brush, and floss your teeth.
Is Invisalign® recommended for everyone?
Invisalign® is recommended for adults with mild to moderate tooth alignment issues. For patients who need more extreme correction or who have received significant restorative procedures, traditional braces or other options may be recommended.
I’m an adult. Can I still get braces?
Yes. Orthodontic treatment can occur at any time of your life, as long as your teeth and gums are healthy.
How long does orthodontic treatment take?
Orthodontic treatments vary in length according to the severity of the misalignment and the type of braces used. On average, treatments take about 24 months.
Do braces hurt?
No. Braces do not hurt at all when they are applied to your teeth. You will likely experience some discomfort during the first few days after your braces are placed while your mouth adjusts, and following any appointment where we readjust your braces. This discomfort should be mild, and will pass quickly.
You can deal with the discomfort by using dental wax or mild pain relievers. Other effective remedies include chewing sugar-free gum, which increases the blood flow, or rinsing with warm salt water (about 1 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of water).
Are there foods I should avoid while wearing braces?
Avoid foods that could damage or become trapped in your braces. This includes chewy, sticky, crunchy, and hard foods. For more information, speak with our dentists.
How often should I brush and floss while wearing braces?
You should brush at least 3 times a day, or after every meal, and floss daily. Our dentists can provide you with instructions on the most effective oral hygiene practices while wearing braces. Also, remember to continue visiting our dentists for your routine cleanings and exams. This will help you avoid cavities and other dental problems.
What do I do if my braces break or come loose?
Call us immediately at 770-973-0141. We will schedule an appointment for you as soon as possible so that our dentists can repair and readjust your braces. Loose or broken braces are uncomfortable, and can add time to your treatment. If possible, save the broken parts and bring them with you to your appointment.
Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?
Sometimes children need to have a tooth extracted in order to achieve the best results from their treatment. However, advances in treatments and technology make removing teeth less likely.
Can I still play sports and instruments while wearing braces?
Yes. You can do all the same activities with braces that you could without them. You will likely need to make a few adjustments, but should not otherwise be hindered in your activities. If you play a sport, we recommend that you use a sports mouth guards to protect your appliance and your mouth.