4 Questions To Ask Your Orthodontist

If you notice an overbite or underbite when you look in the mirror, or your teeth aren't as straight as they could be, an orthodontist can help. Orthodontic treatment allows people to straighten their teeth and correct bite imbalances that can lead to pain and aesthetic imperfections. Before you commit to orthodontic treatment, it's a good idea to weigh all your options carefully. Here are four questions you can ask your orthodontist so you can be well-informed about your treatment options:

1. Is Invisalign an option for you?

Orthodontists use many tools to straighten patients' teeth. Traditional braces are among the most recognizable treatment options, but they aren't the only options available. For instance, you can also choose ceramic braces or clear aligners, such as Invisalign. Many people prefer Invisalign because they are removable and more discreet than other types of braces. Most people who are candidates for braces are also candidates for clear aligners, but you should ask your orthodontist about Invisalign if you're interested in pursuing it as a treatment option.

2. What techniques does your orthodontist recommend for managing discomfort?

Unfortunately, orthodontic treatment tends to cause temporary discomfort. When you first receive braces or a new set of Invisalign retainers, you will likely feel some discomfort at the pressure they exert on your teeth. This feeling will abate over time, but you will likely feel a resurgence whenever your braces are tightened. If you're concerned about pain, you can ask your orthodontist about pain relief options. Your dentist may suggest things like cold compresses, NSAIDs, and soft foods for relief.

3. How long will your treatment last?

Before you get braces or clear aligners, it's a good idea to ask how long your treatment will last. One to three years is the average duration for orthodontic treatment, according to Healthline. However, each patient is different. The exact duration of your treatment will depend on your compliance with your orthodontist's directions as well as the starting positions of your teeth.

4. What type of retainer does your orthodontist typically prescribe?

After your orthodontic treatment ends, you will likely be given a retainer to wear. Retainers keep your teeth from moving back into their original positions. Some orthodontists offer wire retainers, while others prescribe plastic retainers similar to those used during Invisalign treatment. Other orthodontists may attach permanent retainers to the inside of a patient's teeth. Asking about your orthodontist's preferences can give you an idea of what you can expect at the end of your treatment.