Have a question?  Here are some frequently asked questions about Orthodontics.


Every so often we get a question that's on everyones mind.  Glance through these answers and if you don't find what you are looking for you can always use the form above to ask Dr. Benitez personally.

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Read further down for our answers to frequently asked questions about orthodontics that we get all the time.

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  • What exactly is Orthodontics?

    Orthodontics is a type of specialty in dentistry focused on correcting facial irregularities.   An Orthodontist uses different appliances to correct these problems including braces, removable appliances and retainers.

  • At what age should Orthodontic treatment begin?

  • How do braces work?

    Braces include brackets, which are bonded directly to the teeth or sometimes attached to a band placed on a molar tooth, and arch wires that connect all the brackets. It is the arch wire that does all the work — the brackets merely serve as attachment points to the teeth. The wires use a steady, gentle pressure to move teeth into their proper positions. Elastics are sometimes worn to help align the upper teeth with the lower teeth.

  • What can I eat?

    In general, hard and crunchy or sticky foods can damage braces and you should avoid  them.   De-boning meats and removing pits from fruits help reduce risk of damage.  Generally, softer foods should be eaten at the beginning of orthodontic treatment and following appointments when adjustments are made.

  • Am I too old for Orthodontics?

    Did you know that about 35% of our Orthodontic patients today are adults. Many adults are electing to correct problems that were never treated when they were children. Partially this is because treatment options have changed so much in the last few years. Advances in orthodontics have made braces more comfortable and effective than in the past.  In addition, some cases can now provide virtually invisible braces which many adults like.

  • Will braces stop me from doing sports or music?

    In general no.  There will likely be some adjustment period as you get used to your new braces.  Contact sports or playing instruments  in particular, but in general wearing braces will not stop you from performing your usual routines and activities.  For contact sports, we definitely recommend you wear a mouth guard to protect your braces or appliance.

  • How often will I have appointments?

    With the new advances in orthodontics, most patients in braces will be seen every five to ten weeks according to each patient’s treatment needs. Overall, most patients find it easy to work appointments into their busy schedules.

  • How do know if I even need braces?

    Orthodontic treatment begins with a desire to straighten teeth and make smiles more beautiful, confident, and healthy. At the free initial exam, the doctors will evaluate your bite and position of the teeth. Treatment is recommended when the bite is misaligned and doesn’t allow the teeth to come together in a position that is healthy for the teeth, gums, and bones around the teeth. Crowding and spacing of the teeth will be evaluated and may warrant treatment. If there is past damage to teeth from thumb sucking habits or if there is difficulty with chewing, then treatment is certainly warranted.

  • What is Invisalign and how does it work?

    The Invisalign system uses clear plastic aligners to help straighten the teeth. These aligners are custom-fitted to a patient’s mouth. These Invisalign aligners are to be worn at all times. Generally, every two weeks the patient receives new Invisalign aligners that will help gradually shift their teeth into proper position. Like brackets and arch wires are to braces, Invisalign aligners move teeth through the appropriate placement of controlled force on your teeth. The main difference is that Invisalign not only controls forces, but also the timing of the force application.

  • Who is a candidate for Invisalign?

    One of the biggest misconceptions is that Invisalign is only for "easy" orthodontic cases. In essence, good candidates for Invisalign are patients who have healthy teeth and gums and have teeth that are misaligned.  The skill, experience and planning of the orthodontist is a determining factor of the treatment results for your Invisalign. Remember, Invisalign is an orthodontic technique, not a product.

  • How will Invisalign affect my life?

    Invisalign will not affect your daily activities. Since you only remove your trays when you eat and drink, your daily routine and habits can remain the same.

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