What is the recommended age to get an orthodontic consultation?
Most people think you need to wait for all of the baby teeth to fall out before you can start orthodontic treatment. But actually, The American Association of Orthodontists recommends a check-up with an orthodontic specialist no later than age 7. Of course you can be seen at any age, but by getting a consultation at a young age, we can spot problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth and may be able to prevent more serious problems from developing later. There are certain cases where the desired results will not be possible to achieve once the face and jaws have finished growing. If we determine that early interceptive treatment is needed, we will start what’s called Phase 1. Most people don’t need phase 1 and in those cases we can just monitor growth and tooth eruption periodically and let you know the right time to get started with treatment.
How long will I need to be in treatment?
The length of orthodontic treatment, whether it’s braces or Invisalign, depends on several factors including patient cooperation, age, growth, and complexity of the case. Typically, treatment time can take anywhere from 6 months to three years. Just remember, any estimated treatment time that your orthodontist gives you for treatment is just that-an estimate, and it’s not uncommon for treatment to finish earlier or later than originally estimated. Our goal is for you to be in treatment until everything is just right!
Do braces or Invisalign hurt?
The placement of braces or attachments for Invisalign does not hurt! However, your teeth and gums will probably start to feel sore within a few hours after placement of the braces or aligners, due to pressure. This soreness can last for a couple of days up to a week. Soft foods and ibuprofen (if you can take it) can help relieve soreness.
Will I need retainers?
Everyone who moves their teeth around with orthodontics, will need retainers! Teeth shift throughout your entire life. Yes, even people who have never had orthodontic treatment may notice changes in their teeth over their lifetime. Now imagine how much your teeth will move after your treatment if there’s nothing to hold them in their new places! That’s right, they’ll go right back to where they started-so retainer wear is a must! Your teeth will eventually be more stable in their new positions, so you won’t have to wear your retainers every night forever, but you will need to wear them every once in a while for as long as you want your teeth to remain straight.