Orthodontic FAQs

Parents Questions Answered

Find answers to some of the most common questions we get from parents about orthodontic treatments.

More questions? Our team is here to help. Reach out to us at (714) 544-5544.

Braces

What are braces?

Braces are orthodontic appliances used to straighten teeth and correct bite issues. They consist of brackets, wires, and bands that apply gentle pressure to move teeth into their desired positions.

How do braces work?

Braces work by applying continuous pressure to teeth, gradually shifting them into alignment over time. The wires attached to the brackets are adjusted periodically by your orthodontist to maintain progress.

What are the benefits of braces?

Braces can correct various orthodontic issues, including crooked teeth, overcrowding, misaligned bites, and gaps between teeth. They can improve oral health, enhance aesthetics, and boost self-confidence.

Are braces suitable for adults?

Yes, braces are suitable for adults of all ages. Modern orthodontic advancements have made braces more discreet and comfortable, making them a popular choice for adults seeking to improve their smiles.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is an alternative to traditional braces, using a series of clear, removable aligners to straighten teeth. These aligners are custom-made for each patient and are virtually invisible when worn.

How does Invisalign work?

It works similarly to braces by applying gentle pressure to shift teeth into alignment. Patients wear a series of aligners, typically changing them every one to two weeks as directed by their orthodontist.

What are the advantages of Invisalign over braces?

Invisalign offers several advantages, including virtually invisible aligners, removable trays for easy cleaning and eating, and reduced discomfort compared to traditional braces.

Can Invisalign correct severe orthodontic issues?

This treatment can effectively correct many orthodontic issues, including crowded teeth, gaps, overbites, open bites underbites, and crossbites. However, some cases may still require traditional braces for optimal results.

How long does Invisalign treatment take?

The duration of Invisalign treatment varies depending on the complexity of the case. On average, treatment can take anywhere from 3 months to 2 years to achieve the desired results.

Are there any dietary restrictions with Invisalign?

Unlike traditional braces, there are no dietary restrictions with Invisalign since the aligners are removable. Patients can eat and drink whatever they like, but it’s important to remove the aligners before consuming anything other than water.

Is Invisalign painful?

Invisalign is generally less painful than traditional braces since there are no wires or brackets to irritate the mouth. However, patients may experience some discomfort or pressure when switching to a new set of aligners, which typically subsides after a few days.

How often do I need to see my orthodontist during Invisalign treatment?

Patients typically visit their orthodontist every 6 to 8 weeks to ensure treatment progress and receive new sets of aligners. These appointments are crucial for monitoring progress and making any necessary adjustments.

Can I still play sports with braces or Invisalign?

Yes, you can still play sports with braces or Invisalign. However, it’s important to wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and orthodontic appliances during physical activity, especially contact sports.

How do I maintain oral hygiene with braces or Invisalign?

With braces, it’s essential to brush and floss regularly to remove food particles and plaque that can accumulate around the brackets and wires. With Invisalign, simply remove the aligners before brushing and flossing as you normally would.

Will I need to wear a retainer after braces or Invisalign?

Yes, wearing a retainer is essential after completing orthodontic treatment to maintain the results and prevent teeth from shifting back to their original positions. Your orthodontist will provide specific instructions on how often to wear the retainer.

Invisalign

Damon Braces

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What are Damon braces?

Damon braces are a type of self-ligating braces that use a unique sliding mechanism to straighten teeth. Unlike traditional braces with elastic ties, Damon braces utilize specialized brackets that allow the wire to move freely, resulting in less friction and quicker treatment times.

How do Damon braces differ from traditional braces?

Damon braces differ from traditional braces in their design and mechanics. They feature brackets with built-in sliding doors that hold the wire in place, eliminating the need for elastic ties. This reduces friction, allows for more efficient tooth movement, and often leads to shorter treatment times.

What are the benefits of Damon braces?

These braces offer several benefits, including faster treatment times, fewer office visits for adjustments, reduced discomfort, and improved oral hygiene. Additionally, their low-profile design and lack of elastic ties make them more discreet and easier to clean than traditional braces.

Can Damon braces treat the same orthodontic issues as traditional braces?

