Orthodontic FAQs

Orthodontic work can pose many questions for new patients and their parents (if the patient is a child). Fortunately, Decatur Orthodontics has all the necessary answers to give you confidence and make treatment easy. To help you start your orthodontic research (and hopefully feel more excited about beginning care), we’ve put together this list of orthodontic FAQs for your convenience.

What Age Should You Go To The Orthodontist?

Orthodontic work is popular amongst teenagers and is probably the age group with which braces are most commonly associated. But did you know the American Association of Orthodontists states that a child should see an orthodontist by age seven? It’s true! Though most children do not need to start treatment right away, it is best to have a child assessed early so that an orthodontist can catch and monitor potential concerns in their early stages! 

But adults are not out of the running! Everyone’s life is different, and there is no “perfect age” to get braces. Regardless of age, you can invest in your smile with braces and significantly improve your quality of life. Whether you are a first-time patient or need retreatment, don’t let your age deter you from pursuing orthodontic work!

How Can You Improve Your Smile With Orthodontics?

Though surgery might be needed for more severe orthodontic needs, we are proud to offer some noninvasive options that keep the surgery knife at bay for most patients. Our variety of treatment options also allows us to care for a broader range of orthodontic needs, so we can help give as many people as possible in the Decatur area a reason to smile!

  • Lightforce creates 3D printed, custom-designed tooth-colored brackets for maximum comfort and subtly and minimal divergence. As a fixed appliance, many patients like not having to keep up with or remember to wear their braces. Fixed appliances require you to adjust your diet and oral hygiene routine during treatment, but the temporary lifestyle changes will be completely worth it in the end! Lightforce is great for those who know they can maintain their clear braces but don’t want or qualify for removable ones. 
  • Invisalign is the leading in-office, removable braces brand. They create custom-made, clear aligners that permit discretion and flexibility. Invisalign’s transparent and sleek aesthetic make the trays almost undetectable to others, and, unlike with Lightforce, you will not have to adjust your diet or oral hygiene routine. Because you must remove the aligners for eating, drinking, and maintenance, you will be free to conduct “business as usual” so long you remember to wear the trays for twenty-two hours a day. We love using Invisalign to help patients of all ages with mild to medium bite alignment needs!
  • Brava is a custom, fixed appliance that sits behind the teeth, meaning no one will know you are in treatment unless you tell them! Brava is great for patients of all ages with mild to complex alignment cases who want a fixed device but desire minimal changes to their oral hygiene and diet. This treatment option allows you to spend less time at adjustment appointments and more time doing what you love—showing off your smile!

Do Braces Hurt?

Braces are now smaller and more comfortable than ever. But even still, you will likely experience some discomfort.

Throughout your treatment, you will go through multiple adjustment periods. When you first begin wearing your braces (no matter the type), you will probably feel discomfort as the mouth adjusts. To move your teeth, Dr. Francis will modify your fixed braces every few weeks, or you will advance to the next clear aligner set every one to two weeks. This pressure could cause uncomfortable sensations for a couple of days as the teeth move. You can reduce this feeling with orthodontic wax, ice packs, Orajel, or over-the-counter pain medication.  

Your braces should never cause you pain, however. Unless you have experienced a facial injury/trauma, your braces or broken or ill-fitting, your braces should not feel anything worse than temporarily uncomfortable. If you are experiencing pain, please get in touch with our office immediately!

Do I Need A Retainer?

Yep! After your teeth have reached their final positions and your alignment is beautiful and functional, your time in braces will end, and you will receive a custom-made retainer. The retainer is necessary to hold your teeth in place as the mouth solidifies and becomes accustomed to its new design. Without it, your teeth would try to return to their original positions, and you might need retreatment to move them back! To protect your smile, wear your retainer as instructed.

Orthodontic FAQs

Decatur Orthodontics Is Here For All Your Orthodontic Needs!

We know you likely have other questions, and we want to be there for you!

Schedule a free consultation with us at Decatur Orthodontics to discover which treatment you or your child qualifies for, or simply contact us to receive answers to some questions you may have before your appointment.

The sooner care begins, the sooner you notice positive changes to your smile, so see us soon!