Frequently Asked Questions
At Cornerstone Orthodontics, we know that many people have questions about their orthodontic treatment. Dr. Myoungsoo Choi and our team have provided answers to the most frequently asked questions to help you learn more about orthodontics in Katy, Texas, and understand your treatment options. If you have further questions, or to schedule an appointment with our experienced orthodontist, please feel free to call our office at 832-930-7875.
Orthodontics is one of the nine recognized fields of dental specialty. Also known as dentofacial orthopedics, it is the field of dental care which focuses and diagnosing, preventing and treating dental and facial abnormalities, such as misalignment or irregularity in the bite, jaws or alignment of teeth.
What is an orthodontist?
An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has completed two to three years of additional training following dental school. Orthodontists are trained in straightening teeth, correcting misaligned jaw structure and improving the function of your smile.
What is the best age to visit the orthodontist?
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that children receive their initial orthodontic screening by age seven. By this age, any developing problems can be easily diagnosed and our orthodontist can determine if treatment is needed and when it should begin.
Orthodontic treatment is available to patients of all ages. In fact, many of those seeking orthodontic treatment in recent years have been adults. It is never too late to straighten your smile.
How can I care for my teeth while wearing braces?
There are a few things you can do to take care of your teeth while wearing braces. They include:
- Brushing and flossing your teeth daily.
- Using a fluoridated toothpaste. We also recommend that you ask us about fluoride rinses to provide additional protection from cavities.
- If you use a removable orthodontic appliance, such as retainer, make sure to keep it in its container in a safe place when you are not wearing it. This will help prevent it being lost or broken.
- Keep retainers and other removable appliances clean by gently brushing it with a toothbrush and toothpaste. You may also soak it in denture cleaner. Do NOT put it in boiling water or a dishwasher.
- Avoid sugary foods, sticky and chewy foods hard foods or any type of food that may become trapped in your braces. (Some foods to avoid include caramel, chewing gum, gummy bears, hard candy, nuts, ice cubes, corn on the cob, ribs, taffy and soft bagels.)
- Continue to visit your family dentist every six months for a regular dental checkup.
What are braces?
Braces are a type of orthodontic treatment used to straighten misaligned teeth and correct bad bites. They consist of a bracket and wire which are bonded to your teeth and work to gradually reposition them into a healthier and more attractive alignment. There are many types of braces available, including:
- Traditional metal braces
- Clear, or ceramic braces
- Lingual braces
- Self-ligating braces
- Invisible braces
How long do I need to wear braces?
Treatment time varies from patient to patient. Generally speaking, orthodontic treatment takes between six and 30 months, with an average treatment time of 22-24 months.
Do braces hurt?
Your braces should not hurt. You may experience some discomfort for a day or so after your braces are placed or after they are adjusted as your mouth adapts to wearing the appliance. If you experience pain while wearing braces, please contact our office immediately so that we can resolve the problem.
Will I need to brush my teeth more often if I’m wearing braces?
We recommend that you brush your teeth at least three times each day to keep them clean and healthy. You should also floss daily to reach areas between the braces where your toothbrush might not be able to effectively clean your teeth. You may need to use a floss threader or other oral hygiene aid to effectively clean your teeth. Our orthodontist and team will teach you how to properly brush and floss while wearing braces during your appointment at our office.
Do I still need to meet with a dentist if I’m receiving orthodontic treatment?
Yes! If you are wearing braces, it is more important than ever that you visit your general dentist regularly. Braces can trap food in areas that your toothbrush might not be able to reach, which in turn leads to the development of cavities, gum disease and other problems. Regular preventive care from your dentist will help to keep your teeth clean and healthy throughout your orthodontic treatment.
Will my braces prevent me from play instruments or sports?
No. While you may need to make some adjustments after you start wearing braces, you should be able to do all the same activities as before, including playing sports and musical instruments. We do recommend that you wear an athletic mouthguard if you play a sport, in order to protect your teeth, jaw and soft tissues from being damaged.
How do I schedule my appointment?
You can schedule an appointment with Dr. Myoungsoo Choi by calling our office at 832-930-7875. Our friendly front desk team will be happy to help you set an appointment at a time that is convenient for you. If you are a new patient, we will provide you with any additional information you may need in preparation for your consultation. You may also request an appointment using the button provided below.