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The following is a list of Frequently Asked Questions. If you have additional questions or want to follow up on any of the FAQs below, we welcome you to call or email us any time.
What are some signs that orthodontics may be needed?
The need for orthodontics begins with your desire for a healthy, long-lasting, great-looking smile. Orthodontics is recommended for those with tooth crowding, tooth spacing, excessive overlap of teeth, teeth crossing over one another, among a long list of other potential problems. The best person to evaluate your orthodontic problems is an orthodontist. We welcome you to schedule your free exam to see if you or your child needs orthodontic care.
What is the best age for a first visit to an orthodontist?
You can visit us at any age, however for kids we support the American Association of Orthodontists recommendation that every child visit an orthodontist by age seven.
What is Phase 1 Treatment?
Certain orthodontic problems are best addressed at a young age (age 6 – 10) when the patient still has a mixture of baby teeth and adult teeth. This is called Phase 1 or “interceptive” treatment. At Lund Orthodontics, we are conservative and will often wait until all adult teeth are present before starting treatment. Exceptions to this rule include a child with severe crowding, a crossbite, an unusual growth pattern, or a persistent finger habit. In these cases, early treatment may eliminate the need for costly future treatments or surgeries to correct worsening conditions in adulthood. Phase 1 treatment usually takes about one year.
What is Phase 2 Treatment?
We always try to avoid having to treat our patients in multiple phases. If necessary, Phase 2 treatment typically starts a couple years after Phase 1 treatment is complete -- once the patient has all of their adult teeth. Phase 2 treatment is considered “comprehensive” or “full” treatment, and it addresses any and all issues with all adult teeth, jaws and supporting structures. Ideally, Phase 2 treatment is the last time one will ever need braces.
How old is too old for braces?
No age is too old. Over 20% of our patients are adults, and adult orthodontics is becoming more popular each year. We always have at least a few patients in their seventh decade and beyond. Modern orthodontics offers some great esthetic treatment options for adults to explore including clear braces or Invisalign®. Adult patients are a fun, vibrant part of our practice, and we want everyone to have a healthy smile that lasts a lifetime.
How does orthodontic treatment work?
When you apply light pressure to a tooth over time the tooth moves. Orthodontic treatment produces controlled, light pressure that gradually moves the roots of teeth through bone tissue and into their proper positions. The bone tissue surrounding the teeth is in a dynamic cycle facilitated by osteoblasts (cells that add bone) and osteoclasts (cells that take away bone).
How long will my orthodontic treatment take?
Each case is different, and treatment can last anywhere from 1 month to several years. The average orthodontic treatment time in the United States is nearly 2.5 years. We finish most cases in much less time. One of the most influential factors affecting treatment time is patient cooperation. We will partner with you to make sure we’re crossing the finish line as soon as possible.
How long will each appointment take?
Most appointments vary between 20-40 minutes. At Lund Orthodontics, you will always know how long each visit will take because we will print the length of your next visit on your appointment ticket.
How often do I have scheduled appointments?
We want to make your treatment as efficient as possible. The time between appointments will vary from 2-12 weeks, with an average time between most appointments being 6-8 weeks.
Do braces or Invisalign® hurt?
You may feel some tenderness for a couple of days after first starting orthodontic care. It may be helpful to eat softer foods as you get used to your orthodontic care. Fortunately, modern orthodontics is much more comfortable than it was for past generations.
Will orthodontics interfere with playing sports?
No, orthodontics will not interfere with sports. Braces or aligners have in many cases actually helped keep the teeth in place when a player has a mouth injury. At Lund Orthodontics, we look after the needs of athletes that wrestle, play hockey, soccer, lacrosse, football, and participate in other contact sports. We advise all our patients involved in contact sports to wear a mouth guard, and we provide standard mouth guards to our patients free of charge.
Will braces interfere with playing musical instruments?
We have had many patients at Lund Orthodontics that are musicians (and vocalists) at the university or concert level. Every musician seems to adapt very well to playing with braces or aligners after a week or two. Some of them find that placing wax on the brackets is helpful during the initial adjustment period.
Should I see my general dentist during orthodontic treatment?
Yes, absolutely. You should continue to see your general dentist at least every 6 months for regular cleanings and check-ups. Your dentist may want you to see him or her more often during your orthodontic treatment.
What do I need to know about retainers?
It’s all about lifetime retention. Tooth movement is a natural and normal process of getting older. Retainers are needed for a lifetime to minimize the movement of your teeth. We will check your retainer at no additional cost to you for one year after your orthodontic care is finished. We recommend full-time retainer wear for one year and then nighttime retainer wear afterward. Some patients need continued day and night time wear to maintain straight teeth and a good fit of their retainers. Retainers can break, and they need to be replaced from time to time.