Orthodontic FAQ’s


Q: What is Orthodontics?

A: Orthodotics is the treatment of irregularities in the teeth (especially of alignment and occlusion) and jaws, including the use of braces and other specialized appliances. Refer to our “About Orthodontics” page for more details.

Q: Who is an Orthodontist? 

A: An orthodontist is someone who first became a dentist and then did 3 additional years of schooling to specialize in straightening teeth, and aligning jaws to give you a functional bite.

Q: What is the best age to see an orthodontist?

A: The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist by the age of 7. This is the time when kids start losing baby teeth. There are many things that can be going on in early stages of development and complex treatment can be avoided if you catch the problem before it happens! Orthodontic treatment is not limited to children and teens.  20% of orthodontic patients are over the age of 21; adult orthodontics is the fastest growing part of our practice! Whether you’re considering treatment for yourself or for a child, any time is a good time to visit the orthodontist.

Q: If my teeth have been crooked for years, why do I need orthodontic treatment now?

A: There is no time like the present.  Healthy teeth can be moved at any age.  Orthodontic treatment can create or restore good function, and teeth that work better typically look better.

Q: Do I need a referral from my dentist?

A: No, we welcome everyone to our practice. The least you will get out of your appointment is some good advice! Request Appointment

Q: Does it hurt to have the braces put on?

A: No, not at all.  The way we place the braces in our office is easy for the patient.  We use a special technique called “Indirect Bonding” where we set up your braces before you even get to your appointment!  Using models of your teeth, we are able to very accurately place the braces and have them ready prior to your bonding appointment. Having your braces placed will be quick and easy!  It is also extremely accurate helping to minimize your time in treatment! Our clinical team is also specially trained and very gentle – they care!

Q: How do braces feel once they’re on?

A: Once the braces have been placed, and following your adjustments, there  can be some discomfort, mainly the feeling of tender teeth, but this is only temporary and will subside in a short time. Patients do not usually require medication.  There is a special wax to use if your lips and cheeks become irritated.

Q: How do I take care of my teeth when I am wearing braces?

A: At South Surrey Smiles, we are excellent teachers in the oral hygiene department! We will teach you how to keep your teeth clean, provide you with some new specialized toothbrushes and floss. Keeping your teeth clean while wearing braces will take longer, but you will have all the tools you need to do so. Each time you visit us for your appointments, we will let you know if you are doing a good job or if you need improvement. Those that keep their teeth clean will be rewarded! For more information see our “Life With Braces” page.

Q: How long will I need to wear braces?

A: Everyone is different but in most cases, treatment should not take longer than 2 years. At South Surrey Smiles, we use a specialized indirect bonding technique to place your braces which makes it faster to put your braces on with a more accurate placement. Due to the accuracy with indirect bonding and our doctors specialized expertise, our average treatment time is less than a year and a half, usually about 14-16 months! It is important not to rush treatment because we need time to move your teeth in the healthiest way and make sure that your result will be stable. We know that your time is important and we will make sure to get you in and out of braces as soon as possible!

Q: I see advertisements for perfect teeth in only one or two visits to the dentist.  How is orthodontic treatment different?

A: The ads you are seeing might be for veneers.  These are false fronts placed to mask the bite problem, but do not address the structure in the mouth or how the upper and lower teeth meet.  Veneers are not permanent and must be replaced over time.  Orthodontic treatment is far more than simply treating how teeth look, it’s about aligning teeth and jaws so they meet and function effectively.  It just so happens when teeth and jaws are functioning well, they look good too!

Q: What are my options if I don’t want braces that show?

A: Should your case warrant it, you might want to ask your orthodontist about Invisalign, or invisible aligners.  Ceramic braces are another option to lessen the visibility of braces; they blend in with the teeth for a more natural effect.  Talk with Dr. Williams and the team at South Surrey Smiles about less visible treatment options that will help you reach your treatment goals, or visit our “Types of Braces” page for details.

Q: Can I play sports while wearing braces?

A: Yes but make sure you wear a protective mouth guard.  Ask your orthodontist to recommend the right kind of mouth guard while you are having orthodontic treatment. To keep your smile beautiful after treatment and wear a mouth guard at every practice and every game.

Q: Can I play musical instruments while wearing braces?

A: With practice and a period adjustment, braces typically do not interfere with the playing of wind or brass instruments.

Q: How often do I need to come see you?

A: On average, we see our patients every 2 months.

Q: Do I still need to see the dentist every 6 months while I am wearing braces?

A: Yes. It is actually more important to visit the dentist regularly while you are wearing braces. There are more hiding spots for plaque to build up while wearing braces. We want to make sure your teeth are absolutely healthy throughout this journey so that you have the best possible outcome.


Schedule A FREE Orthodontic Assessment at South Surrey Smiles!