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Questions or concerns about getting braces or Invisalign?

When it comes to straightening teeth, we’ve got the answers.

Still have questions? Please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’d love to help guide you on your orthodontic decisions!

What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics is a specialized form of dentistry, focusing on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities.

Who is an orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dentist who has received 2 to 3 years of university based education and training beyond dental school. Straightening teeth is only one facet of an orthodontist’s job: Treating misaligned jaws and establishing a good functional relationship with the system of the teeth, musculature, and jaw joints are also major components of an excellent orthodontic result.

What is the best age to visit the orthodontist?

If you want to improve the look and function of your smile, any age is a great age to see the orthodontist. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist around the age of 7. This allows the orthodontist to monitor each individual’s development and time treatment accordingly. There is no cost or obligation for this service. Orthodontic treatment is not exclusive to children and teens. In fact, about one in every five orthodontic patients are 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.

How can I take care of my teeth if I’m wearing braces or a retainer?

• 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, brush your teeth, and floss, then remember to keep it safe in your retainer case so that it does not get lost or broken.
• Keep your retainer clean by brushing it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste. You may also use denture cleaner twice a week. Do not use hot, boiling water or the dishwasher.
• During your treatment, try to avoid foods with a lot of sugar. Sugar 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).
• Avoid hard foods (hard candy, nuts, ice cubes).
• Avoid any foods that could possibly get stuck in your braces (corn on the cob, soft bagels, ribs, taffy, etc). See our complete lists of foods to avoid and foods you can eat.
• Be sure to schedule your routine checkups with your family dentist. It is recommended that you continue to visit the dentist every six months.

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:
• Clear braces
• Ceramic braces
• Gold braces
• Lingual braces
• Self-ligating braces
• Invisible braces
• Traditional metal braces
• Invisalign
Drs. Hanson, Hammerbeck and Klobucarich will be happy to discuss the pros and cons of each type of brace and help you choose the best option for your particular problem.

If I get braces, how long do I have to wear them?

The amount of time spent in braces can vary depending on the individual patient. Every smile responds differently to treatment. Common treatment times can take anywhere between 6 to 30 months. Ultimately, the result dictates when treatment is complete.

Do braces hurt?

Braces most often do not hurt. 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.

Do I need to brush my teeth more often if I have braces?

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. Our staff can show you how to properly brush and floss once your braces are placed. Excellent oral health is essential to the success of your treatment!

If I have braces, do I still need dental checkups every six months?

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.

Will my braces interfere with my school activities like sports, playing an instrument, or singing?

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.

How do I schedule my next appointment?

Simply schedule it online for Appleton or Green Bay here! Or, if you’d rather, call our Appleton office at (920) 739-5822 or Green Bay office at (920) 884-2808. Our team will be happy to help schedule your next appointment. 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.

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