Dr. Chad Arthur and his team prioritize creating a comfortable atmosphere for their patients. As your local Glendale, Scottsdale and Westchester orthodontics office, we take it upon ourselves to keep our community informed on healthy oral hygiene practices and orthodontics. Our staff members noticed that there are a lot of common questions that our patients ask when they come into the office. In order to save you time, we’ve compiled a list of answers to questions that you might have before making an appointment with us.
What do orthodontists do?
Orthodontists are dental specialists who diagnose and treat problems with the position, alignment or spacing of the teeth, and related irregularities in the face and the jaw. We use a number of special treatments, including braces, Invisalign and other oral appliances, to correct these problems.
Do I still need to see my regular dentist while I'm getting orthodontic treatment?
You do — in fact, it's more important than ever! Keeping teeth free of plaque (and potentially, decay) can be challenging when you're wearing braces. Your dentist can help you avoid these problems with frequent cleanings and exams.
Reasons To Visit Your Orthodontist
Why should I (or my loved ones) get orthodontic treatment?
There are two good reasons: cosmetics and function. Having an attractive smile not only changes the way people see you — it enhances your own self-image as well. Orthodontic treatment also allows your teeth to function better and makes it easier to keep them clean, which can improve your overall health.
When should orthodontic treatment be started?
You're never too old to begin orthodontic treatment — but if you start at an earlier age, your orthodontic problems may be easier to correct. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that a child who may need orthodontic treatment should come in for their first visit around age 7.
Does my orthodontist treat bite problems? How can I identify them?
Arthur Orthodontics offers a variety of treatments for correcting bite problems. Teeth that are protruding crowded together or erupting out of position are clear indications that treatment is needed (View Examples). Less obvious signs are mouth breathing, frequent biting of the cheek or palate, speech difficulties, and thumb sucking that goes past 3-4 years of age. If teeth don't meet properly when the mouth closes, or if jaws make sounds or shift as they move, this may also indicate an orthodontic problem.
Orthodontic Treatments & Appointments
How long will treatment take?
It's different for each person, but generally the active stage of treatment (that is, wearing braces or other appliances) may take from 6-30 months. After that, retainers are typically worn to maintain the correction.
How often will I come in for an appointment?
It depends on what's being done, and how often you need to be monitored. During active treatment, you'll typically come in to our office once every 8 to 10 weeks.
Will I need to have any teeth extracted?
If your teeth are severely crowded (because your mouth is too small to properly accommodate all of them) — or if you have impacted teeth (teeth that are trapped beneath the gum line by other teeth) — then extractions of either “baby” or sometimes permanent teeth might be necessary. Most of the time, in the case of younger patients, early orthodontic intervention can prevent the need for permanent teeth to be extracted.
Will I be able to play sports/play my instrument with braces?
In a word: Yes. Of course, whether you wear braces or not, we recommend you wear a mouth-guard when playing certain sports. Musicians are always able to play their instruments just as they did before, but they may need a short adjustment period after getting braces.
Metal Braces, Adult Braces, Clear Braces
Will I wear a retainer when my braces come off?
The answer is yes: If you don't wear a retainer, your teeth can rapidly shift out of position — and then all the effort put into your treatment can be lost! Your retainer helps you maintain that good-looking smile for a lifetime.
Does getting braces hurt? What about wearing them?
Having braces put on is generally painless. Some people experience minor aches and pains in the first couple of days or so, as they adjust to wearing their appliances; periodic adjustments may sometimes cause soreness as well, though it typically lasts only a short while. Over-the-counter pain relievers can be used to alleviate any discomfort, but are usually unnecessary.
Will I have to watch what I eat?
Yes — with metal and ceramic braces, you should pass up the types of foods that could damage or become trapped in your braces. Some of these include raw vegetables, hard candy, caramel, taffy and ice cubes (fortunately, ice cream is OK). We will give you a list of foods to avoid. For more flexibility in food options, you may want to consider Invisalign.
Is orthodontic care very expensive?
Orthodontic care is a long-term investment in your health and well-being. Yet its cost hasn't increased as fast as many other consumer prices, and many financing options are available that make orthodontic care affordable. Weighed against the true cost of living with problem teeth, however, orthodontic treatment can be a wise investment indeed.
Contact Your Scottsdale Orthodontist
If you have any additional questions regarding the treatments we have at Arthur Orthodontics or regarding your oral health, do not hesitate to contact us. Our friendly staff members are always happy to assist you. Don’t forget to also ask us about our complimentary exam!