Frequently Asked Questions and Videos
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What is Orthodontics?
Orthodontics is a specialized branch of dentistry that deals with the correction of tooth and jaw irregularities.
What is an Orthodontist?
An orthodontist is a dentist who has returned to university for additional education and training in the specific field of orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics. In order to be licensed as an orthodontist in Canada, a dentist must complete a two or three year graduate program at an accredited university and then pass a fellowship exam with the Royal College of Dentists of Canada.
What are Braces?
Typically braces are considered any appliance that moves the teeth or helps realign the jawbones. They can be metal, ceramic, or plastic. With traditional braces the bracket (brace) is attached to the tooth and a wire is attached to the bracket and together they provide the required mechanisms for movement. The bracket (brace) can be attached to either the outside or the inside of the tooth. When using Invisalign® it is the clear plastic aligner that moves the teeth. Removable appliances with springs are also used to move teeth.
Why are some treatments started early and some later on?
Occasionally it is necessary to start orthodontic treatment early to correct a problem that would be more difficult to correct later on. This “phase” of treatment is usually limited to just the specific problem with a second “phase” of comprehensive treatment recommended later during adolescence.
Do Braces hurt?
Braces work by applying light, gentle pressure to move the teeth. After the braces have been placed, and after each adjustment appointment, the teeth will feel sore but this discomfort will only last on average for one to two days. It will take some time for the lips, tongue, and cheeks to get used to the bulkiness of the braces and they too can be sore after the braces have been placed.
Will I have to have teeth taken out?
Sometimes the size of the jaws is too small to accommodate all of the teeth and it becomes necessary to remove adult teeth so that the remaining teeth can be placed in a stable and healthy position.
How long will I have to have my braces on?
The complexity of the case dictates just how long braces will be needed. The average time in braces is around two years.
What happens if something breaks or I have a wire poking?
If you have any kind of problem with your braces call or e-mail our office as soon as you can. Sometimes you will be seen before your next scheduled appointment. Often you can wait until your regular appointment to fix the problem but we need to know about problems in advance so that we can schedule you the additional time.
Why do I have to wear retainers when my braces come off?
After the teeth have been moved to their new positions the braces will be removed. However, the fibers that connect the teeth to the bone need time to reorganize. The purpose of the retainers is to hold the teeth in these new positions while the fibers are reorganizing. The amount of time the retainers are worn is slowly reduced, but because teeth will always have a natural tendency to move, many people find they need to wear their retainers at night indefinitely.