1. What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics is the specialty of dentistry that deals with the arrangement of the teeth in the dental arches and the guidance of the jaws in harmonious positions between them, in order to restore the proper functioning of the mouth and the aesthetics of the face.
2. What is the best age for one’s first orthodontist visit?
According to the American Orthodontic Society, the right age is at 7 years old. At this age, problems that occur during the growth of the jaws and the eruption of the teeth as well as harmful habits such as finger sucking and mouth breathing can be diagnosed and treated in time.
3. When should one start orthodontic treatment?
Essentially, there is no time limit. An orthodontic treatment usually starts at the age of 12 to 13, unless there are specific orthodontic problems which are advised to be treated at younger ages.
In adult patients, the only condition is good dental and periodontal hygiene.
4. When should you refer to an Orthodontist?
If you notice any of the following on your child, you should refer to an Orthodontist:
- Early or late loss of deciduous (baby) teeth
- Difficulty in chewing
- Finger sucking with the possible consequence of an open bite
- Crowded or wrongly positioned teeth
- Teeth which are disproportionate to the face
- Facial disharmony
- Difficulty in speaking
5. How long does orthodontic treatment take?
The length of orthodontic treatment varies from patient to patient, depending on the problem that each patient faces, as well as on the cooperation of the patient to the Orthodontist.
6. What is required for orthodontic treatment to start?
Before the start of orthodontic treatment, the following procedures are necessary: the clinical examination of the patient, radiographic examination (cephalometric and panoramic x-rays), face and teeth photographs, the study casts (plaster teeth imprints) and the medical and dental history of the patient. Through these diagnostics, an accurate diagnosis of the orthodontic problem is reached and the patient is accurately informed of the treatment plan.
7. Is orthodontic treatment painful?
On the first 2-3 days, after a series of visits to the orthodontist, the teeth are quite sensitive, especially when chewing and when they touch in general. In any case, the pain developed is well tolerated and depends both on the stimulation level which varies from person to person and on the forces applied and the activation rate of the orthodontic appliances.
8. Should patients wearing braces take especially good care of their teeth?
Patients who wear braces should avoid hard, sticky, crunchy foods. At the same time, good oral hygiene is required and the orthodontist will show you the proper way of oral care.
9. Are there any differences in the treatment of adult and young patients?
The tissue reaction to the orthodontic force can be somewhat slower in an adult than in a young patient. However, orthodontic tooth movement is performed in a similar manner in all age groups.
10. Can our wisdom teeth get our teeth crooked again after orthodontic treatment?
Since wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt in our mouth, it is likely that, when they erupt, they do not find sufficient space to take their positions in the jaws. Therefore, they push the other teeth in front of them and this may result in crowding of teeth. Therefore, it is very important for children to wear the retaining devices and follow the instructions of the orthodontist.