At Goodman Orthodontics, creating perfect smiles is what we do, and for over 24 years, we’ve helped every patient that’s walked through our doors at either of our two local offices in Manhattan and Riverdale, NY by providing them the best in orthodontic care. When we say “the best”, we’re talking about more than just using state-of-the-art treatment technology to creating nothing less than a perfect smile. What takes orthodontic treatment from being just good all the way up to great is the patient’s experience; making sure you are comfortable and informed throughout your treatment, and creating a trusting bond between you and our orthodontic team. A big part of making sure you feel comfortable is answering any questions that you have about your orthodontic care, which is why we’ve put together this list of answers to the most frequently asked questions we get from our patients. Check them out below!

Orthodontic treatment consists of more than just moving teeth, but also fixing misalignments in the jaw to ensure that your smile functions as it was meant to. As your jaw changes shape and your teeth move into their new ideal positioning, your entire facial structure can start to change too, and those changes are permanent. To make sure that those changes are nothing other than perfect, going to an orthodontist, who is a specialist at treating teeth and jaw misalignments, will provide you with better, more reliable results than going to a dentist.

For kids, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that parents schedule their first visit to an orthodontist at the age of 7. At that age, kids are entering a critical stage of their oral development as their permanent teeth will start to erupt and replace their baby teeth that fall out, if they haven’t already gotten some of their adult teeth already. By taking kids to see an orthodontist early on in their development, the doctor can provide treatment to prevent or fix any existing issues, while also creating a treatment plan for the future.

Unfortunately, no, your teeth will not straighten out over time. If your teeth are misaligned, they will stay that way, making it more difficult to keep your smile clean with standard oral hygiene care like brushing and flossing. You will also be at greater risk for developing tooth decay and gum disease as you get older.

Not at all! It’s never too late to start orthodontic treatment and get a healthy perfect smile. Additionally, there are many adults just like you who are taking the initiative to get the smile that they’ve always wanted, with about 25 percent of all orthodontic patients being adults. At Goodman Orthodontics, we offer many types of orthodontic treatment options for adults, so we can craft a treatment plan that will best suit your needs. The only difference of getting treatment as an adult is that it can take slightly longer, since the jaw and teeth are already fully developed and more difficult to move.

The overall length of treatment with either braces or Invisalign depends on the severity of misalignment of the teeth, so it can vary from patient to patient. Treatment times generally range from 12 to 30 months, putting the average treatment time span at around 22 months. For kids that receive early orthodontic treatment, it is possible the treatment time in braces or Invisalign teen will be shorter.

During orthodontic treatment with braces or Invisalign, appointments to visit the orthodontist can range between every five to ten weeks. For patients that require additional treatment or careful monitoring as the teeth and jaw move, it is possible that more frequent appointment will be necessary.

Yes. For most appointments you will be able to drop your child off for their appointment and our staff and Dr. Goodman will be able to take care of everything. However, on some occasions may request that we speak to a parent when they return to pick up their kids. To ensure that we can always do our best to accommodate your busy schedule, we ask that parents check-in with our patient manager before dropping off their child to see if we will need some time to speak after the appointment.

The most that patients feel when wearing braces is some discomfort or soreness after first getting their braces or after an appointment where the braces are tightened. The cause of this discomfort is the small amount of pressure that the braces are applying to the teeth in order to move them to their new position. The discomfort will typically go away after a few days as you get adjusted to your braces, and you can even take over-the-counter pain medication like Advil or Tylenol for some instant relief. Other than those instances, you won’t be feeling any sort of pain or discomfort at all!

Yes! Playing sports with your braces is not a problem, but it is highly recommended that you wear an orthodontic mouthguard that will protect your braces and teeth from damage, as well as preventing your braces from cutting or damaging the soft tissues in your mouth in the event of some incidental contact. For musicians, you will probably need some time to adjust to playing your instrument with your braces, but after you get comfortable with them, you’ll be playing just like you normally would.

Yes! While your orthodontist will be tracking the progress of your smile’s movement while you’re in braces, your dentist will be able to make sure that your oral health is in good shape so that your new smile isn’t full of cavities by the time you get your braces off. Once you start your orthodontic treatment, we recommend talking to your dentist to see how often you should schedule your check-ups and regular dental cleanings.

With braces, it’s easier for bacteria to build up on your smile and put you at risk of tooth decay because food particles can easily become caught in the brackets and space between the braces and your teeth. To keep your smile clean, it is recommended that you brush your teeth after every meal and once more before bed, for a total of four times each day. In some cases, your orthodontist will prescribe you with a prescription for a special fluoride treatment if you are at greater risk of tooth decay.

Yes. While braces are very durable, certain foods can cause some serious damage, such as bending the archwire or even snapping a bracket right off your teeth. We will provide you with a full list of foods that you should avoid when you get your braces so you can protect your braces and your smile. Some examples of dangerous foods include ice, hard candies, raw vegetables, and sticky foods like caramel or taffy.

If you didn’t find all the answers you were looking for on this list, don’t hesitate to contact us with any additional questions that you may have about orthodontic treatment, and a member of our staff will be more than happy to help. For over 24 years, Goodman Orthodontics has been providing reliable, professional orthodontic care to families out of our two local offices in Manhattan and Riverdale, NY. In that time, we’ve created countless, perfect smiles for patients of all ages, and we look forward to doing the same for you. To get started with your orthodontic treatment, just reach out to your local Goodman Orthodontics office and schedule your first visit with us. We look forward to seeing your smile in our office soon!