Orthodontic FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions About Orthodontics

What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics is a specialized form of dentistry focusing on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities.

Who is an orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has received additional training and experience to specialize in straightening teeth, correcting misaligned jaw structure, and improve the function of your smile.

What are braces?

Braces are used by your orthodontist to help you improve the look and feel of your smile. Our office offers metal braces and LightForce. Since everyone has different needs and preferences, we also offer Invisalign, which is a clear alignment therapy. Check out Our Services section for more information on metal braces, LightForce, and Invisalign.

Who Are Braces For?

Orthodontics treatment is for all ages. Our practice recognizes that adults and children have different needs and require a different level of attention and care. We will work with you to ensure that you receive the most appropriate treatment, and that your needs are met with understanding, respect, and commitment from us.


According to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) here are some signs that indicate you may need braces:

  • Teeth are visibly crooked or crowded
  • Difficulty flossing or brushing
  • Frequently biting your tongue or cheek
  • Teeth that don’t align properly when your mouth is at rest
  • Speech difficulties
  • Mouth breathing
  • Early, late, or irregular loss of baby teeth
  • Adult teeth that came in delayed or late
  • Difficulty chewing food
  • An under- or overbite
  • Missing or extra teeth.

What's the best age to visit the orthodontist?

The Canadian Association of Orthodontists (CAO) and American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that children first visit an orthodontist around the age of seven.

However, orthodontic treatment is not exclusive to children and teens. According to the CAO and the AAO, about one in every four orthodontic patients is over the age of 21. Whether you're considering treatment for yourself or for a child, any time is a good time to visit the orthodontist.

Why should Children be checked for orthodontic treatment?

The Canadian Association of Orthodontists (CAO) and the American Association for Orthodontists (AAO) recommend visiting the orthodontist around age seven. Around this age children have a mix of baby teeth and permanent teeth. There are enough permanent teeth in the child’s mouth for an orthodontist to evaluate the developing teeth and jaws. If a problem exists, or if one is developing, your orthodontist will be able to notice it.

What Signs might indicate that my Child should see an orthodontist?

There are a few things to watch for that may mean your child needs to see an orthodontist, such as crowded or misplaced teeth, difficulty chewing or biting, mouth breathing, thumb-sucking, jaws popping or clicking, cheek biting, and/or facial imbalance.

What about braces for TEENS?

Braces are no longer as scary as many teens may think. In fact, braces today are more aesthetic, customizable, and efficient. There are several treatment options to choose from, please see Our Services section for more information.

Treatment times can vary depending on how quickly your body responds and how much work is needed to give you the show-stopping smile you expect. Regardless of the type of braces you choose, it is important to avoid sticky, hard, or chewy foods, as these may damage your braces and prolong your treatment time.

Can Adults get Braces?

Orthodontic treatment is no longer just for kids and teens! In fact, the Canadian Association of Orthodontists cites that one in four orthodontic patients is over the age of 21! Many adults are choosing to receive treatment because they understand the importance of maintaining their health and they want to feel better about their appearance.

Today’s orthodontic treatment options offer a variety of braces and appliances that are comfortable, aesthetic, and customized to meet your needs, such as clear 3D printed braces and clear aligners. Remember, a straight smile isn’t just beautiful; it will help you maintain the health of your teeth for life! Please see Our Services section for more information.

If I get braces, how long do I have to wear them?

The amount of time spent wearing braces will vary depending on the individual patient and their needs; every smile responds differently to treatment. Standard treatments take approximately 22 months; however, treatment times can take anywhere between 6 to 30 months.

Do braces hurt?

Braces do not often hurt though you may feel a small amount of discomfort for a couple of days as your teeth, gums, cheeks, and mouth get accustomed to your new braces.


When you first get your braces, you may notice that your teeth and mouth feel a little tender or sore. This is perfectly normal, and we promise your mouth will not be sore forever! To relieve the pain, we recommend dissolving one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water. Swish and gargle this solution in your mouth for just a couple of minutes (do not swallow the saltwater).

If the pain is severe and does not go away after rinsing, you can also try taking a pain reliever. It is not uncommon for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the braces. We would be happy to give you some wax that you can put over the braces to reduce the tenderness. If you need some wax, please let us know.

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. Your orthodontist 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 your orthodontist to make sure that your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.

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 your orthodontist or 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 your retainer safe in its container so that it does not get lost or broken.
  • Keep your retainer clean by brushing it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste. You may also soak it in denture cleaner as instructed by your orthodontist. 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. It is recommended that you continue to visit the dentist at least every six months. It is sometimes recommended to see the dentist more often during your orthodontic treatment.

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, however, wearing braces will not stop you from participating in any of your school activities.

If you play a contact sport, it is recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your braces or appliance.

What happens if my teeth feel a little LOOSE?

If your teeth begin feeling a little loose, don't worry; this is normal! Your braces must first loosen your teeth to move them into the right position. Once your teeth have been repositioned, they will no longer be loose.

What happens if i have LOOSE WIRES AND/or BANDS?

The wires and bands on your braces may come loose. If this happens, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can check and repair your appliance. If any piece of your appliance comes off, be sure to save it and bring it to the office with you.
You can temporarily fix the loose wire by using the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil to carefully and gently push the wire back into place. If the loose wire is causing irritation to your lips or cheeks, put wax or a wet cotton ball over the broken wire to relieve the pain.

How do I schedule my next appointment?

Simply call our clinic! Our front desk staff will help schedule your next appointment at your convenience.

Additional Resources

8:00 am to 4:00 pm

8:00 am to 5:00 pm

8:00 am to 5:00 pm

8:00 am to 5:00 pm

8:00 am to 4:00 pm