Skip OSU and Dentistry navigation, view page content
The Ohio State University College of Dentistry  

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When should my child first be seen by an orthodontist?

A: The answer to this question should be: as soon as the child, parent or general dentist show any concern regarding the esthetics and function of the teeth or growth and development of the child. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends a child be first evaluated by an Orthodontist by age 7. This allows the orthodontist to monitor dental development and skeletal growth. Proper eruption sequence, space analysis, profile and smile characteristics are noted. Most often no treatment is indicated. It is comforting to know that everything is OK.

Q: Can I wear clear braces?

A: Yes! The ceramic braces available today are fantastic. There is no discoloration of the braces and the transparent nature of the appliance allows your natural tooth shade to show through. Tin grin and metal mouth are out! Although normally an issue for adult patients, the enhanced esthetics of the ceramic braces can be enjoyed by children as well.

Q: Can't I just get a retainer?

A: Retainers do just that - they retain! Specialized retainers may be partially effective for some minor tooth movements. A small space can be closed or a slight overlapping tooth may be repositioned. Removable appliances are typically less effective since they are removable!! There is no action if 100% wear is not followed. Let us take a look. If there is a chance a retainer could work for you it will be noted and discussed.

Q: Can I wear colors on my braces?

A: Sure! The colors you may have seen are actually a small rubber ring that goes around the brace to hold the wire to the bracket. These rings are a necessary component of the brace system. They are changed at each visit and therefore new colors can be chosen each time! Match the holiday, your favorite sports team or just make a fashion statement!

Q: How important is it to clean my teeth when I have my braces?

A: In fixed orthodontic appliance treatment the brackets are more difficult to clean. It is therefore very important to care for your braces by careful brushing and eating a sensible diet. We offer a greatly reduced price on a professional electronic tooth brush designed to meet your orthodontic needs.

Q: When is it too late to wear braces? Am I too old?

A: It is truly never too late. If you've still got teeth, we can straighten them! Certainly there are age-related changes that affect the way treatment proceeds. Restorative needs, periodontal concerns and others necessitate a full diagnosis and discussion of your needs. Don't wait! Enjoy the benefits of a healthy, pleasing smile for the rest of your life!

Q: What foods should I avoid during treatment?

A: In order for us to help you achieve your goal of a better smile faster, we need your help and cooperation in avoiding types of foods that could loosen or break your appliances or braces. Anything sticky, chewy, gooey, or hard, please stay away from! Examples of these foods are:
• Bubble gum
• Caramel
• Taffy
• Hard nuts
• Chewing on ice, pens, pencils, or anything hard!

Q: How do I let my resident know I am here?

A: After signing in at the Orthodontic front desk, the information associate will let them know you have arrived. If you have waited more than 10 minutes, please return to the desk so we can assist you.