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What is orthodontics?
Why should you choose an orthodontic specialist for your care?
Are braces necessary?
When should I look for the early warning signs of a bad bite?
When is the best time to schedule an initial consultation?
Who should come to the initial consultation besides the patient?
What should you take home from the orthodontic consultation?
Will additional jaw growth allow self correction of crowded teeth visible in a 8 year old?
What are the benefits of early treatment?
What causes crooked teeth?
Why should I have my teeth straightened?
How do braces straighten crooked teeth?
Will things sometimes look worse before they will look better during orthodontic treatment?
Can I have my teeth aligned without having braces glued to my teeth?
What do rubber bands do?
What can I do to play down braces?
What are self-ligating braces?
Will braces correct TMD or jaw joint problems?
Can you be too old for braces or Invisalign?
Will orthodontics change my lifestyle?
How long do you have to wear braces?
If my child has early treatment often called Phase One, will additional treatment be necessary?
What will happen in the time between Phase One and Phase Two?
How do orthodontists save room for the permanent teeth?
How do orthodontists make more room for permanent teeth?
Will you have any teeth pulled?
What is serial extraction?
Why does orthodontic treatment sometimes take longer than anticipated?
Can tooth alignment change later?
What should do if your child does not want braces?
What is "instant orthodontics"?

 
What do rubber bands do?
Rubber bands or elastics contribute a lot to straighter teeth. They are marvels of physics. Attached to your braces, elastics exert the force that creates the right amount of pressure to move teeth in directions that the braces alone can't. It's important to wear your elastics as prescribed and change them every day so the force is constant which the teeth like. A lack of consistency in wearing rubber bands can bring treatment to a standstill and who wants to do that to themselves. Teeth never fail to move when elastics are worn consistently as directed. As for bouncing an elastic off someone across the room, it will happen (don't worry, your aim will improve).

 
What can I do to play down braces?
If you use makeup, use it to draw attention away from your mouth. Go wild using eye shadow and keep the lips simple with beige or nothing at all. Stay away from lip gloss that makes the metal parts of braces more reflective.

 
What are self-ligating braces?
Conventional braces on the left are tied in with elastics, which cause friction and pressure, making treatment slower and less comfortable. Damon braces use a slide mechanism to hold the wire, which allows teeth to move more freely, quickly and comfortably.

 
Will braces correct TMD or jaw joint problems?
Braces may or may not improve jaw joint problems. More conservative approaches should be tried first.

 
Can you be too old for braces or Invisalign?
No. If the bone and gum tissue around the teeth are healthy, age is not a factor. About 20% of orthodontic patients are adults who in the pursuit of a healthier, younger, appearance include straightening their smile as part of their total body improvement plan.

 
Will orthodontics change my lifestyle?
You'll have to give up extremely hard, sticky, and high sugar foods. These foods can get caught on the braces, bend wires, loosen cement and pull the braces off and/or cause cavities and permanent white marks. Soft foods or foods cut into small pieces are much better. You'll have to spend a few extra minutes cleaning your braces after meals. But, for the most part, you'll find braces don't cramp your style. You'll still have fun. You'll still be able to sing, play your musical instrument, smile, play sports and of course, kiss. You can even make a fashion statement by having your orthodontist add color to your braces. Your friends will be accustomed to you in braces more quickly than you think.

 
How long do you have to wear braces?
That depends a lot on you and how bad your bite is to begin with. Complex/severe bad bites take longer. The national average is 27 months. The better you are following your orthodontist's instructions and taking care of your braces, the sooner your teeth will improve. Remember that no one else can wear your braces for you!

 
If my child has early treatment often called Phase One, will additional treatment be necessary?
In most cases, yes. After the permanent teeth have grown in, treatment is usually necessary to complete the work that was started in the earlier phase. This completion of the earlier phase using full braces is often called Phase Two.


 

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