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Health Expert Q&A 

Dr. Brian Rosenzweig, DMD, Rosenzweig Orthodontics

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At what age should my child see an orthodontist?

AThe American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist around the age of seven. This is an age at which the first phase of dental eruption is occurring and an opportune time to evaluate crowding, bite configuration, airway, speech issues, etc.

Can you explain the process of moving teeth with braces? How is it done?

A Orthodontic tooth movement involves the controlled (direction and magnitude) application of force on the teeth. These orthodontic forces enable changes in the ligaments surrounding tooth roots and within the bone adjacent to the tooth roots. These changes in the bone allow tooth movement to occur. The controlled orthodontic forces can be applied with braces & wires, clear aligners and a variety of fixed & removable appliances. A Board Certified Orthodontic Specialist is the most highly trained individual to diagnose the need for, plan and direct the use of orthodontic appliances.

My son had a consultation with an orthodontist and they said they are going to have to expand his palate? Is this a painful process?

A Palatal expansion is a very common orthodontic treatment and is typically not painful. It is very uncommon to have patients report pain with palatal expansion. The biggest issue for patients is simply getting used to having an appliance in place that spans the roof of the mouth. This acclimation typically takes three to five days.

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Q What are the financial considerations when seeing an orthodontist? Are there different price points for braces?

A Fees for orthodontic treatment vary depending upon case complexity, technologies utilized, pedigree and experience level of the orthodontist, and whether or not the case can be treated in a single phase of treatment as opposed to multiple phases (multiple phases cost more). Fortunately, orthodontic technologies now allow us to treat more cases in a single phase than ever before and this increases the overall affordability for patients.

Q My older son had braces for three years. About two years post-braces his teeth moved, creating a gap between his front teeth. Why does this happen, and can it be recorrected?

A Research has conclusively shown that tooth migration and relapse, to some degree, are a part of the aging process. Therefore, lifetime retainer wear is the recommended standard of care in the orthodontic profession. Some patients will develop a gap between the front teeth after the braces are removed if the front teeth are in collision when biting or if lower jaw growth post braces increases the bite pressure between the upper and lower front teeth. Relapse can be corrected with orthodontic re-treatment.

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