Orthodontics FAQs

Orthodontics FAQs

Ortho FAQs: What You Need to Know About Orthodontics

To achieve a beautiful smile, orthodontic treatments are often recommended.

3 Orthodontics is a specialty of dentistry. It focuses on the prevention, diagnosis, and correction of misaligned bites, as well as malpositioned or abnormal alignment of the teeth and jaws.

Your Carson orthodontist, Dr. Hamid, can treat these issues with various orthodontic appliances.

Orthodontics FAQs: Our Top 8 Most Commonly Asked Questions

How Soon Should Orthodontics Be Started?

Like most dental conditions, catching the problems early is vital. Children can start orthodontic treatment as early as seven years of age. Children's jawbones aren't as hard as adults, making movement easier and faster.

Why Do I Need Orthodontic Treatment?

If you have a misaligned bite - caused by crooked teeth or jaw issues - you should consider ortho treatment. Common jaw issues include:

  • Overbite - your upper teeth overlap your bottom teeth
  • Underbite - when the lower jaw protrudes causing the lower teeth to extend beyond the upper teeth
  • Crossbite - the upper and lower teeth don't come together in proper occlusion

Though a crossbite can be caused by jaw misalignment, it can also be caused by crooked, misaligned teeth.

Why Straightening Teeth Is Important:

Failure to treat jaw or tooth misalignment (or a combination of the two) can lead to:

  • Cracked, chipped, or broken teeth
  • Sore facial muscles
  • TMJ disorder, which can result in headaches, migraines, and early arthritis in the joints
  • Higher risk of gum disease and dental decay due to inadequate cleaning
Am I Too Old for Braces?

No one is too old for orthodontics. Whether you're nine or 90, as long as you have healthy teeth, gums, and jawbones, you can undergo orthodontic treatment. Though often viewed as a remedy for children, approximately 25% of people wearing braces and clear aligners are adults.

Why Adults Should Consider Ortho:

As you get older, issues that didn't bother you when you were younger might become serious issues now. Orthodontics isn't just about aesthetics. It can help:

  • Prevent painful TMJ disorder
  • Making dental hygiene easier
  • Reduce your risk of fractured or cracked teeth
Which Treatment Is the Fastest?

Braces come in two options:

  • Traditional brackets, wires, and bands
  • Clear aligners

The traditional option can consist of metal or ceramic brackets. The ceramic option is tooth-colored and helps camouflage the braces.

If you and your orthodontist decide that you don't want traditional braces, Invisalign® clear aligners may be a good option for you.

Typically, clear aligners are the faster choice. Instead of having to wear orthodontic appliances for years, people can complete treatment in 6-24 months.

Can I Choose to Forego Traditional Braces?

In some cases, yes.

However, some patients have complex misalignment issues that require the traditional bracket, band, and wire approach to realignment.

Your Carson orthodontist will discuss his treatment recommendations, explaining in detail why some orthodontic appliances are a better fit for your needs than others.

Why Do Some People Need Extractions Before Orthodontic Treatment?

Some people need extractions because of overcrowding. Once their teeth are in proper alignment, there wouldn't be enough space for every tooth. Teeth that are most commonly extracted are:

  • The first bicuspids/premolars (the teeth behind the eye teeth)
  • Wisdom teeth
Can I Still Get Treatment If I Have Crowns or Other Restorative Work?

You can have existing restorative work and still be a good candidate for braces. Your orthodontist can use different adhesives for placing brackets on porcelain vs. enamel.

Challenges arise, though, when you have certain fixed restorative work, such as:

  • Bridges
  • Implants

Your orthodontist will evaluate your needs and determine how to best achieve your goals while protecting existing dental work.

What Other Orthodontic Appliances Might I Need?

Sometimes, other orthodontic appliances need to be used before, during, or after you wear braces. These can include:

  • Space maintainers
  • Palatal expander
  • Fixed or removable retainers
  • Headgear
Questions to Ask Your Orthodontist

Before investing in orthodontics, ask your dentist the following questions to help clarify your need for braces and build your confidence in the process.

  • Do I need both upper and lower braces?
  • Will I need any other ortho appliances before or after wearing braces?
  • Will I need headgear? If so, how long will I have to wear it?
  • Will Invisalign® work for me?
  • If I get metal or ceramic braces, will I need rubber bands for bite correction? If so, how long do I need to wear them?
  • Do I need to get any teeth extracted?
  • What will we do when my child's wisdom teeth come in? Will they need orthodontics again?
  • Do I need jaw surgery to help correct my ortho issues?
  • What oral hygiene changes will I have to make during treatment? Will changes be necessary after treatment?
  • How will braces affect my lifestyle?
  • Will my face change once treatment is complete?
  • Will I experience any pain or discomfort?
  • What should I do if I experience a poking wire, a rubber band breaks, or a bracket breaks or falls off?
  • How long will my treatment take?
  • How many adjustments appointments do I need?
  • What type of payment plans or financing do you offer?

Dr. Hamid - A Compassionate, Qualified Orthodontist You Can Trust

Dr. Hamid is committed to helping you or your child achieve a beautiful smile at an affordable price. With an education from the University of California's School of Dentistry and the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Dr. Hamid has the skills needed to correct any orthodontic issue.

Not only does he want to fix crooked teeth and misaligned jaws, but he also wants you to feel confident in the process. Therefore, he'll take the time to compassionately address all of your needs and questions before, during, and after treatment.

Do you have questions not addressed here? Contact us today! We're happy to address your concerns.