Monroe Orthodontics Answers Your Common Orthodontic Questions
New to braces? Dr. Leiva can help.
Get answers to the most common orthodontic questions in Monroe Township. If you don't see your question listed, always feel free to call our office and our helpful team members can answer all your questions.
Answers to Common Questions About Orthodontics
Orthodontics is a specialized form of dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities.
Selecting an orthodontist in Monroe Township who can help you achieve your smile dreams is important.
An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has received two to three years of additional training and experience. Your orthodontist is able to straighten teeth, correct misaligned jaw structure, and improve the function of your smile.
This means they're better qualified you to give you the smile of your dreams than you could get from aligners in the mail.
Only those with this formal education may call themselves “orthodontists,” and only orthodontists may be members of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO).
Dr. Leiva from Monroe Orthodontics has achieved this specialization and is an active member of AAO.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist around the age of seven.
By this age, Dr. Leiva 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 they are found early at Monroe Orthodontics.
Most orthodontic patients at our Monroe Township office begin active braces treatment between ages 9 and 14.
If you want to improve the look and feel of your smile, then any age can be a great age to see the orthodontist. Orthodontic treatment is not exclusive to children and teens, with about one in every five orthodontic patients being over the age of 21.
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 the individual patient, because every smile responds differently to treatment.
Treatment times can take anywhere between six and 30 months, but most standard treatments take about 22 months.
This can be determined through a free consultation at our Monroe Township 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.
Dr. Leiva 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 payment plans that meet your family’s budget.
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.
Orthodontic treatment is a partnership between the doctor and patient.
Dr. Leiva 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.
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.
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 Dr. Leiva can help determine whether or not your wisdom teeth need to be removed.
Dr. Leiva 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.
By wearing your retainers, your teeth are more likely to remain where Dr. Leiva has placed them through braces treatment.
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 Monroe 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 Dr. Leiva. 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.
No. Retainers stabilize and preserve the alignment of teeth and jaws that orthodontic treatment achieved.
Many people wear removable retainers nightly for the rest of their lives. Ask your orthodontist for guidance about your long-term retainer use.
- 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 it safe in its container so that it does not get lost or broken.
- Keep your retainer clean, too, 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, which 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 every six months.
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 recommend that you wear a mouthguard to protect your braces or appliance.