Common Questions

As with anything that is new and unfamiliar, many questions always arise. The following are the most common. If you do not find an answer to your question be sure to ask the dentist. The more that you understand about the treatment, the better it will progress.

What causes the problem in the first place?

No one knows the exact cause of every orthodontic problem. Some causes are very evident, such as thumb sucking. Most are much more complex. However, the old cliche that the patient inherited daddy’s teeth and mother’s jaw is simply not correct.

Why do my child’s teeth look so large?

The teeth do not change in size once they are formed. In a normal relationship the face and jaws grow fast enough to accommodate the erupting permanent teeth. It is when this balance becomes disrupted that orthodontic problems start to occur.

Are teeth ever too large for the patient’s mouth?

Yes. However, this is not a common occurrence. Incidentally the teeth can also be too small for the patients face and jaw.

Is early treatment always best?

Not necessarily. If the patient’s problem is growth related then it certainly is wise to begin therapy early. The majority of problems fall into this category. However, if the problem is simply “crooked teeth”, the dentist may advise you to delay treatment until all of the permanent teeth have developed.

Can my child be treated with only removable appliances?

Not usually. Sometimes all of the permanent teeth will correctly align themselves following orthopaedic therapy. However, everyone should be prepared to complete the second phase of treatment, which is orthodontic therapy using fixed braces.

What happens if the appliance is broken or lost?

Notify your dentist immediately.

What will the treatment cost?

In most situations the dentist can provide you with a reasonable estimate of the costs involved. If you have any questions regarding the fee by all means ask the dentist.

Do children “talk funny” with appliances in their mouth?

Only for a short period of time. The speech pattern will quickly adapt to the appliance when they are worn full time.

When can my child take the appliances out?

Only when eating and brushing. There are certain exceptions such as singing in a choir. These should be discussed with the dentist. There are also certain malocclusions where it is best to wear the appliance while eating as this speeds up the treatment.