Nordberg Orthodontics Answers Your Common Orthodontic Questions

New to braces? Dr. Nordberg can help.

Get answers to the most common orthodontic questions in Puyallup.

If you don’t see your question listed, always feel free to call our office, and our helpful team members can answer all your questions.

Why choose an orthodontist over aligners that come in the mail?

Selecting an orthodontist in Puyallup who can help you achieve your smile dreams is important.

An orthodontist is a dental specialist who focuses solely on moving teeth and occasionally influencing how the bones in the face and jaw developing.

An orthodontist starts out as a dentist and continues on in their training to give up root canals, crowns, and fillings and focus primarily on moving teeth.

By the time they have finished school, they’ve gone above and beyond what a normal dentist has done (completed four years of undergraduate work, four years of dental school work, and another two to three years of a dental residency program).

Just like a pediatrician (children’s doctor) focuses on treating children, and an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) focuses on treating your eyes, an orthodontist is focused solely on moving teeth and (when appropriate) influencing skeletal growth.

Only those with this formal education may call themselves “orthodontists.” Only orthodontists may be members of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO).

Dr. Nordberg from Nordberg Orthodontics has achieved this specialization and is an active member of AAO.

When should children get an orthodontic check-up?

The American Association of Orthodontists and Dr. Nordberg recommends an orthodontic screening at age seven. By this age, most Puyallup children have several permanent teeth that have erupted, letting us evaluate their orthodontic needs.

By this age, Dr. Nordberg can spot subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while some baby teeth are still present.

That’s important, because some orthodontic problems may be easier to correct if found early at Nordberg Orthodontics.

Most orthodontic patients at our Puyallup office begin active braces treatment between ages 9 and 14.

How long does treatment take?

Thanks to recent developments in braces and aligner technology, many patients will finish their necessary tooth movements in under two years.

Schedule a consultation at our Puyallup office to discuss what you want to achieve and how long your individual tooth movements might take

How much does treatment cost?

The cost of orthodontic treatment depends on many factors, including the severity of the problem, how complex the problem is, and how long treatment lasts.

Dr. Nordberg will be glad to discuss the cost of treatment and your financing options before treatment begins.

We offer multiple financing options to help make braces more affordable. Often, these payment plans are about as much as a cell phone or cable bill per month.

You may have dental insurance with associated orthodontic benefits that you can apply to your treatment. For some, a flexible spending account or health savings account may allow you to put funds toward your treatment.

Can adults benefit from orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontic treatment can be successful at almost any age. In fact, about one in every four orthodontic patients today is over age 18.

Thanks to today’s smaller, less visible and more comfortable orthodontic appliances (including metal braces, ceramic braces, and Invisalign), adults find treatment appealing.

What causes orthodontic problems?

Most orthodontic problems are inherited. Examples of these genetic problems are crowding, spacing, protrusion, extra or missing teeth and some jaw growth problems.

Other oral problems are caused by thumb- or finger-sucking, dental disease, accidents, the early or late loss of baby teeth, or other causes.

Why is treatment so important?

Crooked and crowded teeth are hard to clean and maintain.

A bad bite can wear down teeth, make it hard to chew and talk and create stress on supporting bone and gum tissue.

Without treatment, many problems become worse and can require additional dental care later in life.

I had braces as a teen, and now as an adult, my teeth are out of place. What can I do?

If you notice an unwanted change in your smile or bite, contact us for a free consultation.

You might need an orthodontic tune-up to regain proper alignment.

What is my role in treatment?

Orthodontic treatment is a partnership between the doctor and patient.

Dr. Nordberg provides custom-made fixed or removable appliances that use gentle pressure to move teeth into their proper positions.

Your job is to follow your orthodontist’s instructions, keep scheduled orthodontic appointments, and maintain excellent oral hygiene to get the best results.

You will also need to see your general dentist as recommended to continue your general dental care.

Will wisdom teeth cause teeth to shift?

Not necessarily. Research suggests that wisdom teeth don’t always cause teeth to shift.

In most cases, wisdom teeth are removed for general dental health reasons rather than for orthodontic health.

Your family dentist or Dr. Nordberg can help determine whether or not your wisdom teeth need to be removed.

How long do I have to wear retainers after treatment?

Dr. Nordberg will recommend how long to continue wearing your retainers, whether they are removable (the kind you put in and take out) or fixed (bonded behind your teeth).

Wearing your retainers as prescribed is the best way to keep your teeth from moving after your orthodontic treatment.

There are many reasons teeth may move following orthodontic treatment. Teeth are not set in concrete, they’re in bone.

Because the bone around your teeth is continually changing (breaking down and rebuilding), your teeth may shift after your braces are removed.

By wearing your retainers, your teeth are more likely to remain where Dr. Nordberg has placed them through braces treatment.

Do braces hurt?

Orthodontic tooth movement has been made much more comfortable in the last decade or so.

Recent advances allow for much more gentle and persistent tooth movements that help our patients finish the job faster than ever before. Clear aligners are often even more comfortable than braces and easier to clean too!

Schedule a consultation with us to discuss what you want to achieve and how long your individual tooth movements might take.

Why do some teeth shift?

The small changes that happen after braces are removed are due to settling in as you use your teeth for biting and chewing.

The more serious and unwanted changes may be traced to genetics or later-than-normal growth, which is unpredictable.

Movement is most common in lower front teeth. This is particularly true if the teeth were extremely crowded before treatment. Changes in tooth position are a lifelong and naturally occurring phenomenon.

The best way to keep your teeth from shifting is to wear your retainers as prescribed. If you notice movement after your braces are removed, please contact us.

What should my long-term expectations be?

The fact is that throughout your lifetime, even though you have had orthodontic treatment, you can expect changes in tooth position.

Many factors at work may cause teeth to shift. Such changes are different for everyone, and most of the time, they are hardly noticeable.

However, on occasion, changes can occur that are disappointing to both the patient and Dr. Nordberg. Changes in tooth position are not a failure of your orthodontic treatment.

They are a natural process. We expect changes in our bodies as we grow older, and teeth are no exception.

To help control and limit these changes, retainers are prescribed after your braces are removed.

Can retainers be worn too long?

No. Retainers stabilize and preserve the alignment of teeth and jaws that orthodontic treatment achieved.

Many people wear removable retainers nightly for the rest of their lives. Ask your orthodontist for guidance about your long-term retainer use.

*Some Text Courtesy of the American Association of Orthodontists