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McCranels Orthodontics FAQs

Some common questions for your orthodontists

1. What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. Fixed braces and removable devices (Invisalign) are used to make these corrections.

2. What causes crooked teeth?

Just as we inherit eye color from our parents, mouth and jaw features are also inherited. For example, we might get mom’s jaw and dad’s teeth – together they just don’t line up properly. Environmental factors such as thumb sucking, high cavity rate, gum disease, trauma and premature loss of baby teeth can also contribute to a bad bite.

3. Are braces necessary?

Although they are elective, people seldom grow out of severe to moderate jaw & tooth problems. As we age, our teeth will keep moving, year after year.

As far as functionality is concerned, proper alignment of teeth ensures that we are able to comfortably chew and digest our foods in the healthiest way possible. Where appearance is concerned, comprehensive studies show that people are more successful in their relationships, careers, and their self confidence is boosted once they have improved their smile.

4. How do braces straighten crooked teeth? 

Braces and Invisalign use steady, gentle pressure over time to move teeth into their proper positions. They don’t look like they’re doing much just sitting there, but the teeth move with a light consistent force throughout the entirety of your orthodontic treatment. The wire threads through the brackets and, as the wire tries to return to its original shape, it applies pressure to actually move your teeth. Picture your tooth resting in your jaw bone. With pressure on one side from the arch wire, the bone on the other side gives way. The tooth moves. New bone grows in behind. It may look like nothing happened–but a new smile is slowly forming. Thanks to new materials and procedures, all this happens much quicker than ever before. It’s kind of an engineering feat.

5. Why should I have my teeth straightened?

Poorly arranged teeth can crack or break easily, trap food and lead to decay and gum disease. They can also lead to poor chewing and digestion which can be bad for your overall health. Finally, poorly arranged teeth detract from your smile which is one of the most important features of your face and helps express your personality.

6. How long do you have to wear braces?

That depends a lot on you and how bad your bite is to begin with. Every patient has different needs and are addressed on a individual basis. We have patients that have had braces on from 6 months up to 3 years of treatment. Most treatment last 18 to 24 months.

7. Can you be too old for braces?

You may be surprised to know that about 40% of our orthodontic patients are adults. Healthy teeth can be moved at any age. If the bone and gum tissue around the teeth are healthy, age is not a factor.

8. Will orthodontics change my lifestyle?

Invisalign is removable, so you can eat what you want and you will brush your teeth more often.

Having braces, you’ll have to give up extremely hard and sticky foods. These foods can get caught on the braces and pull the braces off. Soft foods are much better. You’ll have to spend a few extra minutes cleaning your braces after meals. But, for the most part, you’ll find braces don’t cramp your style. You’ll still have fun. You’ll still be able to sing, play your musical instruments, smile, play sports and of course, kiss. You can even make a fashion statement by having your orthodontist add color to your braces.

9. When should I look for the early warning signs of a bad bite?

It is most important to have us examine your child’s teeth as the permanent teeth grow in at 6-7 years of age. Although children mature at different rates, there are some averages for permanent tooth arrival. Please refer to early treatment for some explanations of early warning signs.

10. Why are children being evaluated at such an early age?

Early diagnosis and treatment can guide erupting teeth into a more favorable position, preserve space for the permanent teeth (expansion may be needed) and reduce the likelihood of fracturing protruded front teeth. Also, early treatment may shorten treatment time, make treatment easier and in some cases less expensive.

11. What is the psychological impact of early treatment?

Appearance has been related to popularity, social behaviors, self-expectation, personality and self-esteem. Orthodontic therapy may lessen the likelihood that a child will be picked on by other children. It also helps avoid extraction of permanent teeth and jaw surgery in most cases.

12. Is orthodontic care expensive?

Orthodontic care is the best value available. When can you buy a service or product and get a payment plan that has no interest. Plus unlike buying a car, your smile is a lifelong benefit. We have many payment options at our office:

  1. A bookeeping discount for full payment up to 5%

  2. An in house payment plan that has NO interest

  3. We do our best to help you get the most benefit out of your insurance

  4. Low down payment options available

13. Why should you choose an orthodontic specialist?

Teeth and faces are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment, especially in our adolescent and teenage patient population; therefore, it is very important that the treatment be done properly. A licensed orthodontic specialist is an expert at moving teeth, helping jaws develop properly and working with you to help make sure the teeth stay in their new positions. An orthodontic specialist has attended a full-time residency in orthodontics for a minimum of 2 years in addition to dental school.

14. When is the best time to schedule an initial examination?

Early consultation allows the orthodontists to determine the optimum time for treatment to begin. Many parents and some family dentists assume that they must wait until a child has all of his or her permanent teeth, only to find out that treatment would have been much easier if started earlier. Early treatment can eliminate the need for more drastic measures. Like extraction of permanent teeth or jaw surgery. In some cases, satisfactory results are unattainable once the face and jaws have finished growing. With proper timing, children may not have to endure years of embarrassment. Age 7 is a good guideline to have a initial examination, which is free at our office.

15. Do you need a referral from your family dentist to see an orthodontist?

No. You don’t need a referral from your family dentist. Word of mouth recommendations from friends and families of existing patients is often the primary way orthodontists meet new patients. We welcome new patients at our office and will work as a team with your general dentist to make your smile beautiful!

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