Your first appointment is a completely free evaluation that begins with data collection. Radiographs (x-rays), impressions, photographs, and your dental history will be combined to provide Dr. Lisa a comprehensive understanding of your case. From there, Dr. Lisa will discuss your treatment options and answer any questions you have before moving forward towards your new smile.
Braces and other orthodontic appliances apply continuous pressure over a period of time to slowly move teeth in a specific direction. As the teeth move, the bone changes shape as pressure is applied. If your treatment plan calls for braces, the orthodontist will attach small brackets on to your teeth using a specialized glue then connect those brackets using an arch wire. The wire will gently push or pull teeth to help guide them into the proper place.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic screening at age 7. By this age, several permanent teeth in most children have erupted, allowing us to effectively evaluate your orthodontic condition. An early evaluation and treatment can help us influence jaw development in a proper manner, improve eruption patterns, correct harmful habits, improve speech issues, potentially shorten time for corrective orthodontic treatment later, and preserve or make space for permanent teeth that have yet to erupt.
Does this mean all is lost if you’re over the age of 7? Absolutely not! In fact, 25-30% of all orthodontic patients are adults, and that number is growing. The American Association of Orthodontists found in a recent study that orthodontic treatment in adults contributed to improvements not only in their personal lives but professional lives as well. Advancements in technology mean that patients now have options for low visibility braces, retainers, and other options that provide a boost in self esteem and better oral health.
If you or your child have teeth that are protruding, crowded together, or erupting out of position, orthodontic treatment may be needed. Less obvious signs are mouth breathing, frequent biting of the cheek or palate, speech difficulties, and thumb sucking that goes past 3-4 years of age. If teeth don't meet properly when the mouth closes, or if the jaws make sounds or shift as they move, this may also indicate an orthodontic problem. It is advised to make an orthodontic appointment to get a professional opinion.
No, you do not. Many general dentists offer referrals to orthodontists but they are not required.
Treatment time depends on each patient's specific orthodontic issue. In general, treatment time lasts from 8 to 30 months. The 'average' time frame a person in braces is approximately 18-24 months.
Origami Orthodontics wants to ensure that your financial needs and concerns are handled professionally and effectively. If you have insurance, we work with the insurance company to clearly explain the policy in terms of what your insurance will cover for orthodontic treatment. In most cases, this is a lifetime benefit from your insurance company, where there is one single down payment and then you will be responsible for monthly payments thereafter. Even if you do not have an orthodontic benefit from insurance, we work with you to create a payment plan with various discount methods available. We accept a wide assortment of payments including checks, most major credit cards, direct deposit payments (ACH) and insurance plans. Origami Orthodontics hold ourselves to a higher standard to be transparent and honest with all patients regarding treatment cost and welcome questions and concerns at any point.
Generally, braces do not hurt. After certain visits, teeth may be sore for a few days in which case over the counter pain medications will ease the discomfort. Technological advances in orthodontic materials have led to new wires that generate a light consistent force for tooth movement and generally, patients experience little or no pain. The greatest period of adjustment occurs during the first week of braces while the cheeks, lips, and tongue become accustomed to the braces. Origami Orthodontics provides dental wax for instances in which a wire or bracket is rubbing against the mouth causing discomfort.
It is important to maintain excellent oral hygiene while you have braces. Taking the extra time to clean your teeth will help prevent decalcification and white spots. White spots are pale, opaque areas on your teeth that can appear when teeth aren’t cleaned well enough to remove plaque, allowing bacteria to collect on your teeth and gums. Braces can make it extra challenging to keep your teeth clean because brackets and wire may get in the way, so it is extremely important to make the extra effort.
Be sure to brush using toothpaste with fluoride after every meal or snack for at least two minutes. Also, don’t forget to floss! In addition to normal brushing and flossing, there are special brushes that can be used to clean around orthodontic brackets and wires, and floss threaders to help you work with dental floss. You can also try using a “water flosser” to flush material from between teeth and beneath the gums. This works by pulsating water at high pressure through a handheld device that looks something like a power toothbrush.
Continue to see your general dentist for regular cleanings and exams. They will assist you in your quest to keep your smiles healthy and white.
Yes, you or your child can continue to play sports. We highly recommend a mouth guard for all sports to prevent injury.
Playing wind or brass instruments will require some adaptation to braces. With practice and a period of adjustment, braces typically do not interfere with the playing of musical instruments as the embouchure alters slightly. This is true when braces are removed as well.
For the following issues, first use our suggested remedies then call us on the next business day to schedule an appointment. Depending on your schedule, level of discomfort, and our doctor’s availability we will arrange for the repair of any broken appliances/braces or for removing the source of your discomfort. If you have noticed a broken bracket but are not in any discomfort from it, please notify us ahead of time so we can make time for the repair during your regularly scheduled appointment.
It’s normal to have a period of adjustment when getting braces put on. During this time, your lips or cheeks may develop minor sores. Use orthodontic wax to cover the areas that are causing an issue and/or use a warm saltwater rinse. (8 ounces water + 1 teaspoon salt, swish)
It’s also normal to have some soreness in your teeth for several days after getting braces put on and after having your braces adjusted. Switch to a softer diet and take over-the-counter Tylenol or ibuprofen as needed. If pain persists for longer than 2 weeks, call us for an evaluation.
Look closely at the wire that’s poking. Which one is it?
Archwire: If it’s going through the middle of all your braces, it’s your archwire. If the wire is thin and flexible, you may try using a fingernail clipper cleaned with rubbing alcohol to cut the wire behind to the last bracket. If you’re unsuccessful, follow the advice for “ligature wire” below.
Ligature wire: If a smaller wire around a bracket or a wire under your archwire is poking you, use a pencil eraser or Q-tip to push it towards the tooth. If you’re still experiencing discomfort, place orthodontic wax on the area.
Call our office to schedule for a repair and cover with orthodontic wax if it’s uncomfortable. If the bracket comes off the wire, bring the bracket with you to your next appointment in a food storage baggie if possible.
Try using clean tweezers to put your wire back in place. If you can’t, use wax as needed.
If you have an appliance (ex: Herbst, expander, Forsus) that is loose or partially dislodged and you cannot eat or speak properly, this requires attention as soon as possible. Call our office at (813) 336-8889 to speak with Dr. Lisa.
Wear your previous aligner and contact our office the next business day to arrange for aligner replacement.
Your elastic colors hold the wire into your braces. If it comes off, this is by itself not an emergency.
Remember the name of your elastics? Great! Come in to pick up some more anytime we’re open. If not, we can look up what rubber bands you were wearing.