Here are some of the questions we encounter most frequently, but feel free to ask your own at your next visit. You can also call or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is orthodontics? >
Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that specializes in diagnosing, preventing and treating dental and facial anomalies. The technical term used for these problems is “malocclusion.” It refers to a fault in the relationship between the teeth and jaws. Your orthodontist has all the professional skills needed to create a treatment plan and install and monitor the appliances that will align your teeth and jaws to give you an amazing smile!
What are the main causes of malocclusion? >
Heredity plays a role in dental and facial problems. The width and shape of the jaws are decisive factors in the positioning of teeth.
Some malformations are caused by bad habits, such as thumb or finger sucking, continuous pushing of the tongue against the teeth or bruxism (teeth grinding). Improper swallowing or chronic mouth breathing (caused by asthma, allergies, sinusitis, frequent colds, etc.) can also lead to poor positioning of the teeth.
Finally, the premature loss of primary or permanent teeth as a result of an accident, tooth decay or gum disease may cause teeth to move and result in malocclusion.
What are the benefits of orthodontic treatment? >
There are many more than you probably think! You already know that orthodontic treatment will align your teeth, but a beautiful smile is just one of the many advantages. Other benefits include higher self-esteem, greater self-confidence, better dental function, easier dental care, a better distribution of chewing forces for teeth and jaws, better long term health for teeth and gums, a lower risk of dental fractures and an optimization of other dental treatments.
What are the signs that treatment is required? >
- Upper front teeth that protrude excessively over the lower teeth;
- Upper front teeth that overlap the lower teeth too much;
- Upper front teeth that are indented or behind the lower teeth;
- Upper and lower front teeth that don’t meet when the mouth is closed;
- Obviously crowded teeth;
- Upper and lower teeth that are not aligned;
- Thumb or finger sucking habits after the age of six;
- Difficulty chewing;
- Excessive or uneven wear of teeth;
- Deviation of the chin from the centre of the face;
- Spaces between teeth.
At what age should treatment begin? >
The Canadian Association of Orthodontists recommends a first visit no later than age 7.
It is always better to consult with an orthodontist too early rather than too late because the child’s level of development can make a difference in the choice of treatment. Intervening early often leads to better results and creating beautiful smiles without extracting teeth. You don’t have to be referred by a dentist to consult an orthodontist. Do not hesitate to make an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Rodrigue.
Can orthodontic treatment benefit adults? >
Although it is recommended that treatment start before the jaws stop growing, there is no age limit for beginning orthodontic treatment. Today, almost 25% of patients being treated are adults, and it is no longer unusual for people to be treated in their fifties. Some appliances are almost invisible now, which makes orthodontic treatment very discreet. Don’t hesitate to consult us for information about suitable treatment for you. It’s never too late to be proud of your smile!
How long does orthodontic treatment take? >
Three elements influence the length of treatment. First, orthodontic treatment is a team effort. Without cooperation from the patient, we cannot get the best results in the time period originally planned. The pattern of growth of the face and jaws as well as the severity of the initial problem are two other factors affecting treatment time. Correcting malocclusion problems usually take one to three years.
At the end of corrective treatment, we monitor the dental evolution of the patient over several years to ensure the stability of results. Most patients have to wear an appliance at night during this phase, and a permanent wire is placed behind some teeth.
Is orthodontic treatment painful? >
Orthodontic appliances are usually painless. However, you will likely feel tooth pain for two to five days after the brackets are connected by wire. Your lips and cheeks will no doubt need a few weeks to get used to irritation from the braces.
Should I continue to see my dentist during my orthodontic treatment? >
Yes, we recommend you see your dentist every six months for cleaning and a checkup.
What will I be able to do and not do? >
As we have already pointed out, the success of orthodontic treatment depends greatly on the commitment and cooperation of the patient. You need to practice impeccable oral hygiene and pay special attention to what you eat. Throughout the treatment, hard or sticky foods will have to be avoided because they can break appliances and prolong the period of treatment.
Don’t eat too many sugary foods, which can cause cavities and tooth decalcification. Be sure to floss and brush your teeth frequently to avoid stains, cavities and gum problems.
How much does treatment cost? >
An investment in orthodontic treatment is for life. When you enquire about the cost, you may find it is much less than you expected. The cost varies depending on the case, and it is difficult to give an average, but during your first visit, we will be able to provide you with an estimate for possible treatments. We also offer financial options to suit your budget, including monthly payments. We accept Visa and MasterCard, debit cards, cheques and pre-authorized debits. Also, more and more insurance plans cover a portion of orthodontic costs. The fees are tax deductible.