Orthodontic FAQ

Chances are that you have questions about your braces, aligners or treatment. Dr. Richard Risinger, our orthodontist, and our team have provided orthodontic FAQ in Glastonbury, Connecticut, to help you find some answers. If you still have questions, you can always call Risinger Orthodontics at 860-633-8321 and make an appointment with Dr. Richard Risinger.

What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry focused on every aspect of facial irregularities, including poorly aligned teeth and jaws. The most common work that orthodontists do is straightening a patient’s smile, and they must have two to three years of extra, specialized training in order to effectively and safely deal with orthodontic problems.

When should my child receive their first orthodontic screening?
According to the American Association of Orthodontists®, age 7 is the time when children should have received an orthodontic examination. By this time, the child’s permanent teeth will have begun to erupt, and it will be easier for the orthodontist to spot any problems before they develop.

Am I too old for orthodontic treatment?
Many of our patients who receive orthodontic treatment are children and teenagers, but anyone can straighten their smile at any stage of their life! Beginning treatment earlier does generally mean shorter treatment times, but do not let your age keep you from getting the healthy smile you have been dreaming of!

What are my options for braces?
If you have been putting off orthodontic treatment because you do not want to deal with the bulk and care of traditional braces, there are other options available. Invisalign® clear aligners and ceramic braces both offer discreet alignment options, while traditional braces are still very effective and popular.

What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics is the field of dental specialty that focuses on diagnosing, preventing and treating dental and facial irregularities, including misaligned teeth and jaws. An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has received two to three years of additional training following dental school in managing tooth movement and guiding facial development.

When should my child receive their first orthodontic screening?

The American Association of Orthodontists® recommends that children receive their initial orthodontic screening by age 7. At this age, several permanent teeth have erupted and any developing problems will be easy to diagnose and treat.

Am I too old for orthodontic treatment?

No! While the majority of patients who receive orthodontic treatment are children or teenagers, more and more adults are seeking orthodontic treatment to improve their smiles and oral health. As long as your teeth and supporting structures are healthy, you can receive treatment.

What are my options for braces?

There are many types of braces available today. The three most common types of braces are metal braces, ceramic or clear braces, and clear aligners. During your consultation appointment, our orthodontist will help you determine which type of braces is right for you. To learn more about the braces we offer or schedule your consultation appointment, call our office.

How do I keep my teeth clean with braces?

It is essential to maintain good oral hygiene while you are wearing braces. To keep your smile healthy while wearing braces, we encourage you to follow these steps:

  • Brush your teeth three times a day, especially after meals
  • Clean around your brackets and wires thoroughly
  • Floss every day, even if you require a floss threader to reach between your braces
  • Rinse your teeth each time you clean them
  • Pay attention to the list of foods to avoid with braces

We understand caring for your smile may be difficult while wearing braces, but we encourage you to maintain good oral hygiene. Poor oral hygiene while wearing braces may result in tooth damage, tooth decay or prolonged orthodontic treatment.

Can I discreetly straighten my teeth?

Yes! Clear ceramic braces, clear aligners and other options make it simple for your teeth to be properly but discreetly aligned. We understand that braces can impact a patient’s confidence and self-esteem. Our team wants you to feel and look your best during and after your orthodontic treatment, so call us today to see if discreet straightening techniques are right for you!

What do I do if I have an orthodontic emergency?

If you experience an orthodontic emergency, such as a broken or lost appliance, we urge you to call our office as soon as possible. Even if you have a regular appointment scheduled soon, please call us immediately to let us know that you need an appliance repaired. We will also be able to provide you with any needed instructions on what to do until you can come to see our orthodontist.

Orthodontic emergencies may include:

  • Loose brackets
  • Loose bands
  • Poking wires
  • Wire irritations
  • Lost separators
  • Pain caused by braces or other orthodontic appliances

What is headgear?

Orthodontic headgear is a very important part of some patients’ treatments. Headgear creates the force needed to guide the growth of the face and jaws until they are in their proper positions. It is also used to properly position teeth and prevent them from moving. We may recommend headgear if braces alone cannot accomplish the desired results. There are two main types of orthodontic headgear that are often used; our orthodontist will determine which is best suited to your unique needs. Each type of headgear attaches to your braces to achieve proper positioning of the jaw and teeth.

How long will I need orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontic treatment times vary greatly depending on the patient. With advanced technology, orthodontic treatment is now faster, more comfortable and more effective than in years past, making it a great time to straighten your smile. During your consultation, our orthodontist will work with you to create a treatment plan that suits all of your orthodontic needs.

Can an orthodontist help me with jaw problems?

We are committed to treating all of your orthodontic problems so that you can achieve a smile that is straighter, healthier, more functional and more attractive. Some of the most common orthodontic problems we see at our office include the following:

  • Overbites
  • Underbites
  • Open bites
  • Crossbites
  • Upper front teeth protrusion
  • Unmatched dental midlines

Dentofacial orthopedics is a type of orthodontic treatment focused on the control and modification of facial growth. Dentofacial orthopedic treatment works to normalize the growth of bone structure and repair the related imbalances of the face and jaws.

I’m terrified to visit the orthodontist — what can I do?

Please speak with our team. We take your fear seriously and will work with you to help you feel more comfortable in our office. There are many strategies that we can use to help reduce anxiety and fear. These include medications to numb treated areas, sedation dentistry, and a variety of techniques to reduce anxiety and discomfort (guided imagery, deep breathing, etc.). There are also clinics and support groups available for those who feel anxious about visiting an orthodontic office.