Frequently Asked Questions :
What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that specializes
in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and
facial irregularities. Braces are appliances or devices
used to make these corrections.
When should I look for the early warning signs?
It is most important to examine your child's teeth as
the permanent teeth grow in. Although children mature at
different rates, there are some averages for permanent
Will additional jaw growth allow self-correction of
crowded teeth seen in an 8-year-old child?
No. The space available for the front teeth does not
increase after the permanent 6 year molars erupt. In
most people, the space available for the front teeth
decreases with increasing age.
When should orthodontic treatment be started?
The most confusing question for most parents, and some
general dentists, is when to actually start treatment.
The objective is to treat at the time when it will
minimize treatment time, achieve a normal profile, and
get the best long term, stable result. Some orthodontic
problems start developing at the age of 6 to 7 years,
and it is usually a good time to get an initial
consultation, especially if the parent or general
dentist suspects that a problem may be developing.
Though no active treatment may be initiated at this time
in most cases, some problems may need to be intercepted
to prevent them from later developing into complicated
situations. An example of an indication to start early
treatment is the presence of a cross-bite of the front
or back teeth. However, if there are no unusual
circumstances, the first visit to the orthodontist
should be at the age of 11 years for girls and 12 years
What causes crooked teeth?
Heredity is the main cause although local factors such
as finger sucking, high cavity rate, gum disease, trauma
and premature loss of baby teeth can also contribute to
a bad bite.
Why should I have my teeth straightened?
Poorly arranged teeth can break easily and can trap food
particles that cause tooth decay and gum disease. They
can also lead to poor chewing and digestion which can be
bad for your overall health. Finally, poorly arranged
teeth detract from your smile which is one of the more
important features of your face.
Will orthodontics change my lifestyle?
You'll have to give up extremely hard and sticky foods
including chewing gum. These foods can get caught on the
braces and pull the braces off. And you'll have to spend
a few extra minutes cleaning your braces after meals.
But, for the most part, you'll find braces don't cramp
your style. You'll still be able to sing, play your
musical instrument, smile, play sports etc.
How do braces straighten crooked teeth?
Braces use steady, gentle pressure over time to move
teeth into their proper positions. They don't look like
they're doing much just sitting there, but in fact,
during every moment in your orthodontic treatment
period, there's something happening in your mouth,
something good for you. The brackets we place on your
teeth and the main archwire that connects them, are the
two main components. The bracket is a piece of specially
shaped metal or ceramic that we stick on each tooth.
Then we bend the archwire to reflect your 'ideal" bite-
what we want you to look like after treatment. The wire
threads through the brackets and, as the wire tries to
return to its original shape, it applies pressure to
actually move your teeth. Picture your tooth resting in
your jaw bone. With pressure on one side from the
archwire, the bone on the other side gives way. The
tooth moves. New bone grows in behind. It may look like
nothing is happening--but we're making a new smile here.
Thanks to new materials and procedures, all this happens
much quicker than ever before. It's kind of an
Can you be too old for braces?
No. If the teeth and gums are healthy, age is not a
factor. About 30% of orthodontic patients are adults.
Dr. Abhishek Kshetrapal has successfully treated several
patients over 40 years of age.
MYTH 1 Milk teeth need not be cared for since these teeth will
anyway be replaced by permanent teeth.
FACT 1 Due to early loss of milk teeth, the chewing efficiency is
affected. Early loss of milk teeth leads to drifting of adjacent
teeth and, closure of the spaces that are required for eruption of
the Permanent teeth. Loss of such space will cause the permanent
teeth to erupt in an unfavorable position.
MYTH 2 Bleeding gums should not be brushed.
FACT 2 Bleeding of gums is a sign of active disease. This usually is
due to deposits of tartar / plaque. Until this collection is
removed, the gums will continue to bleed. Bleeding gums is an
indication that the individual needs treatment.
MYTH 3 Thumb sucking
need not be intervened.
FACT 3 Thumb sucking is a normal infant habit, which makes the child
feel secure and happy until the age of 3 years. However, if the
habit persists beyond this age it can lead to forward displacement
of the teeth along with spacing. So in such cases, intervention is
required to stop this habit.
MYTH 4 Removal of teeth
for braces treatment affects vision.
FACT 4 The nerve supply to teeth and eye is entirely different and
they are not related. There is a misconception among people that
removal of teeth affects vision. Vision is not affected in any way
by undergoing orthodontic treatment with extractions.
