If you’re getting ready to see an orthodontist for the first time, you probably have a lot of questions. Even if you’ve been seeing one for a long time, maybe there’s something you’ve always wanted to ask, but never mustered up the courage. So what are some of the most asked questions at the orthodontist?

What is an Orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has received additional education and training, usually 2 or 3 years more, beyond that of general dentistry. An orthodontist uses orthodontic devices and procedures to help align the teeth and jaw and improve the appearance and function of a patient’s smile.

When Should I See an Orthodontist?

Any time is a great time to contact an orthodontist to find out if braces or another orthodontic treatment is right for you. It is recommended that children see an orthodontist when their adult teeth start coming in, usually around the age of 7, but that age can vary for each child. While it’s most common to get orthodontic treatment before the age of 20, it is also never too late to see an orthodontist for the first time, even if you are an adult!

Will Braces Hurt?

Many questions at the orthodontist revolve around concerns that braces will hurt. Braces may feel uncomfortable when you first get them because your mouth is not accustomed to them. You may also experience some soreness the day after an adjustment. Any discomfort usually subsides as your mouth gets used to them. Your orthodontist may provide you with wax to place over any areas that might cause discomfort or may recommend mild pain relievers to help with the discomfort during the time needed for your mouth to adjust.

Can I Still Do Everything I Did Before I Had Braces?

Other popular questions at the orthodontist many patients ask is if they will still be able to play their favorite instrument or contact sport when they get braces. Typically, yes! It will require some getting used to for wind instruments like the flute, clarinet or trumpet, but it is a brief adjustment period for most patients. For contact sports, your orthodontist may recommend a sports mouth guard to help protect your mouth and braces in case of impact.

How Long Will I Need to Wear My Braces?

Treatment varies by age of the patient and what treatment is needed. Orthodontic treatment usually lasts on average between 16 to 24 months, but can vary greatly and sometimes from less than 12 months or as long as a few years.

How Do I Take Care of My Braces or Retainer?

Your orthodontist will likely give you instructions on how to clean and care for your braces and retainer. Usually all you need to do is care for them just like you care for your teeth by brushing 3 times a day or after meals and flossing daily.

Do I Still Need to See a Dentist if I See an Orthodontist?

Yes! It is just as important for you to see a dentist while you are undergoing orthodontic treatment. In fact, it may benefit you even more to get your regular dental cleanings during the time when you have braces because there will be new hard to reach areas that may be difficult to clean and your dentist can help to make sure there is not build up of food debris or plaque that could lead to tooth decay or cavities.

Call our Colorado Springs Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.