Common Orthodontic Questions
New to braces? Dr. Leiva can help.
Get answers to the most common orthodontic questions around Monroe Township, East Brunswick, Jamesburg and our surrounding communities.
If you don't see your question listed, always feel free to call (609) 409-1700 and your helpful Monroe Ortho team will answer all your questions.
FAQs Around Monroe Township
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.
Orthodontists like Dr. Leiva are dental specialists who have received two to three years of additional training and experience. Dr. Leiva is able to straighten teeth, correct misaligned jaw structure, and improve the function of your smile.
This means Dr. Leiva is more qualified to give you the smile of your dreams than you could get by ordering clear aligners from the internet.
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 and Monroe Orthodontics recommend 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 Dr. Leiva. Orthodontic treatment is not exclusive to children and teens, with about one in every five orthodontic patients being over the age of 21 at Monroe Orthodontics.
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 team also works with New Jersey insurance companies and offers payment plans that meet your family’s budget.
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 you and Dr. Leiva.
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 Dr. Leiva’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.
- 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.
If you notice an unwanted change in your smile or bite, contact Dr. Leiva 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.
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.
Dr. Leiva can show you how to properly brush and floss once your braces are placed.
No. Retainers stabilize and preserve the alignment of teeth and jaws that Dr. Leiva achieved through your orthodontic treatment.
Many people wear removable retainers nightly for the rest of their lives. Ask Dr. Leiva for guidance about your long-term retainer use.
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.
Yes! In fact, it's even more important that our patients at Monroe Orthodontics 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 Dr. Leiva to make sure that your teeth stay clean and healthy during your treatment with braces or Invisalign.
*Some Text Courtesy of the American Association of Orthodontists