If you want to improve the look and feel of your smile, then any age can be a great age to see the orthodontist. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist around the age of 7. Although treatment is typically not needed at this age, there are certain conditions where it is better to catch early on rather than later. I have seen several patients where the parents and I both wish we had seen their child about 4 years earlier. Also, orthodontic treatment is not exclusive to children and teens, with about one in every five orthodontic patients being over the age of 21. Whether you’re considering treatment for yourself, or for a child, any time is a good time to visit the orthodontist.
Braces are used by your orthodontist to help you improve the look and feel of your smile! At Jennings Orthodontics, we specialize in the following brace systems:
The amount of time spent in braces can vary depending on the individual patient. Every smile responds differently to treatment. Early treatment (7-10 years of age) lasts approximately 6-12 months. Full braces usually lasts about 20 months. Invisalign is about 12 months.
Things that increase treatment times: broken brackets, not wearing rubber bands, or missed appointments. The most common reason is not wearing your rubber bands. Your parents and I are on the same team so please wear them so I don’t have to drag out your treatment any longer than it has to be.
Braces do not often hurt; however, you may feel a small amount of discomfort for a couple days as your teeth, gums, cheeks, and mouth get used to your new braces. When you get your braces on, we will show you how to use your chew wafer. This makes a huge difference in whether you get sore or not. You have 3 hours before soreness kicks. This is when the chew wafer is critical. When you teeth start to get sore, you can switch to sugarless gum to work the soreness out. Yep, I said gum cause we’re awesome! Tylenol and ibuprofen are also a good idea.
With braces, you should brush your teeth a minimum of two 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. We will happily show you how to properly brush and floss once your braces are placed. Anyway who wants their breath to smell like hot garbage? I assure you I do not!
Yes! In fact, it’s even more important that patients receiving orthodontic treatment visit their dentist regularly. With braces, food may be caught in places that your toothbrush can’t reach. This causes bacteria to build up and can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Your dentist will work closely with your orthodontist to make sure that your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.
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, it is recommended that you wear a mouth-guard to protect your braces or appliance.
Simply call our office! Our front desk staff will be happy to help schedule your next appointment in our Houston Memorial or Katy clinic at your convenience. If you are a new patient or have been referred to our practice, please let us know, and we will provide you with all of the information you need and answer all your orthodontic questions.