Alba Orthodontics Answers Your Common Orthodontic Questions
New to braces? Dr. Fred Alba and Dr. Jeff Alba can help.
Get answers to the most common orthodontic questions from people like you in Mechanicsburg.
You can always call our office if you don’t see your question listed, and our helpful team members can answer all your questions.
Selecting an orthodontist in Mechanicsburg who can help you achieve your smile dreams is important.
Orthodontists are dental specialists who diagnose, prevent and treat dental and facial irregularities.
This means they're better qualified you to give you the smile of your dreams than you could get from aligners in the mail.
They receive an additional two to three years of specialized education beyond dental school to learn how to align and straighten teeth.
Only those with this formal education may call themselves “orthodontists,” and only orthodontists may be members of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO).
Dr. Jeff Alba and Dr. Fred Alba from Alba Orthodontics have achieved this specialization and are active members of AAO.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist around the age of seven. By this age, most Mechanicsburg area children have several permanent teeth that have erupted, letting us evaluate their orthodontic needs.
By this age, Drs. Alba can spot subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while some baby teeth are still present.
That’s important because some orthodontic problems may be easier to correct if found early at Alba Orthodontics.
Most orthodontic patients at our Mechanicsburg office begin active braces treatment between ages 9 and 14.
If you want to improve your smile's look and feel, any age can be a great age to see Drs. Alba. In fact, almost a quarter of our patients are adults.
Thanks to today’s smaller, less visible and more comfortable orthodontic appliances (including metal braces, ceramic braces, and Invisalign), adults find treatment appealing.
The amount of time spent in braces will vary depending on your needs because every smile responds differently to treatment.
Treatment times can take anywhere between six and 30 months. Drs. Alba will let you know your specific treatment time (estimated) at your initial consultation at our Mechanicsburg office.
The cost of orthodontic treatment depends on many factors, including the severity of the problem, how complex the problem is, and how long treatment lasts.
Drs. Alba will be glad to discuss the cost of treatment and your financing options with you before treatment begins.
The good news is that braces are more affordable today than ever. Our staff also works with insurance companies and offers in-house interest-free financing and is happy to adjust your down-payment and monthly fee to fit your budget.
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.
- Always remember to brush your teeth after every meal and floss every day.
- Use a toothpaste with fluoride, and ask us or your family dentist if you need a fluoride rinse to prevent cavities.
- During your orthodontic treatment, try to avoid food 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.)
- Continue to schedule your routine checkups with your family dentist every six months during your treatment.
- Keep your retainer clean by brushing it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste after you take it out. We recommend using a denture cleaner periodically.
- If you take out your retainer to eat, brush and floss your teeth before putting it back in.
- Always keep your retainer in its case when you’re not wearing it. And remember that your dog will try to eat it if you give her the chance!
- Don’t put your retainer in boiling water or in the dishwasher.
Most orthodontic problems are inherited. Examples of these genetic problems are crowding, spacing, protrusion, extra or missing teeth and some jaw growth problems.
Other oral problems are caused by thumb- or finger-sucking, dental disease, accidents, the early or late loss of baby teeth, or other causes.
Crooked and crowded teeth are hard to clean and maintain.
A bad bite can wear down teeth, make it hard to chew and talk and create stress on supporting bone and gum tissue.
Without treatment, many problems become worse and can require additional dental care later in life.
During your orthodontic treatment, 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 caught between your braces. Flossing every day will help you get any food your braces can’t reach. We can show you how to properly brush and floss once your braces are placed.
Orthodontic treatment is a partnership between the doctor and patient.
Drs. Alba provides custom-made fixed or removable appliances that use gentle pressure to move teeth into their proper positions.
Your job is to follow your orthodontist’s instructions, keep scheduled orthodontic appointments, and maintain excellent oral hygiene to get the best results.
You will also need to see your general dentist as recommended to continue your general dental care.
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 Drs. Alba to ensure that your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.
If you notice an unwanted change in your smile or bite, contact us for a free consultation.
You might need an orthodontic tune-up to regain proper alignment.
Just give us a call! Our front desk staff will be happy to help schedule your next appointment.
If you’re 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 to schedule a free consultation.
Not necessarily. Research suggests that wisdom teeth don’t always cause teeth to shift.
In most cases, wisdom teeth are removed for general dental health reasons rather than for orthodontic health.
Your family dentist or Drs. Alba can help determine whether or not your wisdom teeth need to be removed.
Drs. Alba will recommend how long to continue wearing your retainers, whether they are removable (the kind you put in and take out) or fixed (bonded behind your teeth).
Wearing your retainers as prescribed is the best way to keep your teeth from moving after your orthodontic treatment.
There are many reasons teeth may move following orthodontic treatment. Teeth are not set in concrete, they’re in bone.
Because the bone around your teeth is continually changing (breaking down and rebuilding), your teeth may shift after your braces are removed.
Your teeth are more likely to remain where Drs. Alba has placed them through braces treatment by wearing your retainers.
The small changes that happen after braces are removed are due to settling in as you use your teeth for biting and chewing.
The more serious and unwanted changes may be traced to genetics or later-than-normal growth, which is unpredictable.
Movement is most common in lower front teeth. This is particularly true if the teeth were extremely crowded before treatment. Changes in tooth position are a lifelong and naturally occurring phenomenon.
The best way to keep your teeth from shifting is to wear your retainers as prescribed. If you notice movement after your braces are removed, please contact Alba Orthodontics.
The fact is that throughout your lifetime, even though you have had orthodontic treatment, you can expect changes in tooth position.
Many factors at work may cause teeth to shift. Such changes are different for everyone, and most of the time, they are hardly noticeable.
However, on occasion, changes can occur that are disappointing to both the patient and Drs. Alba. Changes in tooth position are not a failure of your orthodontic treatment.
They are a natural process. We expect changes in our bodies as we grow older, and teeth are no exception.
To help control and limit these changes, retainers are prescribed after your braces are removed.
When you first get your braces or appliance, you’ll have to make some adjustments when playing an instrument or a contact sport. However, your treatment won’t 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.
*Some Text Courtesy of the American Association of Orthodontists