Orthodontic FAQ

What is an orthodontist?

All orthodontists are dentists, but only about 6% of dentists are orthodontists. An orthodontist is a specialist in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. Orthodontists must first attend college, complete a 4-year dental graduate program at a university dental school, and then successfully complete an additional 3-year residency program of advanced education in orthodontics. In the residency program, the orthodontist learns the skills required to manage tooth movement (orthodontics) and guide facial development (dentofacial orthopedics). Only dentists who have successfully completed this advanced specialty education may call themselves orthodontists.

 

At what age should my child see an orthodontist?

It is generally recommended that a child see an orthodontist at the age of seven in case early treatment is needed. In our office, the first consultation is complimentary. Therefore, please take advantage of this opportunity to learn about your child’s tooth development and about the best age to start treatment. Many kids won’t need any treatment until the age of 11 or 12, when all permanent teeth, except the wisdom teeth, have come in.

 

Sailing through Orthodontic treatment

Take good care of your braces! Our goal is to get your braces off as soon as possible and together, we can make that happen! Your braces will take a little extra care: brushing will take longer and you may need to make a few changes in your diet. We highly recommend that a Fluoride rinse be used during treatment to help protect your teeth. By working together we can complete your treatment on time and give you a GREAT smile!

 

What food should be avoided?

Sticky foods should be avoided because of the increased risk of dental decay and possible breakage of braces or wires.

Food or drinks high in sugar content can be consumed in modest amounts. Make sure you take the time to brush and rinse after you eat or drink these foods.

 

Foods to be careful with

  • Apples and other crisp fruit: cut into wedges
  • Hard Bread: tear into small pieces
  • Carrots and other hard vegetables: cut into pieces or grate
  • Corn on the Cob: Remove from cob

Certain foods will bend, break or distort wires causing your treatment to be delayed and creating extra visits to the office for repairs. In general remember that hard, brittle, crunchy, and sticky foods should NOT be eaten during your treatment. Do not suck on lemons or limes (the acid in the juice can dissolve tooth enamel) and do not chew or suck on ice cubes. Ice can ruin your appliances and teeth. Keep pencils, pens, and other objects out of your mouth.

Here is a short list of foods you should avoid. Remember, that no matter what you eat, please brush your teeth thoroughly after eating any food and especially before bedtime.

HARD FOODS
Hard Candy
Popcorn and Nuts
Hard Tortilla Chips

STICKY FOODS
Bubble Gum
Gummy Bears, Taffy, and Carmel
Fruit Roll-Ups
Starbursts, Skittles, Milk Duds

 

Accreditation

Dr. Sara Bergsma is an orthodontist providing orthodontic treatment for Children and Adults in Traverse City.

Dr. Sara Bergsma is a fully licensed dentist and certified orthodontic specialist in the State of Michigan.

American Association of Orthodontics

American Dental Association