Decatur Orthodontics Answers Your Common Orthodontic Questions
New to braces? Dr. Oral Francis can help. Get answers to the most common orthodontic questions from people like you in Decatur.
If you don't see your question listed, always feel free to call our office and our helpful team members can answer all your questions.
Answers to Common Questions About Orthodontics
Teeth, and sometimes entire facial structures, are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment. It is important that the treatment be appropriate and properly completed.
Orthodontic specialists have extensive and specialized training that enables them to provide their patients with professional, personalized treatments.
Selecting an orthodontist in Decatur who can help you achieve your smile dreams is important. Orthodontists like Dr. Oral Francis are dental specialists who diagnose, prevent and treat dental and facial irregularities.
This means Dr. Francis is better qualified to give you the smile of your dreams than you could get from aligners in the mail.
Dr. Francis received an additional two to three years of specialized education beyond dental school to learn the proper way to align and straighten teeth. In fact, Dr. Oral Francis is also board-certified, and only 30% of orthodontists possess that standing.
Only those with this formal education may call themselves “orthodontists,” and only orthodontists may be members of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO). Dr. Francis from Decatur Orthodontics has achieved this specialization and is an active member of AAO.
The American Association of Orthodontists and Dr. Francis recommends an orthodontic screening at age seven. By this age, most Decatur children have several permanent teeth that have erupted, letting us evaluate their orthodontic needs.
By this age, Dr. Francis can spot subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while some baby teeth are still present.
That’s important, because some orthodontic problems may be easier to correct if they are found early at Decatur Orthodontics. Most orthodontic patients at our office begin active braces treatment between ages 9 and 14.
No, they will not. The space available for the front teeth does not increase as you grow. In most people, after the permanent molars erupt, the space available for the front teeth decreases with age.
Orthodontic treatment can be successful at almost any age. In fact, about one in every four orthodontic patients today is over age 18.
Thanks to today’s smaller, less visible and more comfortable orthodontic appliances, including metal braces, ceramic braces, and Invisalign, adults find treatment appealing.
Overall treatment time depends on each patient's specific orthodontic problem(s). In general, treatment times range from 12 to 30 months.
The "average" timespan a patient wears braces is approximately 22 months. Your specific can be determined through a free consultation at our Decatur office.
The cost of orthodontic treatment depends on many factors, including the severity of the problem, how complex the problem is, and how long treatment lasts.
Dr. Francis will be glad to discuss the cost of treatment and your financing options with you before treatment begins.
The good news is that braces are more affordable today than ever. Our staff also works with insurance companies and offers payment plans that meet your family’s budget.
Yes! We recommend that patients wear mouthguards while playing sports. Musicians will likely experience an adjustment period until they are comfortable playing while wearing braces.
Most orthodontic problems are inherited. Examples of these genetic problems are crowding, spacing, protrusion, extra or missing teeth and some jaw growth problems.
Other oral problems are caused by thumb- or finger-sucking, dental disease, accidents, the early or late loss of baby teeth, or other causes.
Crooked and crowded teeth are hard to clean and maintain. A bad bite can also cause abnormal wear of tooth surfaces, difficulty in chewing and/or speaking, and excess stress on supporting bone and gum tissue.
Without treatment, many problems become worse and can require additional dental care later in life.
Orthodontic treatment is a partnership between the doctor and patient. Dr. Francis provides custom-made fixed or removable appliances that use gentle pressure to move teeth into their proper positions.
Your job is to follow your orthodontist’s instructions, keep scheduled orthodontic appointments, and maintain excellent oral hygiene to get the best results. You will also need to see your general dentist as recommended to continue your general dental care.
Yes. We understand your schedule is busy, and we are happy to help you make the most of your time. On some occasions, we may request to speak with a parent when they return, so we ask that parents check-in with their patient manager before dropping off their child.
If you notice an unwanted change in your smile or bite, contact us for a free consultation. You might need an orthodontic tune-up to regain proper alignment.
Not necessarily. Research suggests that wisdom teeth don’t always cause teeth to shift. In most cases, wisdom teeth are removed for general dental health reasons rather than for orthodontic health.
Your family dentist or Dr. Francis can help determine whether or not your wisdom teeth need to be removed.
Dr. Francis will recommend how long to continue wearing your retainers, whether they are removable (the kind you put in and take out) or fixed (bonded behind your teeth). Wearing your retainers as prescribed is the best way to keep your teeth from moving after your orthodontic treatment.
There are many reasons teeth may move following orthodontic treatment. Teeth are not set in concrete, they’re in bone. Because the bone around your teeth is continually changing (breaking down and rebuilding), your teeth may shift after your braces are removed.
By wearing your retainers, your teeth are more likely to remain where Dr. Francis has placed them through braces treatment.
The small changes that happen after braces are removed are due to settling in as you use your teeth for biting and chewing. The more serious and unwanted changes may be traced to genetics or later-than-normal growth, which is unpredictable.
Movement is most common in lower front teeth. This is particularly true if the teeth were extremely crowded before treatment. Changes in tooth position are a lifelong and naturally occurring phenomenon.
The best way to keep your teeth from shifting is to wear your retainers as prescribed. If you notice movement after your braces are removed, please contact Decatur Orthodontics.
The fact is that throughout your lifetime, even though you have had orthodontic treatment, you can expect changes in tooth position. Many factors at work may cause teeth to shift. Such changes are different for everyone, and most of the time, they are hardly noticeable.
However, on occasion, changes can occur that are disappointing to both the patient and Dr. Francis. Changes in tooth position are not a failure of your orthodontic treatment. They are a natural process. We expect changes in our bodies as we grow older, and teeth are no exception.
To help control and limit these changes, retainers are prescribed after your braces are removed.
No. Retainers stabilize and preserve the alignment of teeth and jaws that orthodontic treatment achieved.
Many people wear removable retainers nightly for the rest of their lives. Ask your orthodontist for guidance about your long-term retainer use.