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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Orthodontics

What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics is a specialized branch of dentistry that focuses on diagnosing, preventing, and treating dental and facial irregularities, such as misaligned teeth and jaws.

At what age should my child first see an orthodontist?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7. Early evaluation can help detect potential issues and determine the best time to begin treatment if necessary.

How do I know if I need orthodontic treatment?

Common signs of needing orthodontic treatment include crowded or crooked teeth, gaps between teeth, overbite, underbite, crossbite, and difficulty chewing or speaking. An orthodontist can assess your condition and recommend appropriate treatment.

What are the different types of braces available?

The main types of braces include traditional metal braces, ceramic braces, lingual braces (placed behind the teeth), and clear aligners like Invisalign. Each type has its advantages and is suitable for different orthodontic needs.

How long does orthodontic treatment take?

The duration of orthodontic treatment varies depending on the case's complexity. On average, treatment can take anywhere from 12 to 36 months. Your orthodontist will provide a more accurate timeline based on your specific needs.

Are braces painful?

Braces may cause some discomfort or soreness, especially after adjustments. However, the discomfort is usually temporary and can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers and orthodontic wax to protect the cheeks and lips from irritation.

How often will I need to visit the orthodontist during treatment?

Regular visits to the orthodontist are typically scheduled every 4 to 6 weeks to monitor progress and make necessary adjustments. The frequency of visits may vary based on individual treatment plans.

Can adults get braces?

Yes, orthodontic treatment is not limited to children and teenagers. Many adults seek orthodontic care to improve their smile and oral health. Treatment options like clear aligners are particularly popular among adults.

What should I eat while wearing braces?

While wearing braces, it's best to avoid hard, sticky, or chewy foods that can damage the brackets and wires. Instead, opt for soft foods and cut fruits and vegetables into smaller pieces. Your orthodontist will provide a list of foods to avoid.

How do I care for my teeth with braces?

Proper oral hygiene is crucial during orthodontic treatment. Brush your teeth after every meal using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Floss daily using a floss threader or orthodontic flosser, and consider using an antimicrobial mouthwash. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are also important.

Will I need to wear a retainer after my braces are removed?

Yes, wearing a retainer is essential to maintain the results of your orthodontic treatment. Retainers help keep your teeth in their new positions and prevent them from shifting back. Your orthodontist will provide instructions on how often to wear your retainer.

What is the cost of orthodontic treatment?

The cost of orthodontic treatment varies based on factors such as the type of braces, the complexity of the case, and the duration of treatment. Many orthodontists offer payment plans and financing options to make treatment more affordable. It’s best to consult with your orthodontist for a detailed cost estimate.

Does insurance cover orthodontic treatment?

Many dental insurance plans offer partial coverage for orthodontic treatment, particularly for children. However, coverage varies widely, so it's important to check with your insurance provider to understand your benefits and any out-of-pocket costs. Feel free to reach out if you have more questions or need further information on these topics!

Will Medicaid or Child Health Plus pay for braces at the Brooklyn or Lynbrook Long Island offices?

Children covered by New York State Medicaid or with a Medicaid or Child Health Plus component in their insurance plans are entitled to free braces (free orthodontics) if their condition meets the NYS Medicaid Orthodontic Program guidelines.
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