Frequently-asked questions about orthodontics.
If you still need answers or any help at all, please give us a call at our offices in Biloxi or Ocean Springs.
Orthodontics (also referred to as dentofacial orthopedics) is a specialized form of dentistry focusing on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities.
If you want to improve the look and feel of your smile, then any age can be a great age to see an orthodontist in Biloxi or Ocean Springs. The American Association of Orthodontists and Dr. Brice McMurphy recommend that kids make their first visit to an orthodontist around the age of seven.
However, orthodontic treatment is not exclusive to children and teens, with about one in every five orthodontic patients at McMurphy Orthodontics being older than the age of 21. Whether you’re considering treatment for yourself or for a child, any time is a good time to visit the orthodontist.
Braces are used by your orthodontist to help you improve the look and feel of your smile. The options we offer at McMurphy Orthodontics are:
- Clear/ceramic braces
- Traditional metal braces
The amount of time spent in braces will vary depending on the individual patient at McMurphy Orthodontics because every smile responds differently to treatment.
Treatment times can take anywhere between six and 30 months, but most standard treatments take about 22 months.
Braces do not often hurt though you may feel a small amount of discomfort for a couple days as your teeth, gums, cheeks, and mouth get used to your new braces.
Playing an instrument or a contact sport may require some adjustment when you first get your braces, but wearing braces will not stop you from participating in any of your school activities.
If you play a contact sport, Dr. McMurphy recommends wearing a mouthguard to protect your braces or appliance.
With braces, you should brush your teeth at least three times a day to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy and clean. Brushing regularly will help remove any food that may be caught between the braces.
You should also floss daily to get in between your braces where your brush isn’t able to reach. Dr. McMurphy and our team will teach you the correct way to brush and floss after placing your braces.
- ALWAYS remember to brush your teeth after every meal and floss at least once a day.
- Make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride, and ask your Dr. McMurphy or family dentist if you need a fluoride rinse.
- This will help prevent cavities!
- If you take out your retainer to eat, make sure you brush your teeth, floss, and remember to keep it safe in its container so that it does not get lost or broken.
- Keep your retainer clean, too, by brushing it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
- You may also soak it in denture cleaner as instructed by Dr. McMurphy.
- Do not put your retainer in boiling water or in the dishwasher.
- During your treatment at McMurphy Orthodontics, try to avoid foods with a lot of sugar, which increases the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth, causing more plaque and possibly cavities.
- Avoid sticky and chewy foods (caramel, chewing gum, gummy bears), hard foods (hard candy, nuts, ice cubes), or any foods that could possibly get stuck in your braces (corn on the cob, soft bagels, ribs, taffy, etc.).
- Be sure to schedule your routine checkups with your family dentist.
- Dr. McMurphy recommends continuing to visit the dentist every six months.
Yes! In fact, it’s even more important that patients receiving treatment at McMurphy Orthodontics visit their dentist regularly. With braces, food may be caught in places that your toothbrush can’t reach.
This causes bacteria to build up that can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Your dentist will work closely with your orthodontist to make sure that your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.
Simply call our practice! Our front desk staff in Biloxi or Ocean Springs will happily help schedule your next appointment at your convenience.
If you are a new patient or have been referred to McMurphy Orthodontics, please let us know and we will provide you with all of the information you need.