[sntoggle title=”What is orthodontics?” type=”snaccordion” group=”accordion-169e”]
Orthodontics is a specialty of dentistry that deals with the alignment of the teeth, the correction of the relationship between the jaws, and the prevention and correction of dental and facial abnormalities.
An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has received two or three years of additional training. Your orthodontist is able to straighten teeth, correct misaligned jaw structure, and improve the function of your bite. Of course, creating beautiful smiles is also a big part of what orthodontists do!
Although an orthodontist is also a dentist, most don’t do the kinds of stuff you normally associate with dentists—cleanings, finding and restoring cavities, and so on. You should make sure to see your general dentist at least once every six months, in addition to your normal visits to the orthodontist. (This is true even if you are not having orthodontic treatment, for most people).
[sntoggle title=”What’s the best age to visit the orthodontist?” type=”snaccordion” group=”accordion-169e”]
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children be seen by an orthodontist once their permanent teeth start coming in, which is around the age of 6 or 7.Orthodontic treatment has come a long way, and now lots of adult patients have braces, too! We’ve treated people in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. Nobody over 80, yet! With the great variety of treatments available, there has never been an easier time to align your teeth, whether you are a child, teen or adult.
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What are braces?
Braces are used by your orthodontist to help you improve the look and feel of your smile! There are several different types of braces to choose from, including:
These are metal braces, but they are far from old fashioned; they are now more technologically advanced and more comfortable than ever before! Although the braces themselves are silver, you can choose colors at every monthly appointment to liven up your smile! Only if you want to, of course.
Here are links for more information about the type of braces we use in our office.
These are made out of porcelain, and are less noticeable than traditional braces. They are equally effective, and equally comfortable! They are perfect for people with concerns about the esthetics of their appliances—this is often the appliance of choice for older teens and adults.
Here is some more information about the ceramic appliances we use in our offices.
These are also metal, but they have a gold coating. Although they sound and look very expensive, they are actually comparable in price to the ceramic braces.
These are placed on the backs of the teeth, and are perfect for people who want the least noticeable option for their orthodontic treatment! These appliances are not for everyone, however; they function best for patients with relatively simple problems.
Here is some information about lingual braces.
These are the newest generation of braces; these appliances do not require the placement and replacement of colored rubber bands that may discolor or wear between appointments. They have a little sliding door that holds everything together, and minimizes friction and therefore maximizes efficiency!
Here are links to the self-ligating brackets we use in our office.
These removable appliances can do amazing things! You wear them 24 hours per day except for while brushing and eating. Many patients feel that, if traditional and ceramic braces are not for them, Invisalign is a less noticeable alternative. Invisalign aligners are removable, so you can take them out for important occasions.
Here’s a link to the Invisalign website:
Invisalign has a program specifically for teenagers! It’s called Invisalign Teen, and is a great alternative to braces that are attached to the teeth. It can’t be used for everyone, but Invisalign Teen is often an option for our more esthetically-minded teenage patients!
Here’s a link to the Invisalign site, where you can get more information about Invisalign Teen.
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Everybody is different. Most people need orthodontic appliances for approximately 2 years. If your situation is very simple, your treatment can be as short as a few months. If you have a more complicated set of issues, your treatment may be longer. Drs. Cooperman and Mintzberg will do their best to give you an accurate estimate of the length of your treatment before you begin. Remember, though—it’s only an estimate!
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Not usually! It’s really easy to get the braces put on—we just kind of glue them to the teeth, and that’s that. However, the first day or two afterwards can be a little tricky. Typically, there is a period of adjustment where the teeth can be a bit achy. You may need to eat things that are a little softer, and may choose to take Tylenol or whatever you normally take if you have a headache. It’s almost like starting a new workout routine: you may be sore for a few days afterwards, but then everything just feels normal again.
[sntoggle title=”Do I need to brush my teeth more often if I have braces?” type=”snaccordion” group=”accordion-169e”]
You should brush after every meal, to make sure that you have no unsightly food stuck in the braces! If you use Invisalign appliances, you should also clean your teeth and the aligners before reinserting them, to make sure everything stays clean and healthy!
[sntoggle title=”If I see the orthodontist regularly, do I still need dental checkups every six months?” type=”snaccordion” group=”accordion-169e”]
DEFINITELY! Your dentist will check to make sure that you are not developing any caries, and will help to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy for the duration of your treatment. Sometimes food or bacteria can lodge in places where they are inaccessible to toothbrushes; the dentist can often access these areas more effectively. This will help to avoid any issues with the teeth and gums.
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You should be able to do anything you normally do: playing sports, swimming, playing a musical instrument, or whatever! There may be an adjustment period, but after a few days you should have no problems. If you play sports, you should ALWAYS wear a sports guard to protect your teeth.
[sntoggle title=”How do I schedule an appointment?” type=”snaccordion” group=”accordion-169e”]
You can make an appointment online right now, or if you prefer, just call us at (212) 222-3210. Our front desk staff will be happy to make you an appointment, and can provide lots of other useful information as well.