Orthodontic FAQs

What does the term "orthodontics" actually mean?

Doctors who specialize in orthodontics (dentofacial orthopedics) look for and treat dental and facial abnormalities, such as misalignment, overcrowding, and undercrowding of teeth.

What does an orthodontist do?

Specialized treatment is needed for orthodontic issues. Dental and facial abnormalities should prompt patients to seek orthodontic treatment. In order to become an orthodontist, a dentist must finish at least an extra two years of post-graduate orthodontic study at a recognized institution. Corrective appliances designed, applied, and controlled by an orthodontist will realign teeth, lips, and jaws to create a harmonious facial balance.

At what age should my child first visit an orthodontist for a check-up?

As recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists, age 7 should be the latest age to visit an orthodontist. Early diagnosis of various orthodontic disorders is critical in order to avoid more difficult treatment in the future.

Is there a limit on how old you can get braces?

Not at all. The condition of your gums and the bone that holds your teeth in place is more important than your age. More and more individuals are turning to us for orthodontic treatment as they grow older.

Can I still get braces if I have missing teeth?

Yes. When a tooth is gone, the neighboring teeth will move into the void. For example, this might lead to a functional, aesthetic, or periodontal issue. As a result, your dentist will be able to replace the lost teeth more easily if you get orthodontic therapy.

If I have braces or a retainer, how can I properly care for my teeth?


  • Always remember to clean and floss your teeth after each meal.
  • Consult with your orthodontist or family dental professional to find out if you require a fluoride rinse in addition to fluoride toothpaste. This is a great way to avoid tooth decay!
  • If you remove your retainer to eat, wash your teeth, floss, and put it back in its container so it doesn't get misplaced or destroyed.
  • Brush your retainer carefully with a toothbrush and toothpaste to keep it in good condition. You can also follow your orthodontist's instructions and soak it in denture cleanser. Avoid submerging your retainer in hot water or running it through the dishwasher.
  • Avoiding high-sugar meals is a good idea during therapy (sugar encourages the growth of germs in your mouth, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.).
  • Keep away from hard and sticky foods (chewing gum, gummy bears, caramel), as well as anything that might become trapped in your braces (ice cubes, hard sweets, nuts), (taffy, corn on the cob, ribs, soft bagels, etc.).
  • Make an appointment with your dentist for regular checkups. Regular dental checkups, at least once every six months, are advised.

What exactly are braces?

Your orthodontist will employ braces to help you achieve a more attractive smile. Braces come in a variety of styles, including:

  • Ceramic braces
  • Clear braces
  • Invisible braces
  • Lingual braces
  • Self-ligating braces
  • Traditional metal braces

How long will I have to wear braces if I get them?

Because each patient's smile reacts differently to therapy, the length of time spent in braces will vary. As a rule of thumb, most typical treatments take between 10 to 24 months to complete.

Is it painful to wear braces?

Fortunately, advances in orthodontics have been made in recent years. Although braces might cause a few days of discomfort, they aren't unpleasant. If you aren't allergic to them or there aren't any medical contraindications, you can get some relief from this nuisance by taking an over-the-counter painkiller. Thanks to advancements in brace technology, smaller, more comfortable braces are now available. Self-ligating braces and the best orthodontic materials are used to reduce pain and treatment time.

Will braces make it necessary for me to brush my teeth more often?

While wearing braces, you should wash your teeth at least three times a day in order to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth clean and healthy. Brushing regularly is essential in order to eliminate any food that may be lodged between the braces. For those places where your brush can't reach, you'll need to superfloss every day. Once your braces are in place, your orthodontist may instruct you on how to brush and floss properly.

Are dental checks still required every six months even if I wear braces.

Yes! Patients who are undergoing orthodontic treatment should see their dentist on a frequent basis. With braces, food may be trapped in areas that your toothbrush can't access. As a result of the bacteria that accumulate, it is possible for cavities, gingivitis, and other gum diseases to develop. Your dentist and orthodontist will work together to keep your teeth as clean as possible while you wear braces.

Can I participate in school activities like athletics, music, or singing while wearing braces?

A little adjustment time may be needed when you initially obtain your braces, but engaging in school activities will not be hindered by wearing them. Wearing a mouth guard while participating in a high-impact activity is suggested to protect your braces or other orthodontic devices.

What's the best way to book a new appointment?

