Before starting orthodontic treatment, it’s good to have answers to common questions. Meschke Orthodontics is committed to informing patients and parents about the treatment process. Learn more below by reading our FAQs, and contact us today with any additional questions you might have.
Teeth, and sometimes entire facial structures, are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment. It is important that the treatment be appropriate and properly completed. Orthodontic specialists have extensive and specialized training that enables them to provide their patients with professional, personalized treatments.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic screening at age 7. For most children, several permanent teeth have erupted by this age, allowing the orthodontist to effectively evaluate the patient’s orthodontic condition.
No, they will not. The space available for the front teeth does not increase as you grow. In most people, after the permanent molars erupt, the space available for the front teeth decreases with age.
Overall treatment time depends on each patient's specific orthodontic problem(s) and the type of treatment they are having. In general, treatment times range from 12 to 30 months. The "average" timespan a patient wears braces is approximately 18-24 months. Invisalign treatment can be significantly quicker averaging 12 months or less.
Appointments are scheduled according to each patient's needs. Most patients in braces will be seen every five to 10 weeks. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly.
Generally, braces do not "hurt." After certain appointments, your teeth may be sore for a few days. In these situations, over-the-counter pain medications, such as Advil or Tylenol, will ease the discomfort. However, after most visits, patients do not feel any soreness at all! We often remind our patients, “It does not have to hurt to work!”
Yes! We recommend that patients wear special orthodontic mouthguards designed especially for braces while playing sports. Musicians will likely experience an adjustment period until they are comfortable playing while wearing braces.
Yes! Regular check-ups with your general dentist are important while in braces. Your dentist will determine the intervals between each cleaning appointment while you have your braces.
Patients should brush their teeth at least four times each day – after each meal and before going to bed. We will also show you how to floss your teeth with braces, and we may provide a prescription for a special fluoride treatment, if necessary.
Yes. Once treatment begins, we will explain our complete instructions and provide you with a comprehensive list of foods to avoid. Some of those foods include ice, hard candy, raw vegetables and all sticky foods (i.e. caramel and taffy). You can avoid most repair appointments by carefully following our instructions!