Orthodontics FAQs

7 Day Dental Orthodontics FAQ

Our Orthodontics FAQ answers common questions for our viewers concerning their orthodontic dental needs. We try to answer most questions of importance with our Orthodontics FAQ however if we did not answer your question here please call us, and we will provide the correct answer to you.

What is Orthodontics?

Orthodontics, also called orthodontia and Dentofacial Orthopedics, is the branch of dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities. These include cases like poorly aligned teeth and improperly positioned jaws.

How do braces work?

Orthodontists are dentists who underwent advanced dental training in orthodontics. They are the specialists when it comes to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. In short, orthodontists are the experts in correcting misaligned teeth and jaws.

At what age can people have orthodontic treatment?

As per the recommendation of the American Association of Orthodontics, children should undergo orthodontics screening not later than the age of seven. Early treatment makes treating certain malocclusions easier and less costly. Is it too late to start getting orthodontic evaluation or treatment? It is never too late to get orthodontic evaluation or treatment. While there’s what we call an optimal period for orthodontic treatment, malocclusions or orthodontic problems may be treated even during adulthood. Furthermore, certain orthodontic advancements make it possible to address problems even at a later age.

How is a malocclusion treated?

The exact treatment would naturally depend on the type of malocclusion you have. Typically, orthodontic appliances are utilized in these treatments. When it comes to correcting the positioning of the teeth, braces or other appliances are used. If the problem involves overcrowding, extraction is done to create space for the realignment. Meanwhile, reshaping, bonding or capping of teeth is the course of action for irregular or rough teeth. In rare occasions, surgery may be required to reshape (either to lengthen or shorten) the jaw. Wires or plates are also used to stabilize the jaw bone.

What causes malocclusions/orthodontic problems?

Genetics is cited as the major reason for the existence of malocclusions. This means that they are hereditary. Some inherited malocclusions are crowding of teeth, protrusion, too much spacing between teeth and some jaw growth problems. Apart from genetics, many malocclusions also result from the early loss of a deciduous tooth or teeth and the subsequent loss of space for the un-erupted permanent tooth or teeth. With the absence of sufficient space for its eruption, the permanent teeth take the path of least resistance and erupt in a misaligned manner. These types of malocclusions can frequently be avoided by employing some type of space maintaining device before the space is lost.Additionally, improper swallowing and mouth breathing are major factors in the development of skeletal malocclusions. Improper swallowing, known as tongue thrust swallowing, is more commonly associated with bottle feeding as an infant.

While not everyone who was bottle fed as an infant develops a tongue thrust swallowing pattern, it is more common compared to breastfed infants. This is one of the reasons why breastfeeding is highly recommended. In addition to the many benefits it offers, breastfeeding also aids in the development of proper swallowing; in turn, this encourages the proper development of the jaw bone, oral cavity and swallowing muscles. Meanwhile, mouth breathing as opposed to nasal breathing is directly related to both skeletal and dental malocclusions. Mouth breathing can result from chronic nasal congestion, sinus conditions, allergies, nasal blockages and abnormalities, enlarged adenoids, enlarged tongue or enlarged tonsils. In some cases both improper swallowing and mouth breathing are seen in the same individual. This combination of adverse factors leads to severe malocclusion which can be very difficult to successfully treat.

Why should malocclusions be treated?

Treating malocclusions presents several health and psychological benefits. As the teeth become easier to clean, tooth decay, periodontal diseases and other dental issues become less of a worry. With the treatment eliminating strain on the teeth, jaws and muscles, chances of the teeth breaking and symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorders are reduced. Moreover, getting orthodontic treatment can mean savings later on as spending on costlier treatments for dental problems brought about by uncorrected malocclusions is avoided.

The risk of suffering from nutritional deficiencies and digestive problems is also minimized as chewing food properly becomes possible. Most importantly, treating malocclusions can boost self-esteem. Eliminating any reason for you to feel embarrassed about your smile or appearance, orthodontic treatment can make you more confident. Suffice it to say, there is more to orthodontic treatments than creating beautiful smiles; it makes you a healthier and a happier being.

How do malocclusions affect people?

Malocclusions pose several threats to your overall health. They can increase your chances of acquiring dental problems as some of them make cleaning or maintaining the teeth difficult. Malocclusions also prevent the efficient chewing of food. When left untreated, this condition makes you susceptible to nutritional deficiencies and digestive problems. Orthodontic problems can also make it difficult for you to speak properly or clearly. Lastly, malocclusions are noted to have psychological effects, too. They can make you less confident and unhappy about your appearance.

