One of the first things someone notices about you is your smile. From the moment you enter our office for the first time to your final appointment, we want to make sure you get the smile of your dreams. If you’ve chosen Dr. Gordon Niles Orthodontics, you’ve taken the first steps to healthier teeth, bite and jaw alignment that will last a lifetime.

Typically, patients have many questions for Dr. Niles during their consultation appointment, and throughout the treatment process. To ensure you always have access to the information you need when you’re not at our office, we’ve provided some of our most frequently asked questions, with their answers below. 

What is an orthodontist?

An orthodontist, like Dr. Gordon Niles, is a dental specialist who focuses on straightening crooked teeth, moving teeth to their proper position, and fixing misaligned jaws using a variety of treatment options such as braces and Invisalign.

Why should I (or my loved ones) get orthodontic treatment?

Utilizing the services of an orthodontist can be an optional decision or it can be a medical necessity. Your dentist may recommend a dentist if your teeth or jaws are causing you physical pain or are resulting in your inability to properly chew your food, for example. Having straight teeth also has hygiene benefits in that straight teeth are easier to clean thoroughly and to keep clean. A healthy mouth can improve your overall health.

From a purely cosmetic sense, braces or Invisalign Teen treatment can not only give you a pleasing, beautiful smile, but can enhance your self-confidence. Many studies show the multiple benefits of having straight and healthy teeth, from relationships to job acquisition.  

When should orthodontic treatment be started?

Dr. Niles would like to see you for your first visit around the time you turn 7 years old. While no treatment may be actually started at this time, Dr. Niles (and the American Association of Orthodontists) believe an exam at this time will give him a chance to see how your permanent teeth are going to grow in and anticipate any necessary treatment for the future. In some cases, early intervention may be required to provide more space for crowded teeth, create facial symmetry for other special orthodontic cases.

How can I recognize a potential bite problem?

You will know that you may have need for orthodontic treatment due to a bite irregularity if you have protruding teeth, teeth that are crowded together, or teeth that are bursting through your gums in the wrong place (View Examples). Less obvious signs are mouth breathing, frequent biting of the cheek or palate, speech difficulties, and thumb sucking that goes past 3-4 years of age. Lastly, if your teeth on the top and bottom of your mouth don’t come together as they should or if you jaw makes a popping sound, you may need orthodontic treatment. A visit to our Brighton, MI office will confirm any treatment needs that you have.

Does getting braces hurt? Does Invisalign hurt?

There may be some minor discomfort when you get your braces on or when you are fitted for your aligners, but the initial treatment is generally pain-free. In the first few days of treatment, you will be getting used to your new appliances and you may have some slight soreness until you are adjusted. When Dr. Niles tightens your braces, or when you change your aligner trays, you may experience some general aches as your teeth begin to adjust. Any type of over-the-counter pain relievers can be used to help relieve your discomfort, if needed. 

How long will I have to wear braces or Invisalign for?

The length of treatment time varies and is different for everyone, depending on how far your teeth need to move. Braces may need to be worn for 12 to 36 months, while Invisalign Teen may require up to 18 months. After both types of treatment, you will be asked to wear a retainer for at least several months more.

How often will I come in for an appointment?

Again, this varies based on the type of treatment, but normally you will visit our comfortable Brighton, MI office every four to ten weeks. 

Will I need to have any teeth extracted?

If you have a crowded mouth or a mouth that is too small for all of your teeth, or if you have teeth that are trapped underneath your gum, Dr. Niles may need to pull your teeth to allow room for them to move into proper position. Receiving early treatment may make the extraction of your teeth unnecessary.

Are there eating restrictions?

Yes. With both braces and Invisalign you should be mindful of what you are eating. With braces, you will want to avoid foods that could be trapped in your braces or sticky foods that might pull your brackets off. These foods include: hard candy, caramel, taffy, raw vegetables and ice cubes. With Invisalign, you should remove your aligners when you eat or drink anything except water. Beverages such as tea and wine can stain your aligners and make them more noticeable. Dr. Niles will give you a list of foods to avoid.

Will I be able to play sports/ play my instrument?

Yes! You will not have to curb your extracurricular activities because of your braces! We do recommend that you wear a mouthguard when playing sports to protect your mouth and teeth from injury. If you play an instrument, you may need to adjust to your new appliances, but should have no problem doing so.

Do I still need to see my regular dentist while I'm getting orthodontic treatment?

Absolutely. You will want to keep your regular dental cleaning schedule during the time you are undergoing braces or Invisalign treatment. You will want to be vigilant about keeping your teeth clean and free from plaque and cavities.

Will I wear a retainer when my braces come off?

Most likely, yes. Wearing a retainer keeps your teeth from quickly moving back to their old positions and then all that time you spent in braces is wasted. Wearing your retainer can keep your teeth straight and your smile beautiful for a lifetime. 

Is orthodontic care very expensive?

Whether for medical or cosmetic reasons, we consider getting orthodontic care a wise investment in your health and well-being. Not addressing orthodontic problems can lead to more costly solutions down the road. Our friendly office staff can work with you and your insurance company to create financing options that will fit your needs. 

Call Your Howell, MI Orthodontist Today & Get Started!

Dr. Niles and his friendly, knowledgeable staff are here to answer all of your questions about any orthodontic treatment you may need. Give us a call at (810) 227-1950 to schedule your first appointment. We look forward to meeting you soon!

Informational Video

The magic of orthodontics video