Frequently Asked Questions
What is orthodontics?
What is an orthodontist?
In order to become an orthodontist, a person must complete two more years (at minimum) of graduate training after finishing dental school. An orthodontist has received specialty training in the evaluation and treatment of problems with jaw and teeth development and position.
When you think of an orthodontist, you may just think about retainers and braces, but there is more to this specialty known as Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopaedics. Beyond the treatment of patients with retainers and braces, orthodontists will see patients in need of jaw surgery, complex dentofacial abnormalities, and cleft lip or palates.
Dr. Watson has years of post-orthodontic school training. OrthoTime works with your family dentist and any other needed dental specialists, providing comprehensive care with a team approach.
What are the benefits of braces?
What is the best age for braces?
Because an orthodontist can detect problems earlier than a general dentist might, we recommend children be seen by an orthodontist by age 8 for a checkup. Should a problem be present, the orthodontist may recommend monitoring the development to see if the problem goes away, or he may recommend treatment. Either way, an orthodontic checkup with Dr. Watson around age 8 allows us to keep bite problems to a minimum and leads to more successful treatment.
Taking care of orthodontic problems early allows us to positively influence jaw growth, lessen the need to eventually extract permanent teeth, reduce the risk of injury to front teeth, and counteract bad oral habits.
What if my child is older?
What are the phases of treatment?
When treating younger children between the ages of 7 and 11 who suffer from serious problems such as facial deformities or chewing problems that may be leading to teasing or psychological issues, we will often provide treatment in two phases. The first phase tackles the most obvious problems, while the second phase focuses on the more routine problems.
Phase one treatments include palatal expansion, alignment of severely crowded or protruding teeth with partial braces, correction of habits such as thumb sucking and tongue thrusting, and full alignment involving teen orthodontic treatments starting around age 11 or 12.
Ultimately, the goal of phase one or early interceptive treatments are a more beautiful smile and better oral function. We fix certain problems early while we wait for other teeth to erupt and facial growth to take place.