Our office may be reached by phone at any time. If you have any questions about scheduling an appointment, please don't hesitate to ask our receptionists. Please let us know whether you're a new patient or were referred to our clinic so that we can provide you with all the details you require.

How can I tell if my child needs braces or not?

It is possible to have a variety of dental issues, even if the teeth appear to be straight. On the other hand, there are certain issues that appear daunting and difficult but are actually simple to handle. We are the best source of information because orthodontics is our area of expertise. We'd be happy to meet with your child for an initial assessment and give you any advice that might be useful, for FREE.

What are the first signs of orthodontic issues?

While evaluating whether treatment is necessary may be difficult for you to determine, the below indicators may serve as a guide for you to seek our orthodontic advice:

Ask your youngster to show you his or her teeth by opening his or her mouth wide. Your kid may require orthodontic treatment if you see any of the following: misaligned teeth, gaps between teeth, or overlapping teeth.

Ask your youngster to bite all the way down while keeping their mouth open to show their teeth. The upper and lower teeth appear to be in perfect alignment. Do the upper teeth extend beyond the lower teeth? If so, are the upper front teeth covering over 20% of the lower teeth? How far back are the upper teeth from the lower ones?

Indicators of orthodontic treatment are all the following:

Look at your child's jaw alignment. When your youngster bites down, does the jaw move out of place to the side? Children with skeletal abnormalities, like misalignment or shifting of the jaw, may require orthodontic treatment at an early age.

Is there a benefit or a drawback to both extraction and non-extraction therapy?

Using extraction treatment, certain teeth are extracted from your child's mouth in order to make way for the remaining teeth. It differs from non-extraction therapy in that no permanent teeth are removed; instead, the patient's jaws may be expanded and certain teeth may be shrunk to alleviate any crowding.  After doing a thorough clinical evaluation and reviewing your diagnostic reports, Dr. Rodriguez will help you decide which treatment option is appropriate for you.

Is the cost of orthodontic treatment high?

Orthodontics is considered the best value in dentistry because of the amount of time invested. Unlike many other consumer goods, the cost of orthodontic treatment has not risen as quickly. Many payment options are available in our office, and we'll work with you to find a solution. Orthodontic treatment is currently covered by many insurance policies. When orthodontic problems are caught early, the cost of treatment may be less expensive than more extensive dental work that may be needed to fix more serious problems that may come up later on.

(Future URL: https://www.mydentistsanfrancisco.com/emergency-dentist)

Emergency Dentist in San Francisco

What is emergency dentistry?

When a patient has an unforeseen dental injury or illness that requires quick attention, emergency dentistry is the dental specialty to turn to. The emergency dentists at My Dentist San Francisco have been helping people in the San Francisco area with their dental emergencies for many years.

What kinds of dental emergencies necessitate urgent care?

Many dental problems need immediate care, which is provided by emergency dentists. If you are experiencing any of the following:

  • A fractured or chipped tooth
  • Toothache due to trauma
  • Permanent tooth that has come loose
  • When a tooth is embedded or extracted from the bone
  • A toothache that won't go away
  • You have a foreign object lodged in your mouth or gums


When you have a dental emergency, you need to see a dentist as soon as possible. The sooner you see a dentist, the better your chances of saving your tooth.

If you're not sure, ask the dentists at My Dentist San Francisco if your dental issue is an emergency. 

What should I expect from an emergency dental appointment?

When you choose My Dentist San Francisco for emergency dental care, you can count on receiving thorough treatment from a dentist who genuinely cares. It's important that you tell your dentist everything you can remember about the nature of your dental emergency and your dental and medical history, so that she can provide you with the best possible care.

Diagnostic imaging may be requested by your dentist in order to determine the magnitude of your dental problem. An innovative imaging instrument, a dental cone beam CT scanner, provides 3D pictures of your teeth, nerves, gums, and jawbone at the state-of-the-art dental office.

Your emergency dentist will create a treatment plan just for you based on the results of your examination. Depending on the nature of your dental emergency, the parameters of your plan may need to be adjusted. Tooth extractions, root canals, and the restoration of fractured teeth are just a few of the emergency dental procedures offered by SF Emergency Dentist. Patients with dental anxiety or fear might receive sedation dentistry from this practice.

Our emergency dentist also provides general dentistry and can handle any follow-up dental treatment you may require after your dental emergency.

Call My Dentist San Francisco if you need an emergency dentist.

Our Location Our Location