Frequently Asked Questions

Why Braces?

Part of having a healthy mouth includes proper jaw alignment and straight teeth.Teeth that aren't straight are very hard to get clean, which can lead to gum disease and decay. Together with your dentist, Dr. Torrebiarte will help you to have the healthiest mouth possible.Now that is something to smile about!

How Old Do I Need To Be?

Dr. T feels strongly that you are never too old to have a healthy, beautiful smile. For most people, a dazzling smile is the most obvious benefit of orthodontics. If you are an adult and wondering if you could do braces, remember, one in every five patients receiving orthodontic care today is over 21. Nothing is better than showing off a radiant smile that you have covered up for many years! It is best to see your orthodontist by the age of 7 to advise if treatment is required, but Dr. Torrebiarte will never start treatment until absolutely necessary. This is usually when your child has lost baby teeth and the permanent teeth are in.

What Should I Expect on my First Visit?

When you come to our office for the first time, you can expect to have a thorough consultation with Dr. Torrebiarte. He will examine your mouth to see if you need orthodontic treatment. If treatment is needed, you will have measurments taken of your mouth by one of our Orthodontic Assistants. These might include:

Digital X-Rays - Dr. T will be able to see all of your teeth, your jaw and parts of your skull. He will be able to tell if the roots of your teeth are in good health, if your joints are ok and any complications such as extra teeth.

Bite registrations - Biting down on wax or a special paper to see how your top and bottom teeth align

Impressions - This is the least favorite part of many people's first trip to the Orthodontist! One of our skilled assistants will place a mouth piece into your mouth containing a "putty". You will be asked to hold your mouth open for a few moments so a model of your teeth can be made. While it may not be the best part, rest assured that our Assistants are very good at making you comfortable and relaxed. And you can choose from nifty flavors of putty too!

Pictures - You will have a digital picture taken of you before treatment. Dr. T will monitor these pictures during your treatment to see how your face and mouth is changing.

What Forms Will I Need to Fill Out?

You can download these forms in advance of your appointment, if you'd like:
Medical Dental History
Patient Information

What Should I do if I Have a Dental Emergency?

Real Orthodontic Emergencies are very rare, but when they do occur, we are available to you. As a general rule, you should call the office if you experience severe pain or when you have a painful appliance problem that you can't take care of yourself. We'll be able to schedule an appointment to resolve the problem.

You will be happy to know that many Orthodontic problems can be solved short term until you are able to come into the office These are by no means long term fixes, so make sure that you still call our office as soon as possible to schedule a time to repair the problem. Allowing your appliance to remain damaged for an extended period of time may result in disruptions in your treatment plan.

General Soreness
When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth, and your teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. This can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater rinses. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. Placing Orabase on the affected area may help; this can be found in your local pharmacy. If the tenderness is severe, take aspirin or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain.

The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this. We'll show you how!

Poking Wire
Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or place wax on it to alleviate the discomfort. Cover area with wax to ease any discomfort.

Loose Bracket or Band
If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it. If the bracket comes out entirely, save the bracket and bring it with you to your next appointment.

Loose Wire
If using wax does not help, as a last resort use a small fingernail clipper to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened. If your discomfort continues, place wax on it and call our office.

Loose Appliance
Do not try to adjust the appliance, or make it tighter, by yourself. If the appliance is poking you, place wax on the offending part of your appliance.