Frequently Asked Questions2018-05-11T14:52:43+00:00

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

At Reach Orthodontics, we are happy to answer any of your questions about orthodontic treatment. We are always here during our office hours and our friendly team is available to help you with any concerns or questions.

Orthodontists are dental specialists who diagnose and treat problems with the position, alignment or spacing of the teeth, and related irregularities in the face and the jaw. We use a number of special treatments, including braces and other oral appliances to correct these problems.

There are two good reasons: aesthetics and function. Having an attractive smile not only changes the way people see you — it enhances your own self-image as well. Orthodontic treatment also allows your teeth to function better and makes it easier to keep them clean, which can improve your overall health.

You’re never too old to begin orthodontic treatment. If you start at an earlier age, your problems may be easier to treat. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that a child who may need orthodontic treatment should come in for a first visit around age 7.

Teeth that are protruding, crowded together or erupting out of position are clear indications that treatment is needed (View Examples). Less obvious signs are mouth breathing, frequent biting of the cheek or palate, speech difficulties and thumb sucking that goes past 3-4 years of age. If your teeth don’t meet properly when your mouth closes, or if your jaw makes sounds or shifts with movement, this may also indicate an orthodontic problem.

Having braces put on is generally painless. Some people experience minor aches and pains in the first couple of days or so, as they adjust to wearing their appliances. Periodic adjustments may sometimes cause soreness as well, though it typically lasts only a short time. Over-the-counter pain relievers can be used to alleviate any discomfort, but are usually unnecessary.

It’s different for each person, but generally the active stage of treatment (wearing braces or other appliances) may take from 6-30 months. After that, a retainer is worn for at least several months more.

It depends on what’s being done and how often you need to be monitored. During active treatment, you’ll typically come in to our office once every 4 to 10 weeks.

If your teeth are severely crowded (because your mouth is too small to properly accommodate all of them) or if you have impacted teeth (teeth that are trapped beneath the gum line by other teeth) then extraction may be necessary. In the case of younger patients, early treatment may make extraction unnecessary.

Yes, you should pass up the types of foods that could damage or become trapped in your braces. Some of these include raw vegetables, hard candy, caramel, taffy and ice cubes (fortunately, ice cream is OK). We will give you a list of foods to avoid.

In a word: Yes. Of course, whether you wear braces or not, we recommend you wear a mouthguard when playing most sports. Musicians are generally able to play their instruments just as they did before, but they may need a short adjustment period after getting braces.

You do, and in fact, it’s more important than ever! Keeping teeth free of plaque and potential decay can be challenging when you’re wearing braces. Your dentist can help you avoid these problems with frequent cleanings and exams.

Almost always, the answer is yes! If you don’t wear a retainer, your teeth can rapidly shift out of position and then all the effort put into your treatment is lost. Your retainer helps you maintain that good looking smile for a lifetime.

Orthodontic care is a long term investment in your health and well being. Yet the cost hasn’t increased as fast as many other consumer prices and many financing options are available that make orthodontic care affordable. Weighed against the true cost of living with problem teeth, however, orthodontic treatment can be a wise investment indeed.

request a complimentary consultation

HOW YOUR SMILE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD

In 2017, Dr. Hatcher reorganized his growing orthodontic practice to help underserved communities, locally and around the world.

Reach Orthodontics patients, both new and established, receive the same balanced care at the same convenient location being served by the same wonderful staff under Dr. Hatcher’s careful guidance.

Reach Orthodontics has the goal of giving $1 million to our partners over the next five years.

Learn more about our mission