A Quick Round of Orthodontic FAQs

A LOT OF PEOPLE don’t know very much about how orthodontic treatment works, which means that we tend to hear a lot of the same questions from our patients. Let’s head some of those off with a quick Q-and-A session, but make sure you bring any questions we don’t cover here to your next appointment!

What is a malocclusion?

“Malocclusion” means “bad bite” in Latin, and it’s the umbrella term for the following problems:

  • Overbites: the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth more than they should when biting down
  • Underbites: the lower teeth cover the upper teeth when biting down
  • Crossbites: some upper teeth are in front and others are behind when biting down
  • Deep bites: an overbite so extreme that the lower teeth touch the gums behind the upper teeth when biting down

Each type of malocclusion comes with a different set of dental health risks and other problems (including interfering with speech and chewing), and the only way to correct them is with orthodontic treatment.

Can orthodontic patients still play musical instruments?

Trumpets, flutes, and other instruments with a mouthpiece aren’t the easiest to play with braces, but it’s certainly still possible. Expect an adjustment period to get the hang of it, and don’t hesitate to talk to us if you’re still struggling. We might be able to find a solution that allows you to keep playing!

Will wearing extra rubber bands make my treatment go faster?

Every treatment plan is unique to the patient, which means your plan is already as efficient as it can be. Wearing extra rubber bands won’t shorten your treatment time; it will just cause new problems and make the overall treatment last even longer! The best way to get to Braces Off Day on time is to follow all of our instructions exactly.

Is it possible to be too old for orthodontic treatment?

As a culture, we tend to think of braces as being mainly for teenagers, and there are definitely advantages to getting orthodontic treatment as a teenager, but adults can get braces too if desired. Another option that many of our patients prefer is Invisalign. Don’t feel like you’ve missed your chance to get the properly aligned smile you deserve because you’re not a teenager anymore; schedule a consultation with us and we’ll see how we can help!

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign treatment is the process of wearing a series of clear, removable aligners that gradually straighten your teeth. No brackets and wires, and none of the restrictions that come with braces. Our doctors will create a customized plan just for you and use a digital treatment plan that will map out your exact movements of your teeth. Each aligner is created to apply the right amount of force to the right place and the right time based on your treatment plan. 

How long will my treatment take?

Like we said before, every patient’s orthodontic treatment is unique, so your treatment time will depend on the complexity of your case and how well you follow the orthodontist’s instructions. Simple cases may only take a few months to fix, while complex ones that involve a serious malocclusion or an impacted tooth can run closer to two years. It’s important to have realistic expectations and not compare your treatment time to someone else’s.

Did We Miss Your Question?

We don’t want any of our patients to worry over unanswered questions. Patient education is a great step towards patient confidence. If you have a burning orthodontic question that we didn’t answer here, give us a call or ask us at your next appointment!

We have the best patients!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.