FAQs About Orthodontics

What Do Orthodontists Do?

Orthodontists are dental specialists who diagnose and treat problems with the position, alignment or spacing of the teeth, and related irregularities in the face and the jaw. We use a number of special treatments, including braces and other oral appliances, to correct these problems.

At What Age Should I Schedule An Appointment For An Orthodontic Screening?

For kids, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that parents schedule their first visit to an orthodontist at the age of 7. At that age, kids are entering a critical stage of their oral development as their permanent teeth will start to erupt and replace their baby teeth that fall out, if they haven’t already gotten some of their adult teeth already. By taking kids to see an orthodontist early on in their development, the doctor can provide treatment to prevent or fix any existing issues, while also creating a treatment plan for the future.

Is It Too Late To Get Braces If I’m Already An Adult?

Not at all! It’s never too late to start orthodontic treatment and get a healthy perfect smile. Additionally, there are many adults just like you who are taking the initiative to get the smile that they’ve always wanted, with about 25 percent of all orthodontic patients being adults. At Elite Smiles Chastain, we offer many types of orthodontic treatment options for adults, so we can craft a treatment plan that will best suit your needs. The only difference of getting treatment as an adult is that it can take slightly longer, since the jaw and teeth are already fully developed and more difficult to move. 

Will My Teeth Straighten Out As I Grow & Get Older without Orthodontic Help?

Unfortunately, no, your teeth will not straighten out over time. If your teeth are misaligned, they will stay that way, making it more difficult to keep your smile clean with standard oral hygiene care like brushing and flossing. You will also be at greater risk for developing tooth decay and gum disease as you get older.  

How Long Will It Take To Complete Treatment? 

The overall length of treatment with either braces or Invisalign depends on the severity of misalignment of the teeth, so it can vary from patient to patient. Treatment times generally range from 12 to 30 months, putting the average treatment time span at around 22 months. For kids that receive early orthodontic treatment, it is possible the treatment time in braces or Invisalign teen will be shorter. 

Are There Any Food I Cannot Eat While I Have Braces?


Yes. While braces are very durable, certain foods can cause some serious damage, such as bending the archwire or even snapping a bracket right off your teeth. We will provide you with a full list of foods that you should avoid when you get your braces so you can protect your braces and your smile. Some examples of dangerous foods include ice, hard candies, raw vegetables, and sticky foods like caramel or taffy. 

Do I Still Need to See My Regular Dentist While I'm Getting Orthodontic Treatment?

You do — in fact, it's more important than ever! Keeping teeth free of plaque (and potentially, decay) can be challenging when you're wearing braces. Your dentist can help you avoid these problems with frequent cleanings and exams

Will I Wear a Retainer When My Braces Come Off?

Almost always, the answer is yes: If you don't wear a retainer, your teeth can rapidly shift out of position — and then all the effort put into your treatment is lost! Your retainer helps you maintain that good-looking smile for a lifetime. There are several different types of retainers available including removable and fixed (permanent).

Is Orthodontic Care Expensive?

Orthodontic care is a long-term investment in your health and well-being. Yet its cost hasn't increased as fast as many other consumer prices, and many financing options are available that make orthodontic care affordable. Weighed against the true cost of living with problem teeth, however, orthodontic treatment can be a wise investment indeed.

Contact Us With Any Other Questions!

If you didn’t find all the answers you were looking for on this list, don’t hesitate to contact us with any additional questions that you may have about orthodontic treatment, and a member of our staff will be more than happy to help. To get started with your orthodontic treatment, just reach out to your local Elite Smiles Chastain office and schedule your first visit with us. We look forward to seeing your smile in our office soon!


Related Articles

Adult Orthodontics - Dear Doctor Magazine

Orthodontics for the Older Adult Healthy teeth can be moved at any age, so there's no such thing as “too old” for braces. In fact, nowadays about one out of every five orthodontic patients is an adult. Yet this figure represents only a small portion of adults who could actually benefit from orthodontic treatment... Read Article

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91 W. Wieuca Rd., Suite 300 • Atlanta, GA 30342Orthodontics: 404.303.7400 • Pediatric Dentistry: 404.252.5900

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