Questions — Answers

What is orthodontics?

Questions – answers
Questions – réponses

Orthodontics is a specialty in dentistry dealing with teeth and jaws discrepancy.

What is an orthondontist?

An orthodontist is a dentist who studied four extra years in dentistry (PhD) to get specialised in moving teeth and guiding facial growth.

What are the benefits of an orthodontic treatment?

  • get a nicer smile
  • improve function of teeth and jaws
  • improve self-confidence
  • become an accurate toothbrusher
  • prevent tooth wear through a balanced bite
  • preserve bone and gums health
  • enable eruption of impacted permanent teeth
  • avoid proclined teeth breakage
  • align teeth for better prosthetic treatment

What may suggest that treatment is necessary?

  • when upper front teeth stand very much in front compared to those below
  • when upper front teeth completely cover up lower teeth
  • when upper front teeth are behind lower teeth
  • when front teeth do not touch (i.e. there is a gap)
  • when teeth are crooked
  • when the upper and lower jaws do not fit together
  • when a child is still ‘sucking’ something (e.g. a thumb or an object) beyond 8 years
  • when chewing is difficult
  • when lower jaw slides to one side
  • when there are spaces between teeth

At what age should you start a treatment?

You can begin at any age. Some problems are easier to solve when being young to use growth. Sometimes, however, it is best to wait because some problems will sort themselves out with time.

Ideal time for first check up with an orthodontist is around 7- 8 years old. If something is needed and doing a treatment is really saving time on a later treatment with permanent teeth, the orthodontist will recommend 2 phases treatment.

What is an orthodontic interceptive treatment? A 2 phases treatment?

Phase 1 or interceptive treatment is a relatively short orthodontic treatment (6 months to 1 year). It takes place at age 6-10, in mixed dentition before eruption of all permanent teeth. It allows to create space for next 12 permanent teeth erupting at age10- 12. It also prevents jaws from growing side ways. It’s also the right time for stopping habits which can deform the mouth (such as thumb sucking or tong thrusting).

Phase 2 takes place at age 11-13 or later. Braces can settle all teeth in their final balanced position.

Phase 1 or interceptive treatment is not necessarily needed.

It’s up to the orthodontist to see if really save treatment time on phase 2.

However interceptive treatment, being done in mixed dentition, never avoid a treatment in permanent dentition ( phase 2). It only makes it shorter.

Can an adult benefit from an orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontic treatment can be done at any age. Everyone wants to have a beautiful smile and a healthy mouth. More and more adults are currently undergoing such treatment.

How does an orthodontic treatment work?

Each brace bonded on the tooth serve as force application point. These points are attached to an archwire which moves teeth by delivering a very light and specific force. The archwire is extremely elastic and tends to return to it’s original shape. By doing so, it aligns teeth to an optimal and balanced position.

How long does orthodontic treatment last?

Treatment duration depends on the correction that has to be done. Generally, it takes 1.5-2 years to move teeth. It may depend on patient’s growth and compliance. Having regular check ups, good oral hygiene are good ways to end up treatment on time. In permanent dentition, at the end of each treatment, there is always a retention phase without any appliance, just an invisible retainer  (lingual archwire bonded on the inside part of the teeth).

Do braces hurt?

When brackets or “braces” are bonded on teeth, it doesn’t hurt. Before, when there used to be rings or “bands” around the teeth, yes, it would be painful, not now. It’s only after two hours following the procedure that you will begin to feel tension on the teeth. This may last 3 to 7 days. You can take your usual painkillers to make this tension disappear. Lips and cheeks require 2 weeks to get fully accustomed to the appliance.

Do braces prevent you from doing sports?

No. Nevertheless, we advise our patients to wear a mouthguard (which will be provided by our clinic) whenever they practise a sport where they might receive an impact.

Are braces an hassle for playing musical instruments?

No. Aside from the trumpet, you can play any instruments with braces. Most often, there is an adaptation phase of one month for wind instruments, time to get new habits. The same occurs when appliance is being removed.

Do I need to go see my general dentist while wearing braces?

Yes. We strongly recommend to do a check up with your general dentist every 6 months throughout treatment time.

This website gives access to general information about orthodontic treatments. It is not meant to replace personal patient / practitioner relationship that you will get in our clinic.