Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is orthodontics?
A: Orthodontics is a specialized field of dentistry that deals with the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and jaw irregularities. Braces and jaw correcting appliances are used to solve these problems. An orthodontist is a specialist who has received 2-3 additional years of training beyond dental school. Dr. Souris also utilizes "state-of-the-art" technology to produce high quality treatment results in a timely and efficient manner.
Q: Why is orthodontics important?
A: An attractive smile and improved self-image is just one of the benefits of orthodontic treatment. Without treatment, orthodontic problems can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, bone destruction, chewing difficulties, speech impairments, tooth loss and other dental problems.
Q: What are the benefits of braces?
A: Having straight teeth that fit together properly improves function so your teeth and jaw joints can work together more effectively. Straight teeth make it easier for you to keep them clean. The appearance of your teeth and face are also improved. Having a pleasing smile gives you more self-esteem, confidence and a feeling of acceptance in your daily activities.
Q: At what age should orthodontic treatment occur?
A: 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. Early treatment may mean that a patient can avoid pulling of adult teeth, jaw surgery, and more serious complications. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child first visit an orthodontist by age 7 if a problem is detected by parents, the family dentist, or the child's physician.
Q: What are some early warning signs of a bite problem?
A: Difficulty in chewing or biting; mouth breathing; finger sucking or other mouth habits beyond age 5; overlapped, misplaced, or crooked teeth; overbites; underbites; biting the cheek or into the roof of the mouth; teeth that meet in an abnormal manner or do not meet at all; jaws that shift or make sounds; jaws or teeth that protrude, retrude or create an unusual facial appearance; speech difficulty.
Q: Will braces hurt?
A: Most patients experience some discomfort for a short period after their braces are put on and immediately after their braces are tightened. Aspirin, non-aspirin pain reliever, or ibuprofen can be used to ease the discomfort.
Q: What can I eat with braces?
A: Most foods can be enjoyed just as before you got your braces. Hard, crunchy and sticky foods can damage braces and should be avoided.
Q: How long will I have to undergo orthodontic treatment?
A: It will vary for each patient and always depends on how serious your jaw problems are and how much straightening your teeth require.
Q: Will I still be able to play sports?
A: Yes. It is recommended, however, that patients protect their smiles by wearing a mouth guard when participating in any sporting activity. Mouth guards are supplied by our office and are specially designed to work around braces.
Q: Will braces interfere with playing musical instruments?
A: No. However, there may be a short period of adjustment. There is no reason to abandon playing musical instruments because of braces.
Q: Can you be too old for braces?
A: No. Age is not a factor, however, there are advantages to treating young people while they are still growing. About 25% of orthodontic patients in the United States are adults. If you are an adult considering braces, treatment has changed a great deal in the last few years. Braces have become faster and more comfortable. You can get them in traditional silver or the much less visible clear braces. Also, INVISALIGN is the latest technique that allows movement of teeth with clear aligners (retainers) and NO BRACES. SEE OUR ADULT TREATMENT SECTION UNDER SERVICES.
Q: Why are retainers needed after orthodontic treatment?
A: After braces are removed, teeth can shift out of position if they are not stabilized. Retainers provide that support and are designed to hold teeth in their corrected and ideal positions. Teeth will shift with age whether they were straightened with braces or not. Think of braces like eyeglasses, once you get them, you should always wear them to keep things in perfect condition. Wearing retainers exactly as instructed is the best insurance that the treatment improvements will last for a lifetime
Q: How often will I need office visits?
A: Once appliances are in place, routine office visits are at six-to-eight week intervals. Periodically, we may need to see you sooner, or in case of any emergency we will probably need to see you that day.