Orthodontics FAQs 2017-12-31T22:19:04+00:00

Orthodontic FAQs

What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics (also referred to as dentofacial orthopedics) is a specialized form of dentistry focusing on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities.

What is an orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has received two to three years of additional training and experience. Your orthodontist is able to straighten teeth, correct misaligned jaw structure, and improve the function of your smile.

What’s the best age to visit the orthodontist?

If you want to improve the look and feel of your smile, then any age can be a great age to see the orthodontist. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist around the age of seven; however, orthodontic treatment is not exclusive to children and teens, with about one in every five orthodontic patients being over the age of 21. Whether you’re considering treatment for yourself or for a child, any time is a good time to visit the orthodontist.

x ray of teeth with orthodontic braces

How can I take care of my teeth if I’m wearing braces or a retainer?

  • ALWAYS remember to brush your teeth after every meal and floss at least once a day.
  • Make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride, and ask your orthodontist or family dentist if you need a fluoride rinse. This will help prevent cavities!
  • If you take out your retainer to eat, make sure you brush your teeth, floss, and remember to keep it safe in its container so that it does not get lost or broken.
  • Keep your retainer clean, too, by brushing it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste. You may also soak it in denture cleaner as instructed by your orthodontist. Do not put your retainer in boiling water or in the dishwasher.
  • During your treatment, try to avoid foods with a lot of sugar, which increases the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth, causing more plaque and possibly cavities.
  • Avoid sticky and chewy foods (caramel, chewing gum, gummy bears), hard foods (hard candy, nuts, ice cubes), or any foods that could possibly get stuck in your braces (corn on the cob, soft bagels, ribs, taffy, etc.).
  • Be sure to schedule your routine checkups with your family dentist. It is recommended that you continue to visit the dentist every six months.

What are braces?

Braces are used by your orthodontist to help you improve the look and feel of your smile. There are several different types of braces to choose from, including:

  • Clear braces
  • Ceramic braces
  • Lingual braces
  • Self-ligating braces
  • Invisible braces
  • Traditional metal braces

If I get braces, how long do I have to wear them?

The amount of time spent in braces will vary depending on the individual patient, because every smile responds differently to treatment. Treatment times can take anywhere between six and 30 months, but most standard treatments take about 22 months.

Do braces hurt?

Braces do not often hurt though you may feel a small amount of discomfort for a couple days as your teeth, gums, cheeks, and mouth get used to your new braces.

Do I need to brush my teeth more often if I have braces?

With braces, you should brush your teeth at least three times a day to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy and clean. Brushing regularly will help remove any food that may be caught between the braces. You should also floss daily to get in between your braces where your brush isn’t able to reach. Your orthodontist can show you how to properly brush and floss once your braces are placed.

brushing teeth with braces

If I have braces, do I still need dental checkups every six months?

Yes! In fact, it’s even more important that patients receiving orthodontic treatment visit their dentist regularly. With braces, food may be caught in places that your toothbrush can’t reach. This causes bacteria to build up that can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Your dentist will work closely with your orthodontist to make sure that your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.

Will my braces interfere with my school activities like sports, playing an instrument, or singing?

Playing an instrument or a contact sport may require some adjustment when you first get your braces, but wearing braces will not stop you from participating in any of your school activities. If you play a contact sport, it is recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your braces or appliance.

“I have had headache issues for the last 35 years. Every morning greeted me with a headache. I’ve been to many doctors and have had many X-rays and cat scans of my head and neck.  I was treated for migraines and neck issues.  Nothing worked. I went to Dr. Mickiewicz two months ago and his diagnosis was TMJ. He fitted me with an appliance and the results are amazing. I have been back twice to have him adjust the appliance as my jaw loosens and adjusts, and he is always very patient with my extra-long explanations. I wish I had known him 35 years ago.  FYI – I am now waking up without headaches – it is a good start to any day.  Thanks Dr. Mick!”

– Lily S.

“I have been seeing Dr Mickiewicz for over two years and am very satisfied with his services. I have a sleep apnea problem and rarely was getting any good nights rest. My medical doctor suggested I wear a large breathing machine… so I went ahead and got one and tried it out and and had nothing but problems trying to sleep with this large breathing machine strapped to my head. Then I saw Dr Mickiewicz and he has found the simplest and most affordable solution with my custom made mouthpiece that reshapes my jaw position just while I sleep! Bingo– no more sleep issues and also no more large breathing machine to struggle with! I am very grateful for his expertise and experience with sleep issues.”

– Tony A.

“I recently visited Dr. Mickiewicz after years of suffering from sleep apnea and no success using conventional CPAP machines. I was fitted with dental appliance in an effort to resolve the problem. Frankly, I was skeptical, but I am so pleased with the early results. I just started using the device last week and I am already seeing an improvement in the quality of my sleep. From my first contact with Dr. Mickiewicz, it was immediately apparent that his grasp of the issues surrounding sleep apnea were light years ahead of his peers. He is a true professional and I enthusiastically recommend him.”

– Don B.

How do I schedule my next appointment?

Simply call our practice! Our front desk staff will be happy to help schedule your next appointment at your convenience. If you are a new patient or have been referred to our practice, please let us know and we will provide you with all of the information you need.