Lakeway Orthodontics Answers Your Common Orthodontic Questions
New to braces? The Lakeway Orthodontics team can help.
Get answers to the most common orthodontic questions from people like you in Austin.
If you don't see your question listed, always feel free to call our office and our helpful team members can answer all your questions.
Answers to Common Questions
Absolutely not! The braces placed on your teeth are sometimes so unnoticeable that more than a few patients have fallen asleep or don’t even recognize they are done until we tell them we’re finished.
We will always dry the teeth and condition them so that the glue will stick the braces to the teeth. This process requires us to isolate the teeth either by holding the cheeks off the teeth or by using cotton rolls and gauze to maintain the dry surface of the enamel.
After the braces are placed, we shine a bright light on the glue which causes it to fully cure and that’s it!
The cost of every patient’s treatment is different based on their individual needs and complexity of their bite issues. Generally, the longer the treatment and the more complex the issues are, the greater the fees will be compared to less complex and, therefore, less involved cases. If significant coordination with other specialists and practitioners is required, higher treatment fees can be expected as well.
Another factor that can lead to a higher treatment fee is untreated bite issues that may have been easily corrected at an earlier age had they been caught. It’s always good to get your child in to see an orthodontist by the age of seven to detect any developing bite issues and to get an idea of their particular orthodontic needs down the road.
Be assured that the cost is kept as low as possible to make orthodontics accessible to a wider range of those in need! If you are curious about how much orthodontic treatment might cost, call us to discuss your concerns and Dr. Bolerjack would be happy to reserve a time to meet with you individually.
This completely depends on everyone’s individual treatment needs and case complexity coupled with the ability of the patient to wear rubber bands, come to appointments in a timely manner, keep brackets and wires from breaking/bending, and brush well. These things will keep treatment moving very efficiently.
Rescheduling appointments at the last minute is a big factor that many patients may not realize can quickly slow down treatment progress. This can delay your treatment up to three weeks in some cases!
Patients can also wear their rubber bands exactly as prescribed by Dr. Bolerjack and the team in order to keep treatment moving efficiently and on track. By not wearing them consistently the biology of the moving teeth is disrupted, which slows the entire treatment process.
Clean, inflammation-free gums will actually help the teeth to move faster! By avoiding hard foods that can bend the archwires and break brackets, patients will experience fewer visits to the office and less overall treatment time.
No. Expanders do a great job of gaining more arch width by stimulating the upper jaw to actually grow more bone. When this happens the gums and cheeks must make room for the new width and this is a very slow process that occurs over several months. The new boney position of the jaw must also be stabilized during this time to avoid the high potential for significant relapse.
We generally recommend that everyone maintain their expanders in place after expansion is complete for up to 9 to 12 months. They can help a variety of other tooth movements while they are in place and greatly reduce the relapse that will occur naturally when removed.
Selecting an orthodontist in Austin, TX who can help you achieve your smile dreams is important. Orthodontists are dental specialists who diagnose, prevent and treat dental and facial irregularities.
They receive an additional two to three years of specialized education beyond dental school to learn the proper way to align and straighten teeth. Only those with this formal education may call themselves “orthodontists,” and only orthodontists may be members of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO).
Dr. Brian Bolerjack from Lakeway Orthodontics has achieved this specialization and is an active member in AAO.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic screening at age seven. By this age, most children have several permanent teeth that have erupted, letting us evaluate their orthodontic needs.
By this age, [Dr.] can spot subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while some baby teeth are still present. That’s important, because some orthodontic problems may be easier to correct if they’re found early. Most orthodontic patients begin active braces treatment between ages 9 and 14.
Patients can start rubber band wear as early as the first month of treatment or as late as 12 months into treatment.
The timing for beginning rubber band wear and the duration, direction, and strength of the rubber bands are all based on what types of bite correction will be done. Most patients will wear them almost up until the last day of treatment to ensure the most stable result.
Rubber bands will help to bring the bite together so the upper and lower teeth fit together harmoniously and are comfortable. They can help correct underbites, overbites, crossbites, and midline shifts as well!
The more consistent the rubber bands are worn, the more the teeth will respond and the faster the treatment will progress.
Lower braces are placed as soon as the bite and upper teeth allow or have enough clearance for the lowers to go on and not cause significant bite interferences.
Some patients may still require a small amount of bite pad material placed on the chewing surface of the upper teeth to help open the bite while the lower braces are introduced and the bite adapts to the new position of the teeth.
We will almost always take off the upper and lower braces at the same time unless there is a minor detail that must be corrected prior to removing in either area and doesn’t require rubber band wear to fix.
We will always place the lower fixed retainer, if one is indicated during treatment, before removing the lower braces.
Teeth are connected by the archwires once the braces are placed and can have different levels of force acting upon them when compared to the tooth that is five teeth away, for instance.
This difference in force levels provides for an interesting sensation as the teeth move. This may come out of nowhere sometimes and can happen as far as six weeks after the adjustment appointment.
The bone is also denser in some areas of the mouth, which can cause teeth to move slower than in areas of the jaw bone where it is less dense.
retainer must be worn for many years to prevent the teeth from shifting and moving back towards their original position. Dr. Bolerjack recommends the lower retainer remain in place for at least 20 years, if not longer!
The upper retainer should be worn full time for the first three to six months, and then every night for the next five to seven years as your teeth gradually become more and more stable in their new positions.
Dr. Bolerjack recommends patients contact our office immediately if a retainer breaks or gets damaged or lost.
The #1 reason people seek additional treatment later in life is that they stopped wearing their retainers after their first treatment was completed. So the simple answer is that a retainer should be worn with moderate regularity for life!
The small changes that happen after braces are removed are due to settling in as you use your teeth for biting and chewing.
The more serious and unwanted changes may be traced to genetics or later-than-normal growth, which is unpredictable.
Movement is most common in lower front teeth. This is particularly true if the teeth were extremely crowded before treatment. Changes in tooth position are a lifelong and naturally occurring phenomenon.
The best way to keep your teeth from shifting is to wear your retainers as prescribed. If you notice movement after your braces are removed, please contact Lakeway Orthodontics.
The fact is that throughout your lifetime, even though you have had orthodontic treatment, you can expect changes in tooth position.
Many factors at work may cause teeth to shift. Such changes are different for everyone, and most of the time, they are hardly noticeable.
However, on occasion, changes can occur that are disappointing to both the patient and Dr. Bolerjack. Changes in tooth position are not a failure of your orthodontic treatment.
They are a natural process. We expect changes in our bodies as we grow older, and your teeth are no exception.
To help control and limit these changes, retainers are prescribed after your braces are removed.