Why should I get orthodontic treatment?
- To gain an attractive smile
- Improved bite
- Increased ability to clean the teeth
- Improved function of the teeth
- To benefit long term health of teeth and gums
- To move teeth so that implants or bridges can replace missing teeth
What is my smile arc?
The smile arc is the relationship of the curve of the upper front teeth to the curve of the lower lip when smiling. Improving your smile arc will enhance your smile. Dr. Fricke will discuss ways to improve your smile arc and your smile at your FREE New Patient Consultation!
At what age should orthodontic treatment occur?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child visit an orthodontist by age 7.
What are some signs that I/my child might need braces?
As always, you can Contact Us about a FREE New Patient Consultation for Dr. Fricke to personally answer your questions. Commonly, crowding is a problem that can be seen in your child’s mouth. Other issues such as impacted teeth, however, are not visible and require an x-ray to be diagnosed. Dr. Fricke offers a panorex, NO CHARGE, at your New Patient Consultation to correctly detect any such issues. Also, difficulty with chewing is a sign that you/your child may have a bite that is not working properly. Dr. Fricke will examine you to determine the following:
- Protrusion – upper teeth protrude
- Under Bite – upper teeth are ‘inside’ lower teeth
- Open Bite – upper and lower teeth do not touch
- Deep Bite – upper front teeth cover lower front teeth
- Cross Bite – upper and lower teeth are crossed over
- Spaces between teeth
- Excessive wear of teeth
What are TADs?
TADs stand for Temporary Anchorage Devices. These are little anchors that are placed into the bone to provide stability so that the teeth can be moved into the correct position. They are temporary in that the TAD works with your braces and is usually removed when your braces are removed. TADs are used to make orthodontic treatment progress more quickly. Sometimes, TADs are used to make the teeth move in a way that braces alone would not be able to. Dr. Fricke will let you know if TADs would benefit your treatment goals.
What foods do I need to avoid when I have my braces?
Hard, sticky, and chewy foods must be avoided to prevent breaking your braces. At your Banding Appointment, when you get your braces on, you will receive a magnet detailing foods to avoid which include: caramels, toffee, Now & Laters®, licorise, gummy bears, Starbursts®, Sugar Daddies®, nuts, apples and carrots (unless cooked or cut into small pieces), popcorn, pizza crusts, beef jerkey, Doritos®, etc. Remember, ice is the worst bracket breaker. Also avoid biting your fingernails and chewing on straws, keys, inkpens, and other objects. Do not chew gum as this tugs on the brackets and weakens them resulting in a broken bracket. A broken bracket occurs when you bite into something hard and the bracket comes off of the tooth. It will slide along the archwire, but it is not attached to the tooth. The tooth is free and will relapse to its original position. If you notice a broken bracket, Contact Us to schedule to have it repaired. Dr. Fricke will reattach the bracket but she will have to back up in your archwire progression. This usually adds an additional month to your treatment time. After the third broken bracket, there will be an additional charge.
What are self-ligating brackets?
Self-ligating brackets have a door or gate that opens to allow the archwire to be placed so they do not have to be "tied in" which means there is no need for a steel ligature tie. The steel ligature tie can scratch or poke, and the self-ligating brackets eliminate scratchy or pokey tie wires. Dr. Fricke makes every effort to offer the most innovative and comfortable brackets available.
How often are X-rays taken?
Your teeth are living, moving, and changing daily just as any other part of your body and as such, must be monitored to ensure effective treatment. Our office will take a panorex annually to evaluate both upper and lower jaws, all teeth, temporomandibular joints, and sinuses. With this, Dr. Fricke is able to more efficiently diagnose potential abnormalities and examine wisdom teeth. Additional X-rays will be taken at the first appointment in order to properly compile your unique treatment plan.
How do you clean your instruments?
Our sterilization techniques meet the State Board and OSHA requirements and are in plain sight of all patients. All instruments are heat sterilized, hand pieces are steam sterilized, and gloves and masks or shields are worn to prevent transmission of germs.
Do I still have to go to the dentist while I am in braces?
Yes. Dr. Fricke and her staff specialize in dealing solely with orthodontic appliances and treatment. While our office will be able to note dental hygiene issues, it is your responsibility to keep up with your regular dental appointments.
How do braces work?
Braces work by moving the teeth according to the archwire. This wire lays into each bracket and progressively guides your teeth into a more ideal position. The archwires will be adjusted and replaced periodically for treatment to progress.
Do braces hurt?
Getting braces placed on your teeth is NOT painful and you will be quite comfortable at your Banding Appointment. The night after this appointment and for the first 3-5 days, your teeth may be tender. Dr. Fricke recommends Advil or similar pain relievers to keep you comfortable along with soft foods during this time.
Does Dr. Fricke personally place all of the brackets?
Yes. The reason for this ties into the fact that bracket placement is absolutely vital to providing you with efficient orthodontic care. Orthodontic assistants will help in this process but do not have the training or license to position the brackets on your teeth.
Are brackets re-used between patients?
No. They are intended for single-use and our office upholds this practice.
How long does orthodontic treatment take?
Our office always strives to utilize optimal mechanics, bracket placement, and orthodontic devices in combination with closely monitoring your personal progress to complete orthodontic care according to your unique treatment plan. Our priority, however, is to provide you with the best possible result and we will work with you to arrive at a final product that makes you smile! On average, comprehensive treatment will last 2 to 2 ½ years, however, Phase I treatment commonly last about 1 year.
How much is the treatment fee?
Your treatment fee will depend upon your unique needs and is dependent on the complexity and amount of time necessary to obtain your treatment goals. Also, the type of appliance will influence your fee. For example, Invisalign is more costly than standard metal braces. Your fee will be completely discussed and explained before treatment begins at your FREE New Patient Consultation. At this time, Dr. Fricke will answer all of your questions concerning treatment and our Treatment Coordinator will review your financial information. Also, our fee is inclusive with NO hidden surprises. This includes retainers and retainer adjustment appointments as maintaining the new position of your teeth is an important part of your treatment.
Why does orthodontic treatment time sometimes last longer than anticipated?
Everyone is unique and will respond differently to treatment. Also, your cooperation is needed when wearing elastics and maintaining good oral health. It is also important to avoid ice, hard candies, etc. that may lead to broken brackets and result in extended treatment time.