MYTH 5 Orthodontic treatment should be done only after growth is
FACT 5 In the majority of cases, the best time to treat by
orthodontic means is when the patient is actively growing which
corresponds to their early adolescent years. During this period, the
jaws show profound changes which can be utilized for correcting
improper relationship of the jaws in relation to face. This reduces
the severity of the problem, adds psychological benefit to the
patient, eliminates extensive surgical procedures that might be
needed at a later date, and also aids in the stability of the
MYTH 6 Orthodontic
treatment is a long treatment
FACT 6 The problems, needs and demands of each patient are unique.
Therefore, the length and type of treatment can only be determined
after thorough evaluation
Is orthodontic care expensive?
Well timed orthodontic treatment to correct a problem is
often less costly than the additional dental care
required to treat the more serious problems that can
develop years later. Treatment charges vary depending on
the type of orthodontic problem, the type of appliances
needed, and the duration of the treatment. Orthodontic
fees have not increased as fast as many other consumer
products. Fees for an initial consultation are minimal.
When is the best time to schedule an initial
Early consultation allows the orthodontist to determine
the optimum time for treatment to begin. In some cases,
satisfactory results are unattainable once the face and
jaws have finished growing. 7-8 years old is a good rule
of thumb for a child unless you see a noticeable problem
earlier. Early examination often permits maximum
improvement with the least amount of time and expense.
Why should you choose an orthodontic specialist?
Teeth and sometimes faces are permanently changed by
orthodontic treatment; therefore, it is very important
that the treatment is done right the first time. An
orthodontist has undergone years of specialized training
in orthodontics, and dedicates his entire professional
life to treating orthodontic problems only.
What is a retainer?
A retainer is removable wire and plastic appliance. It
is worn after your braces have been removed. Even though
your teeth are straight and where they should be, the
bone may not be firmly set in place. A retainer holds
the teeth in place while the bone hardens. The retainer
can be taken out when you eat but otherwise you should
wear it as instructed by your orthodontist
Your initial consultation will take a few minutes in the
orthodontistsí office. Please call to make an
will be asked what you want to change about your
smile and what questions do you have about braces.
orthodontist will do a detailed examination of your
face, jaws and teeth.
orthodontist may recommend records (x-rays, photos
and impressions of the (teeth) in order to plan
orthodontist will try to answer the following
questions: Can the problem be corrected? How long
will it take? How much will it cost? When should it
begin? What kind of appliance or device will be
used? What does the patient do for treatment to
succeed? What kind of final result can you expect?
After active treatment, what do you need to
maintain the results?
orthodontist will tailor treatment specifically for
orthodontist will indicate if other dental care is
necessary before starting braces treatment.
What To Expect:
Experiences similar to friends who have worn
Special instruction on how to clean your teeth
Adjustment of your braces approximately every
Mild tooth soreness during the first week in
braces and after adjustment appointments.
A treatment time of 6-36 months depending on the
complexity of treatment.
A period of retainer wear will follow removal of
A discussion of the effect of wisdom teeth on
the orthodontic result.
The degree of success is almost always a
reflection of a person's cooperation during
treatment and retention. Active patient
participation is always essential for success.
Space age low force wires that remember their
original shape allowing teeth to move faster
Mini screw absolute anchorage.
New-generation low-friction self-locking braces.
Clear, tooth-colored braces, and gold braces.
Totally Invisible braces (lingual)
Braces glued to teeth with adhesives that
contain cavity fighting fluoride.
Combined treatment of orthodontics and surgery
for abnormalities that are beyond the
capabilities of orthodontics alone
Preserving Your Smile
Brush after meals with a fluoride toothpaste.
Minimize chocolates and confectionery which
stick to your braces, they are difficult to
clean, and can cause white spots
(de-calcification) on the tooth surface.
Have your teeth examined and professionally
cleaned by your family dentist at least once a
Wear your retainer after your braces are
removed, to keep your teeth from moving out of
First Aid for Braces
If a wire is causing irritation cover the end of
the wire with a small piece of wax, a cotton
ball, or a piece of chewing gum, and call us as
soon as possible to fix the problem. Cutting the
wire should only be done as a last resort .
If your teeth are sore after an orthodontic
appointment, take a pain-killer such as
paracetamol or ibuprofen unless you are allergic
to them. Rinsing your mouth with a teaspoon of
salt dissolved in a glass of warm water can also
be soothing. If you teeth get sore suddenly in
between appointments, give your orthodontist a
call because it is unusual for the teeth to get
sore several weeks after your last office
If food becomes stuck between your teeth, use
your toothbrush without using toothpaste, to
dislodge the food particles.
If a piece of your appliance breaks, save the
piece and call your orthodontist to schedule a
If a retainer cracks, bring it to your
orthodontist for a professional repair.