Questions that Patients Usually Asks

What are the early symptoms of orthodontic problems?

Although determining if treatment is necessary is difficult for you to assess, the following symptoms may help in prompting you to seek our orthodontic advice. Ask your child to open their mouth, and let you look at their teeth. If you see any signs of crooked teeth, gaps between your child's teeth or overlapping teeth, your child may need orthodontic treatment. Ask your child to bite all the way down, but keeping their lips open so you can see their teeth. Do the front top teeth line up with the bottom? Do the top teeth protrude out away from the bottom teeth? Do the top front teeth cover more than 50% of the bottom teeth? Are the top teeth behind the bottom teeth? All these are indicators for potential orthodontic treatment. Look at the alignment of your child's jaw. Does the jaw shift off center when your child bites down? If you see any misalignment or shifting of the jaw, your child may have a skeletal problem, which requires early orthodontic intervention. Does your child have relatively straight teeth but some teeth seem to have excessive flattening or wear? Does your child regularly complain of headaches or pain in the area around their ears? Does your child breathe through his/her mouth, as opposed to their nose? Do they snore at night? Is their mouth usually open with their lips apart? These are indicators for potential orthodontic intervention. These are only some of the obvious symptoms of potential orthodontic problems.

How do I know if my child is in need of orthodontic treatment?

It is usually difficult for you to determine if treatment is necessary because there are many problems that can occur even though the front teeth look straight. Also, there are some problems that look intimidating and complex which will resolve on their own. Asking your general dentist is good reference, but we are your best resource since orthodontics is all we do. We do follow the American Association of Orthodontists’ guidelines of preferring to examine a child by the age of 7 years of age. Our initial exam is complimentary and we would be more than happy to see your child and make any recommendations necessary.

What age should my child be seen by an orthodontist?

We recommend that your child be evaluated by age 7. Early detection of some orthodontic problems is important in order to take early corrective action and avoid more difficult treatment later.

Can you be too old for braces?

No, age is not a factor, only the health of your gums and bone which support your teeth. About 25% of our orthodontic patients are adults and that number is still growing!

Will braces hurt?

Orthodontic treatment has improved dramatically. As a rule, braces make your teeth sore for a few days, but it is not painful. This annoyance can be relieved with an over-the-counter pain reliever. Today, the combination of low friction braces and very gentle high-memory wires make orthodontics more comfortable and convenient than ever. We use the latest in miniature braces and the highest quality of orthodontic materials in order to reduce discomfort and treatment time.

Can I still have braces if I have missing teeth ?

Yes. When teeth are missing, adjacent and opposing teeth will drift into the empty space. This will cause a functional, esthetic or periodontal problem. Orthodontic treatment will correct and prevent these problems and will also provide proper alignment for your dentist to replace the missing teeth with ideal restorative care.

Can I wait on interceptive Orthodontic Treatment until my child is older?

This is not recommended. If your child needs Phase I treatment this usually means that he has a difficult problem that requires attention now. If no orthodontic action is taken, treatment options become limited, more difficult, and the long-term stability may be compromised. In addition, it may lead to extractions, oral surgery and increased costs.

What is the length or duration of orthodontic treatment?

Braces may be on for just a few months to 24 months, or longer depending on the age of the patient, the severity of the problem, the patient's cooperation, and the degree of movement possible. Average times for active treatment is between 10 to 21 months.

What are lingual braces?

Lingual braces are bonded on the inside of a patient's teeth. Generally, lingual braces are more uncomfortable than standard braces. Orthodontic treatment takes twice as long and is significantly more expensive. In addition, some people have trouble talking with lingual braces.

Will I Need To Change My Diet Once Braces Are Fitted?

Yes you will need to change your diet to avoid damaging your braces? If your brace breaks your treatment time will be increase. You will need to avoid all hard or chewy foods for the duration of your treatment. You should also avoid sugary foods, fizzy drinks and snacking between meals.

Do Teeth Move After Orthodontic Treatment?

Yes, teeth will try to move back to their original position once the braces have been removed so it is crucial that you wear the retainers that you will be provided with. If you want your result to remain stable, you should wear your retainers indefinitely. In many cases we also fit a bonded retainer which is fixed permanently to the back of your upper and lower front 6 teeth.

I’ve Lost My Retainers!

If you break or lose your retainers you must telephone our clinic immediately. It may take a few days to mend or replace and the teeth may move in the meantime. The sooner we know that there is a problem the sooner we can sort it out.

A bracket(s) [or other part of my fixed brace] has broken and is able to move on the wire

This is not usually an emergency and can be dealt with quite easily by covering the broken part with wax so it does not rub your lip/ cheek. If it is not uncomfortable and you have an appointment in the next 10 days just report it to your orthodontist at your next visit. If you are finding it too uncomfortable then phone reception for advice. If at your next appointment it is planned to remove your braces and a bracket has come off, please contact us as this may mean your teeth move undesirably, delaying your brace coming off.

The wire has come out of the tube at the back.

If this is not causing discomfort it can be left until your next visit. If the wire is uncomfortable you may cut it (with nail clippers) or bend it back out of the way. Occasionally, the wire can accidentally move around so it sticks out on one side and not the other. If you can move it back around and centre it, that can often help, otherwise, use wax until you can come and see us.

My teeth are very sore and it is painful to eat.

This is quite normal at the beginning of treatment and it will get better in 2 or 3 days. A normal headache tablet (Ibuprofen or Paracetamol) can be used. We would advise eating a soft diet until it settles down.

How to Brush?

Dr. El Alam recommends using a soft to medium tooth brush! You Need to Brush and Floss 3 times per day!...

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Teeth Whitening

Whiter than White! Need some instructions? Click Here!...

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Foods to Avoid

Do you know what you can and can't eat with braces? Having braces doesn't mean that you will be living on pureed!...

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Information & Emergency

Occasionally, there may be minor problems with your brace. Please call us on the numbers below or email us!...

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contact info

Jounieh, Stella Maris Center, 4th floor, Tel. 09 93 55 38

Jbeil, Souaid Center,     2nd floor, Tel. 09 94 95 96

Email: Info@drrafehelalam.com

 

What We Do
Orthodontics does more than make a pretty smile – it creates a healthier you :) and that‛s exactly what we do
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