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Will Orthodontic Treatment Be Painful?

While there might be some discomfort initially or after adjustments, most people adapt quickly. Discomfort is usually manageable with over-the-counter pain relievers.

How Long Will My Treatment Last?

Treatment duration varies depending on the severity of the issue and the type of treatment. Your orthodontist will be able to provide the most accurate timeline for your treatment. 

My orthodontist wants to do something called enamel stripping to make my teeth smaller. I have never heard of this. Is this something new? Is it safe?

This procedure goes by many names: enamel stripping; interproximal reduction; slenderizing; reproximation and selective reduction. The goal is to remove some of the outer tooth surface (enamel) to acquire more space for your teeth.

My dentist said I need to have some missing teeth replaced, but I need orthodontic treatment first – why?

Your dentist is probably recommending orthodontic treatment so that you can reach optimal dental health. Many complicated tooth restorations, such as crowns, bridges and implants, can be best accomplished when the remaining teeth are properly aligned and the bite is correct.

Can I play sports during treatment?

Yes, but be sure to wear a mouth guard.

Once I finish orthodontic treatment, my teeth will remain straight forever, right?

Teeth move throughout one’s lifetime, making it important to wear retainers as prescribed by your orthodontist to maintain your healthy, beautiful smile.

Are braces the only way orthodontists can move my teeth?

In addition to braces, orthodontists use appliances such as aligners to move teeth. Consult an orthodontist to learn what type of appliance can correct your orthodontic problem.

I’ve been seeing ads for straightening my teeth at home. Why not give it a shot?

Moving teeth is a complex biological process and there is a lot that goes into it. That’s why orthodontists must go to school for so many years to be licensed to practice this specialty. Many 48ͼ orthodontists offer free or low-cost initial consultations. Isn’t your dental health worth a consultation with an orthodontist?

Can sports be played during orthodontic treatment?

Yes. But talk to your orthodontist about the type of mouth guard to wear.

Are there things I can do at home to treat discomfort?

Keep supplies on hand to address possible situations. Here are six suggestions:

  • Orthodontic wax.
  • Dental floss.
  • Tweezers.
  • Interproximal brushes.
  • Topical anesthetic (such as Orabase or Ora-Gel).
  • Over the counter pain relievers (such as one taken for a headache).
  • A warm salt water rinse can be soothing, as well (1 tsp. salt to 8 oz. warm water).