Frequently Asked Questions

The Scott Orthodontics team wants to ensure your orthodontic care is not only individualized, but that you fully understand the treatment and that all of your questions are answered. Our orthodontist in Bowie is here to help you receive the highest quality orthodontic treatment with appliances like braces or Invisalign clear aligners. Our team of professional and knowledgeable staff have listed the most frequently asked questions about the orthodontist and orthodontic treatment in Bowie. If your question is not listed below, please call our Bowie office for more information or ask at your next appointment with Dr. Scott!

The magic of orthodontics video

What Do Orthodontists Do?

Orthodontists are dental specialists who diagnose and treat problems with theposition, alignment or spacing of the teeth, and related irregularities in the face and the jaw. We use a number of specific treatments, including braces, and Invisalign in Bowie, to correct these problems.

What Is The Purpose Of Orthodontic Treatment? 

There are two good reasons: aesthetics and function. Having an attractive smile
 not only changes the way people see you — it enhances your own self-image as well. Orthodontic treatment also allows your teeth to function better and makes it easier to keep them clean, which can improve your overall health.

When Should Orthodontic Treatment Start?

You're never too old to begin orthodontic treatment, but if you start at an earlier age, your problems may be easier to treat. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that a child who may need orthodontic treatment should come in for a first visit around age 7.

Can I Recognize A Potential Bite Problem?

Teeth that are protruding, crowded together, or erupting out of position are clear indications that treatment is needed (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. If teeth don't meet properly when the mouth closes, or if jaws make sounds or shift as they move, this may also indicate an orthodontic problem.

Do Braces Hurt?

Having braces put on is generally painless. Some people experience minor aches and pains in the first couple of days or so, as they adjust to wearing their appliances. Periodic adjustments may sometimes cause soreness as well, though it typically lasts only a short time. Over-the-counter pain relievers can be used to alleviate any discomfort, but are usually unnecessary.

How Long Will Treatment Last?

It's different for each person, but generally the active stage of treatment (that is, wearing braces or Invisalign) may take from 6-30 months. After that, a retainer is worn for at least several months more.

How Often Will I Come In For An Appointment?

It depends on what's being done, and how often you need to be monitored. During active treatment, you'll typically come in to our Bowie orthodontist office once every 4 to 10 weeks.

Will I Need To Have Teeth Extracted? 

If your teeth are severely crowded (because your mouth is too small to properly accommodate all of them) — or if you have impacted teeth (teeth that are trapped beneath the gum line by other teeth) — then extraction may be necessary. In the case of younger patients, early treatment may make extraction unnecessary.

Will I Have Food Restrictions? 

Yes — you should pass up the types of foods that could damage or become trapped in your braces. Some of these include raw vegetables, hard candy, caramel, taffy and ice cubes (fortunately, ice cream is OK). Our Bowie staff and orthodontist will give you a list of foods to avoid.

Will I Be Able To Play Sports And/Or My Instrument?

Yes! Of course, whether you wear braces or not, we recommend you wear a mouthguard when playing most sports. Musicians are generally able to play their instruments just as they did before, but they may need a short adjustment period after getting braces.

Do I Still Need To See My Regular Dentist While I’m Getting Orthodontic Treatment?

You do! In fact, it's more important than ever! Keeping teeth free of plaque (and potentially, decay) can be challenging when you're wearing braces. Your dentist can help you avoid these problems with frequent cleanings and exams.

Will I Wear A Retained When My Braces Or Invisalign Are Finished?

Almost always, the answer is yes: If you don't wear a retainer, your teeth can rapidly shift out of position — and then all the effort put into your treatment is lost! Your retainer helps you maintain that good-looking smile for a lifetime.

Is Orthodontic Care Very Expensive?

Orthodontic care is a long-term investment in your health and well-being. Yet its cost hasn't increased as fast as many other consumer prices, and many financing options are available that make orthodontic care affordable. Weighed against the true cost of living with problem teeth, however, orthodontic treatment can be a wise investment indeed.

Call Your Local Bowie Orthodontist For Your Next Appointment!

If you have questions or concerns about orthodontic care, please call Scott Orthodontics in Bowie and Upper Marlboro for more information. Our friendly team of professional staff will be more than happy to answer all of your questions. At Scott Orthodontics, we want to ensure you feel comfortable at all times throughout your treatment, that’s why questions are always encouraged! To schedule your next appointment, call our Bowie office directly. We look forward to seeing you soon!