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 tooth arrival.

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 for boys.

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 engineering feat.

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.

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 consultation?

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

Getting Started

Your initial consultation will take a few minutes in the orthodontists' office. Please call to make an appointment.

  • You will be asked what you want to change about your smile and what questions do you have about braces..
  • Your orthodontist will do a detailed examination of your face, jaws and teeth.
  • Your orthodontist may recommend records (x-rays, photos and impressions of the (teeth) in order to plan treatment.

  • Your 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?

  • Your orthodontist will tailor treatment specifically for you.
  • Your orthodontist will indicate if other dental care is necessary before starting braces treatment.

Myths and Facts :

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 completed.
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 results.

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


Conditions Requiring Braces ?


What To Expect:

  • Experiences similar to friends who have worn braces..
  • Special instruction on how to clean your teeth with braces.
  • Adjustment of your braces approximately every 4-6 weeks.
  • 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 your braces.
  • 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.

New Techniques :

  • Space age low force wires that remember their original shape allowing teeth to move faster without kinking.
  • 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 year.
  • Wear your retainer after your braces are removed, to keep your teeth from moving out of alignment.

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 visit.

  • 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 repair visit.
  • If a retainer cracks, bring it to your orthodontist for a professional repair.