What are the different types of braces?

Here at 7 Day Dental, we offer the following braces:

Traditional metal braces

Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces. They are also less expensive compared to their counterparts. Metal braces are made of medical grade stainless steel. Noted to be very strong, this type of braces is capable of correcting even the most difficult problem. Treatment period using traditional braces is usually shorter compared to other braces.

Clear synthetic sapphire brackets

Clear synthetic sapphire brackets are for patients seeking a less visible alternative to traditional braces. This type of braces is made of synthetic sapphire crystalline. These “invisible” braces are known for their superior strength and their esthetic properties. In addition, as they are non-porous, clear synthetic sapphire brackets are noted to be more resistant to staining and absorbing odors.

Damon braces

Damon braces are what we call self-ligating braces. Self-ligating braces are the newest generation of braces. This type of braces has no ligatures allowing the teeth to slide more freely; consequently, this results in a shorter treatment time. Fact is, in a study, it was found that the treatment period of Damon braces patients was six months shorter than traditional metal braces patients. Additionally, as ligatures are noted to trap oral bacteria, the usage of Damon braces result in better oral hygiene for patients.

Lingual braces

Lingual braces are recommended for patients with minimal orthodontic treatment needs. What sets this type of braces apart from the rest is that they are attached on the inside part (the one facing the tongue) of the teeth. Thus, they are sometimes called hidden braces.


Invisalign is one of the latest advancements in the dental field. The Invisalign system corrects teeth alignment using a series of custom-made, clear trays worn over short periods of time. What’s noteworthy about this treatment is that they are invisible, removable and comfortable to wear or use.

What is the length of time required for orthodontic treatment?

The length of time would depend on the severity of your condition and the mode and the type of appliance used for your treatment. Patient cooperation also comes into play. Basically, poor patient cooperation can significantly lengthen treatment time.

How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?

We recommend that you thoroughly brush your teeth after every meal. Daily flossing is also essential. Should you not know how to care for your teeth, don’t worry because we will teach you how to.

Will I need to undergo tooth extraction before getting braces?

It depends on your condition. Certain situations require tooth extraction to achieve the best result. Here at 7 Day Dental, we conduct a thorough examination before any treatment. We wouldn’t require the extraction of your tooth unless it’s necessary.

Is it possible to play sports if you have braces?

Absolutely! You must observe some precautions, though. One recommended thing you should do is to wear a mouth guard. Acting as a shock absorber, the mouth guard can protect your teeth from getting broken while you play.

Do braces cause cavities?

Braces do not cause cavities but poor dental habits do. However, keeping your teeth clean can be quite challenging if you have braces. This means that the chances are high for food particles to remain in your mouth which in turn may result in the development of cavities. It’s therefore necessary to consistently observe proper brushing and flossing habits when you have braces to prevent cavities. Going to your scheduled dental checkups is also imperative.

Is wearing braces painful?

Nowadays, due to advancements in the field of orthodontics, braces do not cause enormous pain unlike before. However, you may still feel discomfort or soreness on the first three days following the brace placement. These things are normal, though. You can expect them to go away in a few days. Your orthodontist may prescribe medications that can help ease your pain or discomfort.

Can wind instruments be played while wearing braces?

Yes, however, there will certainly be an adjustment period which would last for a couple of days. This period would involve training your lips, tongue and mouth to play at a slightly different position.

Do I need to see my family dentist during orthodontic treatment?

Yes, it’s imperative that you see your family dentist during orthodontic treatment. Dental cleanings and routine examination performed every six months are essential in maintaining optimum oral health.

Should I avoid certain foods while I’m in braces?

Yes. While in braces, it’s best that you avoid hard and sticky food. As much as possible, please do not chew ice cubes and hard candies, too.

Will my teeth hurt after adjustments?

You may experience a little discomfort, but this typically doesn’t last long.

Early Treatment

When should my child’s first orthodontic visit be?

We agree with the recommendation of the American Association of Orthodontists that children should have their initial orthodontic check-up not later than the age of 7. By this age, your child has an ample number of permanent teeth to enable an orthodontist to spot emerging or existing orthodontic problems like under bites and teeth protrusion. Some of these problems are best treated at their early stages. If there are obvious problems developing in children younger than age 7, it is always recommended to have a consultation.