Yes, Damon braces can effectively treat a wide range of orthodontic issues, including crooked teeth, overcrowding, misaligned bites (overbites, underbites, crossbites), and gaps between teeth. Your orthodontist will determine if Damon braces are suitable for your specific needs during the initial consultation.

Are Damon braces suitable for adults?

Yes, Damon braces are suitable for adults seeking orthodontic treatment. Their discreet design and comfortable fit make them a popular choice for adult patients looking to improve their smiles without the visibility and inconvenience of traditional braces.

What is Phase 1 or early orthodontic treatment?

Phase 1 or early orthodontic treatment refers to interceptive orthodontic care provided to children between the ages of 7 and 11, typically before all permanent teeth have erupted. This proactive approach aims to address developing orthodontic issues, guide jaw growth, and create a more favorable environment for future dental development.

What are the benefits of Phase 1 or early orthodontic treatment?

This approach offers numerous benefits, including correcting bite discrepancies, reducing the severity of orthodontic problems, promoting proper jaw growth and development, addressing airway issues such as mouth breathing and snoring, and creating space for permanent teeth to erupt naturally.

How does Phase 1 treatment impact airway health?

Phase 1 orthodontic treatment can positively influence airway health by addressing underlying issues such as narrow dental arches or jaw misalignment, which may contribute to breathing difficulties, snoring, and sleep apnea. By expanding the upper jaw and improving oral posture, early intervention can help optimize airflow and promote healthier breathing patterns.

What growth and development changes can occur with Phase 1 treatment?

This treatment can guide jaw growth and development, correcting skeletal discrepancies and improving facial symmetry. By harnessing the natural growth potential of your child’s bones and tissues, early intervention can help achieve more harmonious facial proportions and a stable bite relationship.

How does Phase 1 treatment impact dental alignment?

Phase 1 treatment focuses on guiding the eruption of permanent teeth into favorable positions, reducing the likelihood of crowding, misalignment, and impacted teeth in the future. By addressing early signs of malocclusion, such as crossbites or excessive spacing, early treatment sets the stage for a more balanced and aesthetically pleasing smile.

At what age should a child undergo Phase 1 orthodontic treatment?

This treatment is typically recommended for children between the ages of 7 and 11, when the jaws are still growing and developing. Early evaluation allows orthodontists to identify potential issues and intervene before they worsen, maximizing the effectiveness of treatment and minimizing the need for more extensive interventions later on.

How long does Phase 1 orthodontic treatment last?

The duration of Phase 1 orthodontic treatment varies depending on the patient’s needs and the complexity of the case. Treatment may last anywhere from several months to a few years, depending on the specific goals and treatment plan. Following Phase 1 treatment, patients may undergo a period of observation before beginning Phase 2 comprehensive orthodontic treatment in adolescence.

Phase 1 Treatment

Expanders

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What is an orthodontic expander?

An orthodontic expander, also known as a palate expander, is a dental device used to widen the upper jaw. It consists of a metal framework attached to the molars with bands and a screw in the middle. By turning the screw gradually, the expander applies gentle pressure to the palate, encouraging the bones to separate and create more space in the mouth.

When is an orthodontic expander recommended?

Orthodontic expanders are recommended for patients with narrow dental arches or a constricted upper jaw. This condition, known as a posterior crossbite, can lead to crowding of the teeth, bite misalignment, and breathing difficulties. Expanders are often used in children and adolescents during their growth phase to address these issues effectively.

How do I know if I or my child needs an orthodontic expander?

Your orthodontist will assess your dental and facial structure to determine if an expander is necessary. Signs that may indicate the need for an expander include crowding of the teeth, difficulty biting or chewing, mouth breathing, a narrow palate, or a crossbite. Early evaluation and intervention are crucial for optimal treatment outcomes.

Is the process of using an orthodontic expander painful?

While some patients may experience mild discomfort or pressure when the expander is activated, the process is generally not painful. Turning the screw gradually expands the palate in small increments, allowing the bones to adjust gradually. Any discomfort usually subsides within a few days as the patient becomes accustomed to the appliance.

How long does treatment with an orthodontic expander typically last?

The duration of treatment with an orthodontic expander varies depending on the patient’s age, the severity of the jaw constriction, and treatment goals. In general, most patients wear the expander for several months, followed by a period of retention to maintain the expansion achieved. Your orthodontist will provide personalized treatment recommendations based on your specific needs.

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