Dr. Amy Richter and our orthodontic team understand that orthodontic treatment can be a bit overwhelming and even confusing. Because of this, you probably have an array of questions about treatment. To help you find the answers you’re looking for, we are happy to provide answers to orthodontic frequently asked questions on this page. To schedule an appointment at Amy Richter Orthodontics in Buffalo, New York, or to find answers to additional questions, please call our office at 716-239-4815 and talk to a member of our helpful team!

What is an orthodontist?
An orthodontist is a dental specialist who completed a specialized orthodontic residency after dental school. They use their knowledge and skills to diagnose and treat issues with the spacing or alignment of the teeth and any irregularities with the jaw and face.

Why should I align my teeth?
There are many reasons why you should align your teeth. First, straightening your teeth can give you an attractive smile, which can boost your self-esteem and help you feel better about yourself. Second, aligning your smile can improve the function of your mouth. In fact, it can help you eat, talk, chew, and do other daily tasks. Third, aligning your teeth can eliminate small, hard-to-clean areas that trap food and plaque. With these spaces gone, your chances of falling victim to tooth decay and gum disease decrease. To find out more about why orthodontic treatment is beneficial, please call our office.

Do braces hurt?
For many, orthodontic treatment with braces is generally painless. However, for others, soreness might be experienced. You can expect to be a little sore after first placing your braces and after tightening appointments. You can expect the soreness to last two to three days. To relieve the discomfort, you can take over-the-counter pain medication as directed.

How long will my treatment be?
Each patient is different, so we can’t tell you a specific time table regarding treatment. However, generally, the active stage of treatment (wearing your orthodontic appliance) can last for six to 30 months. After treatment, you will need to wear a retainer to keep your teeth from moving out of place.

Will I have to be conscious about what I eat?
Yes, it is very important to avoid eating any foods that damage or become trapped in your appliance, like raw vegetables, hard candy, caramel, taffy, and ice cubes. For more details and information, please visit our “Foods to Avoid” page in the “Caring for Your Braces” tab on our website.

Do I still need to visit my dentist when I align my teeth?
Yes. In fact, visiting your dentist when you align your smile is more important than ever! Avoiding plaque buildup on your teeth and around your appliance can be quite difficult. Your dentist can deeply clean your teeth regularly to remove that harmful substance so you can fight tooth decay and gum disease.

Can I still play sports or instruments with braces?
Yes, you can still play sports or instruments with braces. When you play sports, whether you have braces or not, you need to wear a mouthguard. The guard will protect your teeth and braces from damage. When you play instruments, it might feel a little odd, but you will get used to playing with your braces within a few days.