FAQs and Helpful Links for Newtown Orthodontics

What is an orthodontist and when should I choose one?

An orthodontist is a dentist that has attended additional schooling to specialize in the correction of the bite and the alignment of the teeth.  The recommendation from the AAO (American Association of Orthodontists) is that a child be seen by an orthodontist by age seven or earlier if an orthodontic problem is detected.  Here are a few scenarios which would indicate it is time to schedule an appointment:

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Difficulty chewing or biting
  • Mouth breathing
  • Finger sucking or other oral habits
  • Crowding, misplaced or blocked-out teeth
  • Jaws that shift, make sounds, protrude or retrude
  • Speech difficulty
  • Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth
  • Protruding teeth
  • Teeth that meet in an abnormal way or don’t meet at all
  • Facial imbalance or asymmetry
  • Grinding or clenching of teeth
When is the correct age to begin orthodontic treatment?

There is no specific time to begin orthodontics.  The inception of orthodontic treatment depends on many factors:  the type of the problem, the development of primary and secondary teeth, the amount of space or lack thereof, maturity and many other variables.

Why are so many kids young kids wearing braces?

Research has shown the most orthodontic corrections can be accomplished in one phase of treatment when the permanent teeth are in or emerging.  In some instances early corrections are required to avoid damage to teeth that may be colliding.  Early treatment often relates to the philosophy of the orthodontist and their training.

Do habits like thumb sucking mean my child will definitely need braces?

Thumb sucking, if excessive, will create problems due to the forces applied to the teeth and supporting structures.  The longer the child’s thumb habit continues the more likely it will impact the permanent teeth as they emerge around 5-6 years old.  If the impact of thumb sucking is evident braces will be required to correct it.

How do you determine what treatment is necessary?

Orthodontic records such as x-rays, photos and a thorough exam are required to make a diagnosis.  After discussions with the patient or parent about the findings treatment options can be considered.  Treatments are often straightforward but sometimes are not.  Once the problems are understood a proper course of treatment can be designed.

What is Invisalign®?

Invisalign® are clear plastic coverings/trays called “aligners” that fit precisely on the teeth.  There are a series of these aligners that move the teeth incrementally, with each successive aligner being worn approximately two weeks.  When you have your consultation it can be discussed whether Invisalign® is the best option for your or your child’s treatment.

Do adults wear braces?

Yes, adults that wish to have straight teeth and a correct bite wear braces or do Invisalign®.  In fact adult patients make up about 30% nationally of all orthodontic patients.  To learn more about adult treatment it is best to call our office for more information.  In orthodontics it’s never “too late” to start treatment.

Do braces hurt?

The process of applying braces does not hurt.  When the teeth begin to move there is a modest physiological inflammation that is generated.  This will create some tenderness in the first few days after the braces are placed.  This soreness typically seen during the “break in” period is only temporary and within days the patient can return to their normal routines.

Will braces interfere with playing sports or a wind instrument?

Typically no, but mouth guards for sports are required to protect the teeth and lips from impact.  For those musical patients we have found that they accommodate quickly to braces after adjusting to the initial placement.

Do I need to see my dentist when I am in braces or Invisalign®?

Yes, hygiene is very important; even more so during orthodontic treatment.  It is important to see your dentist for regular cleanings and check-ups to make sure the teeth and gums remain healthy.

How long will treatment take?

Treatment time depends on the severity of the case, and the compliance with instructions given during treatment such as wearing rubber bands.  The typical case runs between 18 months and two years.

How often will I need office visits?

After the initial set-up which may require multiple visits over the first month or two, the appointments are usually spread about 6 weeks apart.

How do I handle emergencies?

Emergencies in orthodontics are typically easily treated without the need of an office visit.  The day the braces go on our team will teach patients and/or parents how to deal with a poking wire or a loose bracket which is the cause of most emergencies.  If the problem persists we always have same day appointments available simply give the office a call to schedule.

Do braces cause cavities?

Hygiene is very important.  Braces do not cause cavities but they do make cleaning the teeth more demanding.  Dr. Schader will monitor the health of the teeth and gums, but it is imperative that the patient is being seen regularly by their dentist.  We spend a lot of time educating our patients on the care of their teeth while in treatment, and provide the best tools available to make patient homecare a success.

How do I keep my teeth from moving back after treatment is completed?

Retainers are utilized after treatment to prevent the teeth from moving back to their original position.  The frequency and length of time retainers are worn, the less likely the teeth are to move.  We offer many different types of retainers, and at the end of treatment those options will be discussed and the right retainer will be chosen for you or your child’s specific case.