Early intervention or treatment prevents the progression of these problems into something more serious. It also provides greater opportunity for orthodontists to achieve results which are otherwise unattainable once the growth of the face and jaw is complete. In addition, treatment options while the problem is still at its early stages are less expensive compared to when they’ve worsened.

What’s the process involved when my child gets braces?

The first stage is called the planning phase. This is the stage where the orthodontist makes a diagnosis and determines the most effective treatment for your child. The first part of this phase is visual examination of your child’s teeth. This is followed by an examination using diagnostic tools like panoramic x-rays and study models (bite impressions) to come up with an accurate diagnosis. Then, the orthodontist will design and apply the braces or custom-made appliances.

Following the planning phase is the active phase. This is when your child visits the orthodontist for adjustments. The last phase is the retention phase wherein the braces or dental appliance is removed and a new appliance is created. The new appliance is worn to maintain the changes made.

Should I bring my child to an orthodontist even when there are no observed orthodontic problems?

Even when there is no obvious problem, bringing your child to the orthodontist regularly is essential. This allows the orthodontist to monitor the growth and development of your child’s teeth. Most importantly, it enables the expert to identify potential problems and address them early on.

When should my child be screened for braces?

Much like the first orthodontic visit, screening for braces may be done as early as the age of 7 when the back bite is established. This is the age when the orthodontist is able to evaluate side to side and front to back tooth relationships.

When is the best time for my child to get braces?

Much like the first orthodontic visit, screening for braces may be done as early as the age of 7 when the back bite is established. This is the age when the orthodontist is able to evaluate side to side and front to back tooth relationships.

What is interceptive treatment?

Interceptive treatment (Phase I treatment) primarily takes advantage of permanent tooth eruption and facial growth. It involves the usage of dental appliances to guide the growth of the permanent teeth. It improves jaw growth and corrects issues such as overbite and under bite. Basically, this treatment lessens the severity of the problem as well as shortens the completion of the treatment period at a later age.

When majority of the adult teeth emerges, the second phase of treatment (comprehensive treatment) commences wherein full dental braces are used.

What are the benefits of interceptive treatment?

On top of reducing treatment period for braces, interceptive treatment makes the completion of the treatment at a later age less expensive and less invasive. It improves jaw growth which consequently creates facial symmetry. It minimizes the risk of fracture or loss of protruding teeth. It also creates room for crowded erupting teeth. These are just some of many benefits of interceptive treatment.

What are the different types of orthodontic appliances used for children?

The three types of orthodontic appliances commonly used in children are fixed braces, functional orthopedic appliances, habit appliances, retainers and headgears.

Fixed braces

Fixed braces are comprised of brackets attached to each tooth and an arch wire which connects each bracket. These brackets may be made of metal, ceramic or a clear synthetic material. At times, orthodontic elastic bands are used to help in the movement of the teeth. Following the application of the braces, your orthodontist will require your child to visit the clinic for adjustments.

Functional orthopedic appliances

Functional orthopedic appliances, which can be fixed or removable appliances, are designed to influence the amount of growth and the direction of growth of the facial bone structures in developing children.


Retainers are typically prescribed during the retention phase (third phase) of treatment to ensure that the teeth stay aligned. They are also utilized to help in the stabilization of the jawbone around the teeth.

Habit appliances

Habit appliances are utilized in some cases to help the patient stop a deleterious habit which maybe contributing to a malocclusion.


Headgears aid in treating developmental irregularities. They particularly assist in tooth movement. To achieve the best results, this custom-made appliance should be worn for 12-20 hours each day or as prescribed by the orthodontist.

Adult Treatment

Can adults wear braces?

Definitely! It’s never too late to address orthodontic problems. Furthermore, we’ve entered an era wherein braces are not just for pre-teens and teens but also for adults. Much like its purpose or effect in kids, braces can revitalize the smile of adults. It can also improve their oral health, reducing their chances of having tooth and gum problems.

Is treatment time in adults longer than in children?

There is a slight increase in treatment time in adults because unlike children’s bones, the bones of adults are no longer in a state of growth. The good news, however, is that orthodontic advancements paved the way for techniques and appliances that shorten treatment time, reduce discomfort levels and even lessen the frequency of visits for adults.

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