Orthodontic FAQs in Clarksville and Fulton, MD

What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics is the movement of teeth through their supporting bones using light forces. Orthodontics also involves manipulation of jaw growth when indicated to produce better bites.

What is an orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dentist who has completed an additional two to three years of intense clinical and didactic training in orthodontics following dental school. Most dental schools do not offer clinical orthodontic training as part of their dental training and if they do, it is often limited to just a few hours. Orthodontic training requires the orthodontist in training to treat a few hundred or more patients under close supervision of other orthodontists. Drs. Byron and David Bonebreak have gone a step beyond and have achieved board certification through the American Board of Orthodontists. In general, one in three orthodontists has elected and successfully passed this examination in which the orthodontist is required to present their cases under close scrutiny of board examiners.

All of our orthodontists are members of the American Association of Orthodontists and have held leadership roles at the state level. Both Drs. Byron and David Bonebreak have served as past-president of the Maryland State Society of Orthodontists and Dr. Muench will soon be president elect of this organization.

Why is visiting the orthodontist so important?

Visiting an orthodontist is important to determine if an issue is present or is developing regarding the position of the teeth and/or jaws. Drs. Bonebreak and Dr. Muench agree with the American Association of Orthodontists that all children should have an orthodontic evaluation by age seven. This allows our doctors to monitor growth and development, and treat small problems before they turn into big ones.

What’s involved in my first visit

Your first visit to our Clarksville or Fulton, MD orthodontic office involves a clinical examination by one of our doctors followed by a presentation of any recommended treatment.

What are the most common orthodontic issues you treat?

The most common orthodontic issues we treat are crowding, overbites, underbites, cosmetic issues, and jaw growth issues. We treat children, adolescents, and adults. We have treated patients as young as five for growth disturbances of the jaws and as old as 86 for cosmetic and functional concerns!

What types of treatment do you provide?

Drs. Bonebreak and Muench offer several different types of braces and appliances to choose from, including:

  • Clear braces
  • Self-ligating braces
  • Invisalign® clear aligners
  • Traditional metal braces

If I get braces, how long do I have to wear them?

The amount of time spent in braces will vary, depending on the individual patient, because every smile responds differently to treatment. Treatment times can last anywhere from six to 30 months. Drs. Bonebreak and Muench will review the anticipated length of your treatment during your initial consultation.

Do braces hurt?

Braces do not often hurt, though you may feel a small amount of discomfort for a couple days as your teeth, gums, cheeks, and mouth get used to your new braces.

Do I need to brush my teeth more often if I have braces?

Drs. Bonebreak and Muench recommend brushing your teeth at least twice a day to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy and clean. Brushing regularly will help remove any food that may be caught between your braces.

You should also floss daily to get between your braces where your brush isn’t able to reach. We can show you how to brush and floss properly once your braces are placed.

If I have braces, do I still need dental checkups every six months?

Yes! In fact, it’s even more important that patients receiving orthodontic treatment visit their dentist regularly. With braces, food may be caught in places your toothbrush can’t reach. This causes bacteria to build up and can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. We will work closely with your dentist to make sure your teeth stay clean and healthy while you’re wearing braces.

Will my braces interfere with my school activities like sports, playing an instrument, or singing?

Playing an instrument or a contact sport may require some adjustment when you first get your braces, but wearing braces will not stop you from participating in any of your school activities. If you play a contact sport, it is recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your braces or appliance.

How do I schedule my first appointment?

Simply call Vanguard Orthodontics to schedule at one of our two locations in Clarksville and Fulton, MD! Our front desk staff will be happy to schedule your next appointment at your convenience. If you are a new patient or have been referred to our practice, please let us know and we will provide you with all the information you need.

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