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Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What does orthodontics mean and how is an orthodontist different than a dentist?
Orthodontists have completed additional school and training to specifically address concerns with tooth alignment. While your dentist will be able to help you with cleanings, fillings, and general oral care, your orthodontist will be able to help you align your teeth and achieve the beautiful smile you have always wanted.
Q: Why is it so important to visit an orthodontist?
Avoid these issues by seeing a trained orthodontic specialist who can create a treatment plan designed specifically for you.
Q: What problems can orthodontic treatments address?
- Crowding – Crowding is an issue regarding poor teeth alignment, often due to a small jaw, or when teeth are too large to fit in the available space. Crowded teeth not only create a poor bite, and undesirable look but they can also impact the bones and gums surrounding these teeth.
- Spacing – When teeth are small, missing, or unable to fill the dental arch, spacing can occur between the teeth. These teeth can not only be unsightly, but difficult to clean and maintain as well.
- Overjet (Protruding Upper Teeth) – Overjet occurs when the top front teeth protrude or stick out. This can cause bite issues, problems with jaw growth, and can put the teeth at risk for injury.
- Overbite – Overbite, or deep bite, occurs when the lower front teeth touch the gum tissue behind the upper teeth. This can cause discomfort and serious bone/gum damage.
- Open Bite – When the upper and lower front teeth do not touch during biting, this is called an open bite. This can cause excessive pressure on the back teeth and can cause significant wear and damage.
- Crossbite – A crossbite is when a top tooth or group of top teeth bite inside the bottom teeth. It can impact both the back teeth and the front teeth, and should be corrected early. When left untreated, it can cause serious chewing/jaw challenges.
- Underbite – When the lower jaw protrudes significantly more than the upper jaw, it can create an underbite, which can cause teeth wear and issues with chewing. In childhood cases, at times, jaw growth can be monitored to see if the issue can resolve itself, or if early treatment is needed.
Q: What are some signs that my child may need an early orthodontic exam?
A: Some children need orthodontic exams early on in life. Typically, these are children who have one or more of the following habits or characteristics, as these habits can cause serious issues with jaw and tooth development:
- Difficulty chewing
- Mouth breathing
- Excessive thumb or finger sucking
- Late loss of baby teeth or early loss of baby teeth
- Crowded teeth
- Habits with cheek biting
- Abnormally placed teeth
- Disproportionately sized jaws
- Jaw shifting or noise
These are all signs that your child may need an early orthodontic exam. The earlier you can catch these issues and address them, the better off your child will be.
Q: Is my child old enough for orthodontic treatments?
Q: How long does orthodontic treatment last?
Q: Can I play a musical instrument while wearing braces?
Q: My orthodontist says I have a malocclusion, what is that?
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