It’s that time of year again! October is National Orthodontic Health Month, and Smile Doctors is excited to continue changing lives through new smiles for the entire month of October and beyond! As part of our commitment to changing lives and bringing smiles to our communities, we want to take this opportunity to help others learn about the orthodontic treatment experience – when to visit your orthodontist, common orthodontic concerns to watch out for, treatment for adults, and more!
When should I take my child to see an orthodontist?
Believe it or not, you may not want to wait until your dentist refers you to an orthodontist for your child’s initial evaluation. Many people are surprised to hear that the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children be seen by an orthodontist by age 7. While in the vast majority of cases no treatment is necessary at that age, this allows your orthodontist to begin monitoring your child’s growth and orthodontic health, and quick check-in visits like this are typically done every 6-months to maintain the appropriate oversight. This way, if and/or when the time comes for treatment, we’ll all be ready!
Best of all, at Smile Doctors, all consultations, including these bi-annual growth guidance appointments, are absolutely FREE. You will not have to pay anything for us to keep an eye on your child’s orthodontic development. It’s our gift to you and your child to ensure the prevention of future problems with their smile.
For more information, check out our blog all about When Should i take my child to the Orthodontist?
How do I know if I or my child needs orthodontic treatment?
There are lots of ways you can evaluate at home or with your dentist whether it might be time to consider your treatment options. Dental professionals most commonly look for nine different indicators that would suggest that orthodontic treatment would be beneficial as illustrated:If you notice any of these bite anomalies in your child or yourself, schedule your free consultation with one of our certified orthodontists. To find your nearest location, check out our location finder tool.
Is orthodontic treatment for adults, too?
Did you know, one in five orthodontic patients are over the age of 21, according to the American Association of Orthodontists. Whether you had braces as a kid or exploring if treatment is the right thing for you, orthodontic treatment can benefit your life even beyond creating a beautiful smile. Aligned smiles also prevent decay and relieve pressure on teeth and jaw joints, helping to avoid joint disorder, or TMJ. Headaches, earaches, tooth cracks, and even gastrointestinal problems can all be relieved with adult braces, as well.
Maybe you’re looking to straighten your teeth, but you’re not sure if braces are the right option for you? No problem! Many adults prefer the aesthetics and flexibility of Invisalign® clear aligners. Whatever treatment is right for you, our team at Smile Doctors will make sure that you don’t just smile, you smile happy!
Do braces hurt?
This is certainly one of the most common questions we receive from both adults and children. Braces have been given a bad reputation about the experience patients may have. The truth is that you may experience some tooth or gum sensitivity at various times throughout treatment as your mouth adjusts, but this typically only occurs after an adjustment and should last just a few days.
Similarly, when you move to a new tray of Invisalign® clear aligners, you may also experience some discomfort for a few days as your mouth adjusts to the new tray.
For more information on the typical treatment experience, visit our Life with Braces page.
How much does orthodontic treatment cost?
We recognize your smile is uniquely you, and we are committed to providing financial options that are customized, just for you! Each new patient starts with a free consultation that includes X-rays and photos. During this appointment, our treatment coordinator and certified orthodontist will create a custom treatment plan and give you an estimate on treatment time, type, and payment options, including our flexible payment plans designed to fit any budget. Our team members are happy to help you maximize your orthodontic insurance benefits and will provide the details during your consultation. We never want finances to limit your journey to a beautiful and healthy smile!
How long will I have my braces on?
Each treatment plan is completely customized for each individual patient, and time in treatment depends on a number of factors including the complexity of the case and a patient’s ability to adhere to recommendations. For example, Invisalign® clear aligners is a great option for patients that may want to have the option of removing their appliance during treatment, but if they are not worn as often as your orthodontist prescribes, you may be adding to your treatment time. In general, a typical orthodontic treatment time can range anywhere from 1-3 years.
How can I maintain good oral hygiene while in treatment?
When you join our Smile Doctors family, you are starting your journey to your best self, and we want to help make sure your smile stays healthy along the way. To avoid developing conditions such as demineralization, gingivitis, plaque, tartar, and bad breath make sure you are:
- Brushing your teeth! – Thoroughly brush all tooth surfaces—that means the outside, inside, and chewing surfaces of the teeth—for at least two minutes, after each meal. Need a little motivation? Put on your favorite song! Likewise, for Invisalign® clear aligners, keeping your trays clean will help your smile stay happy and healthy throughout treatment!
- Protecting your smile with floss – In addition to brushing your teeth after each meal, you will also want to floss between your teeth. Need a hand when it comes to flossing? Our Smile Doctors team will show you the proper way to floss and will even give you helpful tips like using a floss threader.
- Avoiding foods that will damage your braces – Avoid hard, and sticky foods like, nuts, hard breads & pretzels, uncut fruits & vegetables, frozen candy bars, beef jerky, crunchy chips, hard tacos, meat on the bone, corn on the cob, and bubble gum.
Ready to explore your smile’s potential? Follow the link below to schedule your FREE consultation with Smile Doctors!