Many people have questions about orthodontics, especially when they are at the start of their orthodontic journey. Our team here at Feinstein 360 Orthodontics believes in open, honest communication and in patient education, and we are available to answer any questions you may have and to discuss the details of your treatment plan with you. We have also provided this FAQ page with answers to common questions. Please feel free to call us at 804-735-0365 any time to learn more about orthodontics in Chesterfield, Virginia, and to schedule your appointment with our board-certified orthodontist, Dr. Feinstein.

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Why see an orthodontic specialist?

Seeing an orthodontic specialist is crucial because they possess specialized training and expertise to diagnose and treat complex dental issues. These specialists receive additional training after dental school in order to focus on correcting misaligned teeth, jaw discrepancies and bite problems, ensuring not only a beautiful smile but also optimal oral health. Orthodontists stay updated on the latest advancements in orthodontic techniques, providing patients with personalized treatment plans for their unique needs.

When is the best time to see an orthodontist?

Any time is a great time to see an orthodontist! However, children should visit an orthodontist around the age of 7, as this is when an orthodontist can see how the mouth is developing and when any potential issues can be identified early. Orthodontic treatment is suitable for all ages, and adults can benefit from improved dental alignment and aesthetics. Whether you are a child or an adult, consulting an orthodontist can help you achieve a healthier, more confident smile.

How can orthodontic treatment change my life?

Orthodontic treatment can be life-changing by enhancing your smile's appearance, boosting self-confidence and improving oral functionality. Proper alignment of teeth and jaws can also alleviate issues like speech difficulties, chewing problems and TMJ disorders. The benefits extend beyond aesthetics, positively impacting your overall wellbeing.

How long will orthodontic treatment take?

The length of orthodontic treatment varies based on individual needs and complexity. There are a few different factors which may affect the amount of time your treatment takes. Such as:

  • Your age when you begin treatment
  • The type of treatment you receive
  • The severity of the issues to be corrected
  • How your body responds to treatment
  • Your compliance with your treatment plan

On average, orthodontic treatment takes between 11 months and three years. Our orthodontist and team will provide you with an estimate of your treatment length when you begin treatment.

How do I know which treatment option is right for me?

Dr. Feinstein and our team will walk you through all your treatment options available during your initial consultation. No two smiles are the same, so no two treatment plans are alike either, and we will make sure you have all the information you need to determine which type of orthodontic treatment is right for you. We want you to feel completely confident in the care you receive.

Is orthodontic treatment painful?

We never want our patients to experience pain, and do everything possible to minimize your discomfort and give you a pleasant experience. You will feel some pressure in your mouth during your treatment — this is normal and is to be expected as your teeth are moving into their optimal positions. On the day you have your braces placed and after any adjustments, you may experience some pressure and minor discomfort, but this should go away within 48 hours and can be easily managed with over-the-counter pain relievers if needed.

Will I need rubber bands?

Rubber bands, also known as elastics, may be necessary to correct bite issues or jaw alignment problems. Our orthodontist will evaluate your teeth during your treatment to determine if rubber bands are needed, and how long you will need to wear them. Most orthodontic patients need to wear elastics at some point, so we will explain how and when to wear them so that you are prepared. If you do wear rubber bands, make sure to follow Dr. Feinstein's instructions — consistent wear is essential for achieving the desired results.

How often do I need to see the orthodontist during treatment?

During orthodontic treatment, regular visits are essential for monitoring progress, making adjustments and ensuring the treatment plan is on track. These visits typically occur every six to eight weeks, although our orthodontist will determine the optimal schedule for your specific case.

Do I still need to visit my regular dentist during orthodontic treatment?

Yes! It is crucial to continue visiting your regular dentist for routine cleanings and exams. Your dentist will help you maintain overall oral health so you can achieve the results you desire with your orthodontic treatment as well as maintain a healthy mouth and smile.

What foods should I avoid while wearing braces, and why?

Avoid hard, sticky and sugary foods while wearing braces to prevent damage to the braces and maintain good oral hygiene. Hard foods can bend wires or dislodge brackets, while sticky and sugary foods can lead to plaque buildup and tooth decay. Opt for soft, braces-friendly foods to ensure a smooth treatment process and protect your oral health.

Some of the foods you may want to avoid include caramels, starbursts, skittles, taffies, hard candies, nuts, popcorn, crunchy pizza crust, tortilla chips, crunchy break, corn on the cob, whole apples and carrots.

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