Orthodontic FAQ - Plymouth, MN

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Frequently Asked Orthodontic Questions

There are two good reasons: aesthetics and function. Having an attractive smile not only changes the way people see you — it enhances your own self-image as well. Orthodontic treatment also allows your teeth to function better and makes it easier to keep them clean, which can improve your overall health. Check here to learn the many smile corrections that Invisalign corrects.
You’re never too old to begin preventative orthodontic treatment — but if you start at an earlier age, your problems with gum disease may be easier to treat. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that a child who may need orthodontic treatment should come in for a first visit around age 7.
Teeth that are protruding, crowded together or erupting out of position are clear indications that treatment is needed. Less obvious signs are mouth breathing, frequent biting of the cheek or palate, speech difficulties, and thumb sucking that go past 3-4 years of age. If teeth don’t meet properly when the mouth closes, or if jaws make sounds or shift as they move, this may also indicate an orthodontic problem. By addressing such problems early on, you can prevent or lower your risks of gum disease.
Having braces put on is generally painless. Some people experience minor aches and pains in the first couple of days or so, as they adjust to wearing their appliances; periodic adjustments may sometimes cause soreness as well, though it typically lasts only a short time. Over-the-counter pain relievers can be used to alleviate any discomfort, but are usually unnecessary.
It’s different for each person, but generally the active stage of treatment (that is, wearing braces or other appliances) may take from 6-30 months. After that, a retainer is worn for at least several months more.
It depends on what’s being done, and how often you need to be monitored. During active treatment, you’ll typically visit our Plymouth, MN office once every 4 to 10 weeks.
“Aligner thickness tends to vary between 0.50 and 1.5 mm”, according to the November 18, 2015 article titled Optical properties of orthodontic aligners—spectrophotometry analysis of three types before and after aging This makes them comfortable and easy to wear. Luca Lombardo discusses how they are typically created out of a chemically rigid polyurethane that is prized for its properties such as transparency, ductility and resistance to stress. Because of the advanced technology behind how it’s made, the many benefits of chosing Invisalign over traditional braces are clear.
You do — in fact, it’s more important than ever! Keeping teeth free of plaque (and potentially, decay) can be challenging when you’re wearing braces. Your dentist can help you avoid these problems with frequent cleanings and exams.
Almost always, the answer is yes: If you don’t wear a retainer, your teeth can rapidly shift out of position — and then all the effort put into your treatment is lost! Your retainer helps you maintain that good-looking smile for a lifetime.
Orthodontic care is a long-term investment in your health and well-being. Yet its cost hasn’t increased as fast as many other consumer prices, and many financing options are available that make orthodontic care affordable. Weighed against the true cost of living with problem teeth, however, orthodontic treatment can be a wise investment indeed.

It’s time to correct those crooked teeth.

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