FAQ About Braces
At what age should my child be seen by an orthodontist?
Orthodontic treatment can be started at any age. Many orthodontic problems are easier to correct if detected at an early age before jaw growth has slowed down or cokpleted. Early treatment may mean that a patient can avoid surgery and more serious complications. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child first visit an orthodontist by age 7 or earlier if a problem is detected by parents, the family dentist, or the child's physician. Please contact our office or call 510-581-7851 for a complimentary consultation. Treatment timing is very important. You or your child may or may not be ready for treatment. Therefore, a consultation will allow you to better understand your or your child orthodontic needs.
Can I have braces as an adult?
Orthodontic treatment can be performed successfully at any age. Everyone wants a beautiful and healthy smile. Twenty to twenty five percent of orthodontic patients today are adults.
Do braces hurt?
Orthodontic treatment has improved dramatically. Braces make your teeth sore for the first couple days, but it is not painful. This soreness can be relieved with an over-the-counter pain medicine. Today's braces are smaller and much more comfortable. We use the latest designed braces and the highest quality of orthodontic materials in order to reduce discomfort and treatment time.
What is Phase I (Interceptive Treatment) and Phase II (Comprehensive) treatment?
Phase I or Interceptive Treatment usually starts when a patient has most of their baby teeth and a couple permanent teeth ( usually 7-8 years old). The treatment goal is to eliminate a moderate or severe orthodontic problem bu taking advantage of jaw growth. These problems include skeletal dysplasia, crossbites and crowding. This may help to reduce the need for extractions or surgery. Most Phase I treatment may require a Phase II treatment in order to achieve an ideal outcome.
Phase II treatment or Comprehensive Orthodontic Treatment usually take place when most permanent teeth erupt ( 12-14 years old). The goal of Phase II treatment is to achieve an ideal bite with all of the permanent teeth.
How long do I have to wear braces?
Treatment time may vary between 6 months to a couple years, depending on the age of the patient, the severity of the problem, the patient's cooperation.
Do I need to have my teeth pulled?
When dental crowding is severe, it is recommended to consider the extraction therapy to eliminate dental crowding and reduce dental and skeletal protrusion.
Will braces interfere with playing sports?
No. It is recommended, however, that patients protect their teeth by wearing a mouth guard when participating in any sporting activity. We can provide you the mouthguard you need, please let us know.
Do I continue to see my dentist while I have braces?
Yes, you must continue to see your dentist regularly for cleanings and dental check-up
What is surgical orthodontics?
Sometimes, when the jaws are too short or long, too wide or narrow, braces alone can’t completely correct a bad bite. Surgical orthodontics (Braces and Jaw surgery, also known as Orthognathic Surgery) corrects jaw irregularities to improve the patient's ability to chew, speak, and breathe, and for improved facial appearances. Braces are always performed in conjunction with jaw correction. This helps to make sure that teeth are in their proper positions before and after surgery. The orthodontist works with the oral surgeon to design a combined treatment plan. Depending on the problem, treatment by other dental specialist may also be required.
Who needs surgical orthodontics?
Surgical orthodontic treatment is for non-growing patients or adults with severe bite problems and jaw malformation. Jaw growth is usually completed by age 16 for girls and 18 for boys. All growth should be completed before jaw surgery can be performed. However, the pre-surgical tooth movements can begin one to two years prior to these ages.
During your pre-surgical orthodontic treatment, your bite may get worse rather than better. However, when your jaws are placed into proper alignment during orthognathic surgery, the teeth will then fit into their correct positions. Surgery is performed in the hospital by an oral surgeon. After the surgery, an orthodontist will fine-tune your bite. In most cases, braces are removed within 6 to 12 months after surgery.