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Did you know that over 1.6 million adults get orthodontic treatment in the United States every year? Despite how common orthodontic treatment is, many people still have questions! And we have answers! Here are some of the most frequently asked questions that we encounter.

What Is the Right Age to Visit the Orthodontist? 

While many people associate orthodontics with teenagers, anyone from children to adults can benefit from braces or clear aligners. The American Association of Orthodontists suggests that children pay their first visit to the orthodontist when they are approximately seven years old. This is a great chance to get an initial assessment and determine whether or not early orthodontic intervention is appropriate. There is no limit as to when orthodontic treatment is possible, as patients in their 70s and 80s can still get straighter smiles!

How Long Will You Have Braces? 

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as it depends on your unique orthodontic concerns. In some cases, it can take as little as six months to correct problems. However, in more complex cases where bite adjustment is more involved, it could take a few years before your treatment is completed. Your orthodontist will be able to provide you with an approximate timeline during your visit.

What Are the Types of Orthodontic Treatment? 

There are multiple ways to get a straighter smile. Some of the most common types of orthodontic treatments include:

  • Invisalign: This is a system of clear aligner trays that gradually shift your bite over time. 
  • Metal Braces: These braces are made of stainless steel brackets and wires installed directly on the surface of your teeth. 
  • Clear Braces: These braces are a great alternative to metal braces, as they are made of ceramic that matches the color of your teeth.

Are Braces Painful? 

Today, braces are designed to be smaller and more comfortable. When you first have your braces put on or adjusted, you might feel slight discomfort as you adjust to your treatment. After a couple of days, you’ll forget you’re even wearing them!

Will You Still Have to Visit the Dentist? 

Yes! If you are getting orthodontic treatment, it’s still important to make sure that the rest of your teeth are healthy and clean. Before you start braces or Invisalign, you should visit your dentist to check the condition of your teeth and gums. Throughout your orthodontic treatment, you will need to continue visiting the dentist for cleanings and check-ups every six months, just like you were before, on top of your visits to the orthodontist.

Will You Need to Change Your Oral Care Routine After Braces? 

When you have braces, you may need to adjust your oral care routine slightly. Avoid foods that could adhere to your teeth or damage the brackets, like sticky caramels or hard popcorn. Brush your teeth to prevent plaque accumulation. Additionally, you should use special floss once a day to get rid of any food particles that are stuck between your teeth.

Will You Be Able to Play an Instrument or Play Sports?

Absolutely! Whether or not you have braces on your teeth, it’s always important to wear a mouthguard when playing sports. Your custom-fit mouthguard may need to be adjusted after you have braces on your teeth. Additionally, if you play a wind or brass instrument, you may need to adjust to wearing braces. It might feel different at first, but people who play instruments can keep doing so with braces.

Start Your Smile Journey at Graf Orthodontics 

Graf Orthodontics helps children, teenagers, and adults get picture-perfect smiles. We customize every treatment to meet your needs and provide you with the smile transformation that you’re dreaming of. For a free consultation or to learn more, call us today at (318) 742-9274 or click here.