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Frequently Asked Orthodontic Questions

Have Questions? We’ll Answer Them for You!

Are you new to the world of orthodontics? Are you looking for an orthodontist you can trust? You likely have quite a few questions about our practice and how we can help you. Below we’ve provided answers to some common questions that patients have asked us. After you take a look at them, if you have other concerns that aren’t discussed, feel free to contact our team. We’ll happily help in whatever way we can.

How is an orthodontist different from a dentist?

An orthodontist undergoes the same education as a dentist, but following that process, they also attend two to three years of additional education and training. Dr. Simon, in particular, has an exceptional amount of experience due to her further education in craniofacial and dentofacial deformities after her orthodontic residency. Essentially, orthodontists are primarily focused on straightening your smile and improving its overall function.

When should I first visit the orthodontist?

While it’s commonly thought that orthodontic care is only for teens, the truth is that patients of all ages can benefit from a visit to our Lakewood practice. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children are brought in around the age of seven, but there are certain developmental issues our team could provide insight on for your younger son or daughter. Likewise, adults are welcome to visit and start improving their smile.

What’s the best way to care for my smile when I’m wearing braces/a retainer?

Here are some good tips to keep in mind throughout your treatment:

  • Make sure to thoroughly brush your teeth after every meal and before bedtime, and floss once a day as well.
  • Keep up with routine visits to your general dentist.
  • Do your best to avoid foods that could possibly become stuck in your braces, as well as particularly sticky or hard foods that could cause damage.
  • Additionally, minimize your sugar intake. This could help reduce plaque and potential cavities.
  • Use toothpaste that contains fluoride. Dr. Simon can also provide a fluoride prescription during your regular appointments.
  • Carry around a container for your retainer and place it inside when you’re eating to keep it safe. Do not wrap it in a napkin - it will get thrown out!
  • Do not boil it to sterilize it.
  • Gently clean your retainer on a regular basis with a toothbrush. Don’t use hot water or a dishwasher for this purpose.

What are my options for braces?

Dr. Simon offers several choices for orthodontic treatment so that patients can be sure to choose the one that best fits their needs. These include:

How long will I have to wear my braces?

This will vary depending on your treatment plan. For some patients, they’ll be finished in six months; others will need around 24 months. Dr. Simon and the rest of our team will be sure to review all of this important information with you when planning your care at Lakewood Orthodontics.

Will braces disrupt my life?

Some adjustment will be needed after your braces have been placed, but you should still be able to participate in all the same activities that you were before! If you have concerns, please let our team know so that we can hopefully put your mind at ease.

Will my braces hurt?

It’s normal to experience some discomfort for the first few days after your braces have been placed. However, if you’re experiencing discomfort for a significantly longer period of time, please contact our office for emergency help. Once you’ve become accustomed to your braces you should feel comfortable.

How often should I brush my teeth when I have braces?

Dr. Simon strongly recommends that you practice oral hygiene after every meal and before bedtime. This will help to remove any food particles that could be stuck in your braces. The use of floss daily is important too. Once we’ve placed your braces, our team will demonstrate proper brushing and flossing techniques for you.

How often should I attend check-ups when I’m wearing braces?

Definitely keep attending regular check-ups and cleanings with your general dentist; in fact, this routine should be considered even more vital for patients with braces. Dr. Simon will work with your dentist if needed to ensure that your smile is staying healthy and clean.

How do I schedule an appointment at Lakewood Orthodontics?

Contact us today! Our friendly front desk team is always here to help with your questions and concerns, and we love being able to schedule new patients for their first visit. Just let us know that you’re new and/or you’ve been referred by a general dentist when you call, and we’ll provide you with all the information you need to know.