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Orthodontics it’s a very known subject in the dental area in compare to the orthopedics even though they are closely related and usually are used together, particularly with younger children, to set up a correct development in their teeth and mouth.

While orthodontics guides the teeth into the correct position to ensure a proper bite and a healthy mouth, orthopedics is the guidance of facial growth and development. It’s about ensuring the jaws themselves are growing into the ideal position to prevent future issues. Together, they facilitate a healthy growth of the mouth and can prevent systemic or chronic problems in the future.

Who Needs Orthopedics?

Orthopedics is commonlly used on children because it’s easier to guide the growth of the jaw while it’s growing, than fix the jaw shape of Narrow jaws or underdeveloped jaws, especially the mandible or lower jaw are common areas for orthopedics to treat.

An orthopedic work can begin from a very young age, in some cases around 5-6 years. But orthodontic treatment can’t begin until all of the permanent teeth have appeared, usually happens around ages from 10 to 13. In some cases pre-orthodontic appliances can be used to help guide the growth and development of the jaw and teeth. With the use of pre-orthodontic appliances, some children can avoid braces completely, or at least reduce the time of treatment when using them.

Orthodontics FAQ

If you want to improve the look and feel of your smile, then any age can be a great time to see the orthodontist.

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist around the age of seven; however, orthodontic treatment is not exclusive to children and teens.

About one in every five orthodontic patients is over the age of 21. 

Whether you’re considering treatment for yourself or for a child, any age is a good time to visit the orthodontist.

  • ALWAYS remember to brush your teeth after every meal and floss at least once a day.
  • Make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride, and ask your family dentist if you need a fluoride rinse. This will help prevent cavities!
  • If you take out your retainer to eat, make sure you brush your teeth, floss, and remember to keep your retainer safe in its container so that it does not get lost or broken.
  • Keep your retainer clean, too, by brushing it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste. You may also soak it in denture cleaner. Do not put your retainer in boiling water or in the dishwasher.
  • During your treatment, try to avoid foods with a lot of sugar, which increases the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth, and can cause more plaque and potential cavities.
  • Avoid sticky and chewy foods (caramel, chewing gum, gummy bears), hard foods (hard candy, nuts, ice cubes), or any foods that could possibly get stuck in your braces (corn on the cob, bagels, ribs, taffy, etc.).
  • Be sure to schedule your routine checkups with your family dentist. It is recommended that you continue to visit the dentist every six months.

Braces are used by an orthodontist to help you improve the look and feel of your smile. There are several different types of braces to choose from, including:

  • Clear braces
  • Ceramic braces
  • Self-ligating braces
  • Invisible braces
  • Traditional metal braces

The amount of time spent in braces will vary, depending on the individual patient, because every smile responds differently to treatment. Treatment times can take anywhere from six to 30 months, but most standard treatments last about 18 months.

Braces do not often hurt, though you may feel a small amount of discomfort for a couple days as your teeth, gums, cheeks, and mouth get used to your new braces.

With braces, you should brush your teeth at least three times a day to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy and clean. Brushing regularly will help remove any food that may be caught between your braces.

You should also floss daily to get between your braces where your brush isn’t able to reach. 

Reach Out to Us for More Information

If you have a question about Orthodontics that wasn’t addressed above, our staff is happy to chat with you.

We’re also here to explain any of the above processes and procedures in greater detail.