Q: When is a good time for my child to start braces?
A: Children should be evaluated by an orthodontist around the age of 7 years. This allows careful monitoring of adult teeth coming, jaw development, and growth. Sometimes, interceptive Phase I or early treatment needs to be done to prevent future problems. Many teenagers start braces at different ages, depending on growth and when adult teeth come in - there is a lot of variability between teens, so come in for a full evaluation to decide the best timing.
Q: What are the risks of getting braces?
A: We have a detailed blog post on this topic here. The biggest risk is cavities and white spots that form around braces, if the teeth are not brushed well. Extra time and attention are needed for good oral hygiene and regular dental cleanings with your general dentist or pediatric dentist are required.
Q: Do braces hurt?
A: At some point during treatment, you will feel pressure on the teeth are they are moving. Sometimes, there is discomfort with braces, especially within the first few days of getting them as well as after any tightening appointments. The best way to feel more comfortable is to eat softer foods (mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables, fish, etc) for a few days until your mouth gets used to the braces. You can also take an over-the-counter pain medication.
Q: How often do I need to come in for appointments with braces?
A: Dr. Markova will see you every 6-8 weeks.
Q: How long do I need to wear retainers after braces?
A: Retainers are needed to maintain the teeth in a straight position and keep the bite correction. For most people, retainers need to be worn forever. In our office, retainers are worn only at night, making it easy to keep up with wear. Teeth naturally tend to shift as we age, so a retainer is needed long-term. Dr. Markova will discuss different types of retainers with you, such a bonded lower retainer or clear retainer.