What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics is one of the ten dental specialties designated by the American Dental Association. It focuses on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of facial abnormalities and malocclusions, which is the improper alignment of teeth.
What’s an orthodontist?
An orthodontist is a dentist who has completed advanced training in the mechanics of biting and occlusion, the way teeth fit together. To become an orthodontist, a dentist must finish dental school and then complete two to three years of additional training and experience.
Dr. Paul Adams is an experienced orthodontist who teaches orthodontic practice and theory at the Albert Einstein Medical Center’s Department of Dental Medicine.
What’s the best age to visit an orthodontist?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends visiting the orthodontist for the first time no later than age seven. This is important because it allows Dr. Adams to detect orthodontic issues and jaw irregularities before the patient’s permanent teeth have all grown in.
If you wish to straighten your teeth or resolve jaw abnormalities at any age, an orthodontist can help. In fact, twenty percent of orthodontic patients are over the age of 21. Thanks to innovative orthodontic technology, discreet and comfortable braces are available for patients regardless of age.
What are braces?
Braces are appliances used by orthodontists to guide your teeth to the correct alignment. There are many types of braces, from traditional metal braces to nearly invisible clear aligners such as Invisalign®, so you’ll be able to choose the option that best suits your lifestyle.
How long do I have to wear braces?
The length of time you’ll be in braces depends on several factors including your age, the type of braces you choose, how quickly your teeth move, and how far your teeth need to be moved. Some patients can be done in as little as 12 months, but cases typically average around 24 months to complete. Invisalign clear aligners straighten teeth much faster than traditional metal braces.
Do braces hurt?
Your teeth are being moved, so some discomfort and pain are to be expected. The first few days and weeks after getting your braces is often the most uncomfortable time as your mouth adjusts to them.
How do I take care of my teeth while wearing braces?
No matter what type of braces you’re wearing, always remember to brush your teeth with a toothpaste containing fluoride after every meal to remove debris that could otherwise cause cavities. It’s also recommended to floss at least once a day.
Rinsing daily with fluoridated mouthwash is another thing you can do to help prevent cavities. You can also reduce your chances of developing cavities by avoiding foods with lots of sugar, especially sticky and chewy foods that might get stuck in your braces.
For guidelines on how to care for invisible aligners, we have a special Invisalign guide.
How do I take care of my teeth while wearing a retainer?
If you have a removable retainer, you’ll want to take it out for eating and drinking anything besides water. Be sure to brush and floss thoroughly after eating.
It’s important to clean your retainer with a toothbrush and toothpaste before placing it back in your mouth. You can also soak your retainer in vinegar, distilled water with baking soda, or a special cleaner designed for use with retainers. Don’t put your retainer in boiling water as it can become damaged.
Do I still need dental checkups every six months?
Yes, it’s even more important to have your teeth examined and cleaned when you have braces due to the increased likelihood of food getting stuck to your teeth. Your dentist will make sure your teeth are healthy and thoroughly clean.
Will braces interfere with my life?
If you’re concerned about braces affecting your ability to play sports, play a musical instrument, or sing, you can relax. Wearing braces won’t stop you. If you play sports, you may want to talk to Dr. Adams about getting a mouthguard to protect your teeth and braces, however.
Dr. Adams features less conspicuous treatment options such as Invisalign, which won’t interfere with your social life.
How do I schedule my next appointment?
Scheduling your next appointment is easy — you can either call our office at (570) 675-1138 or fill out the contact form available on this page. We’ll be with you right away to schedule your appointment.
If you’re a new patient, let us know and we can provide you with the information you need.