What's the best age to visit the orthodontist?
If you want to improve the look and feel of your smile, then any age can be a great age to see Dr. Alba. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist around the age of seven; however, orthodontic treatment is not exclusive to children and teens. In fact, almost a quarter of our patients are adults.
How can I take care of my teeth if I'm wearing braces or a retainer?
ALWAYS remember to brush your teeth after every meal and floss at least once a day. Make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride, and ask us or your family dentist if you need a fluoride rinse. This will help prevent cavities! If you take out your retainer to eat, make sure you brush your teeth, floss, and remember to keep it safe in its container so that it does not get lost or broken (and don't forget, your dog actually will eat your retainer.) Keep your retainer clean, too, by brushing it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste. We also recommend rinsing it in a denture cleaner, like Efferdent. Do not put your retainer in boiling water or in the dishwasher. During your treatment, try to avoid foods with a lot of sugar (sugar increases the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth, causing more plaque and possibly cavities). Avoid sticky and chewy foods (caramel, chewing gum, gummy bears), hard foods (hard candy, nuts, ice cubes) or any foods that could possibly get stuck in your braces (corn on the cob, soft bagels, ribs, taffy, etc.). Be sure to schedule your routine checkups with your family dentist. We recommend that you continue to visit the dentist at least every six months during your orthodontic treatment.
If I get braces, how long do I have to wear them?
The amount of time spent in braces will vary depending on the individual patient, because every smile responds differently to treatment. Treatment times can take anywhere between six and 30 months. Dr. Alba will let you know your specific treatment time (estimated) at your initial consultation.
Do braces hurt?
You may feel some discomfort for a couple days after each adjustment as your teeth, gums, cheeks, and mouth get used to your new braces.
Do I need to brush my teeth more often if I have braces?
With braces, you should brush your teeth at least three times a day to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy and clean. Brushing regularly will help remove any food that may be caught between the braces. You should also floss daily to get in between your braces where your brush isn't able to reach. We can show you how to properly brush and floss once your braces are placed.
If I have braces, do I still need dental checkups every six months?
Yes! In fact, it's even more important that patients receiving orthodontic treatment visit their dentist regularly. With braces, food may be caught in places that your toothbrush can't reach. This causes bacteria to build up that can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Your dentist will work closely with Dr. Alba to make sure that your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.
Will my braces interfere with my school activities like sports, playing an instrument, or singing?
Playing an instrument or a contact sport may require some adjustment when you first get your braces, but wearing braces will not stop you from participating in any of your school activities. If you play a contact sport, we recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your braces or appliance.
How do I schedule my next appointment?
Just give us a call! Our front desk staff will be happy to help schedule your next appointment. If you are a new patient or have been referred to our practice, please let us know and we will provide you with all of the information you need.