Orthodontic Facts

How Does Orthodontic Treatment Work?

Medical devices or "appliances" are placed over or onto your teeth. A small amount of pressure is applied to your teeth through these appliances. Over time, your teeth will slowly move in correct position.

A number of appliances are currently available - Some fixed and some removable. The type of appliance used for your treatment will depend on the results you wish to obtain. Braces and Invisalign are the most common appliances available on the market right now. These devices work by placing gentle pressure on the teeth and jaw, which will slowly move your teeth into correct position. Typical orthodontic treatment programs usually run 12 months or longer, depending on the severity of the problem.

Why choose an orthodontist over a general dentist?

Orthodontists have received an additional 2-3 years of education and training that focuses entirely on orthodontics to produce much better results than general dentists. Orthodontists also have a greater understanding and experience of the biology of tooth movement and how to efficiently move teeth without causing other mouth issues that can sometimes accompany a lack of education and training. For best results in the movement of teeth, it is best to let a specialist, like Dr. Rhoda Lockett handle the case!

How Do I Know If My Child Needs Orthodontic Treatment?

It can be difficult for you to determine whether treatment is necessary because many problems can occur even though the front teeth appear to be straight. On the other hand, some problems that look intimidating and complex can resolve on their own. Your general dentist is a good reference, but Colorado Springs area orthodontic team is an excellent resource because orthodontics is our main focus. We are more than happy to see your child and make any recommendations necessary!

Is Orthodontic Treatment Painful?

Orthodontic treatment has drastically improved over the years. As a general rule, braces make your teeth tender and sore for a few days, but are not painful. This annoyance can be relieved with an over-the-counter analgesic. Today’s braces are more comfortable and use technology that reduces the any irritation. Our experienced orthodontist, Dr. Rhoda Lockett uses the latest in biocompatible braces, the advanced technique with light force, and the highest quality orthodontic materials in order to reduce discomfort and treatment time.

What are the early symptoms of orthodontic problems?

It can be difficult to assess whether or not treatment is necessary. However, the following symptoms may help in prompting you to seek our orthodontic advice.

  • Ask your child to open their mouth, and let you look at their teeth. If you see any signs of crooked teeth, gaps between your child’s teeth or overlapping teeth, your child may need orthodontic treatment.
  • Ask your child to bite all the way down, but keeping their lips open so you can see their teeth. Do the front top teeth line up with the bottom? Do the top teeth protrude out away from the bottom teeth? Do the top front teeth cover more than 50% of the bottom teeth? Are the top teeth behind the bottom teeth? All these are indicators for potential orthodontic treatment.
  • Look at the alignment of your child’s jaw. Does the jaw shift off center when your child bites down? If you see any misalignment or shifting of the jaw, your child may have a skeletal problem, which requires early orthodontic intervention.

If your child is exhibiting any of the above symptoms or if you’re still not sure, please visit Lockett Orthodontics (Link to Contact page) today to schedule an appointment with our skilled orthodontist.

Why should I (or my loved ones) get 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 be started?

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.

How long will treatment take?

It's different for each person, but generally the active stage of treatment (that is, wearing braces or other appliances) 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 visit the office once every 4 to 10 weeks.

Will I need to have any 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 to watch what I eat?

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). You will receive a list of foods to avoid.

Will I be able to play sports/ play my instrument?

In a word: 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 retainer when my braces come off?

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.

Our Location

3210 E. Woodmen Rd. #200
Colorado Springs, CO 80920

Office Hours

Monday 8:30am-5pm
Tuesday 10am-6pm
Wednesday 8:30am-5pm
Thursday 7am-4pm
Friday Closed/Continuing Education
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed