Orthodontic FAQ

Many people have questions when they or their children begin orthodontic treatment. We invite you to review our orthodontic FAQ page to learn more about orthodontics in College Point and Whitestone, New York, and encourage you to call our office at 718-747-0020 if you have any additional questions. Our team will be happy to help you make an appointment with our dentist, Dr. Tanya Vlacancich, and provide you with additional information about orthodontic care.

What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics is the field of dental specialty that focuses on diagnosing, preventing and treating dental and facial irregularities, including misaligned teeth and jaws. An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has received two to three years of additional training following dental school in managing tooth movement and guiding facial development.

When should my child receive their first orthodontic screening?

The American Association of Orthodontists® recommends that children receive their initial orthodontic screening by age 7. At this age, several permanent teeth have erupted and any developing problems will be easy to diagnose and treat.

Am I too old for orthodontic treatment?

No! While the majority of patients who receive orthodontic treatment are children or teenagers, more and more adults are seeking orthodontic treatment to improve their smiles and oral health. As long as your teeth and supporting structures are healthy, you can receive treatment.

What are my options for braces?

There are many types of braces available today. The three most common types of braces are metal braces, ceramic or clear braces, and clear aligners. During your consultation appointment, our dentist will help you determine which type of braces is right for you. To learn more about the braces we offer or schedule your consultation appointment, call our office.

How do I keep my teeth clean with braces?

It is essential to maintain good oral hygiene while you are wearing braces. To keep your smile healthy while wearing braces, we encourage you to follow these steps:

  • Brush your teeth three times a day, especially after meals
  • Clean around your brackets and wires thoroughly
  • Floss every day, even if you require a floss threader to reach between your braces
  • Rinse your teeth each time you clean them
  • Pay attention to the list of foods to avoid with braces

We understand caring for your smile may be difficult while wearing braces, but we encourage you to maintain good oral hygiene. Poor oral hygiene while wearing braces may result in tooth damage, tooth decay or prolonged orthodontic treatment.

Can I discreetly straighten my teeth?

Yes! Clear ceramic braces, clear aligners and other options make it simple for your teeth to be properly but discreetly aligned. We understand that braces can impact a patient’s confidence and self-esteem. Our team wants you to feel and look your best during and after your orthodontic treatment, so call us today to see if discreet straightening techniques are right for you!

What do I do if I have an orthodontic emergency?

If you experience an orthodontic emergency, such as a broken or lost appliance, we urge you to call our office as soon as possible. Even if you have a regular appointment scheduled soon, please call us immediately to let us know that you need an appliance repaired. We will also be able to provide you with any needed instructions on what to do until you can come to see our dentist.

Orthodontic emergencies may include:

  • Loose brackets
  • Loose bands
  • Poking wires
  • Wire irritations
  • Lost separators
  • Pain caused by braces or other orthodontic appliances

What is headgear?

Orthodontic headgear is a very important part of some patients’ treatments. Headgear creates the force needed to guide the growth of the face and jaws until they are in their proper positions. It is also used to properly position teeth and prevent them from moving. We may recommend headgear if braces alone cannot accomplish the desired results. There are two main types of orthodontic headgear that are often used; our dentist will determine which is best suited to your unique needs. Each type of headgear attaches to your braces to achieve proper positioning of the jaw and teeth.

How long will I need orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontic treatment times vary greatly depending on the patient. With advanced technology, orthodontic treatment is now faster, more comfortable and more effective than in years past, making it a great time to straighten your smile. During your consultation, our dentist will work with you to create a treatment plan that suits all of your orthodontic needs.

Can an orthodontist help me with jaw problems?

We are committed to treating all of your orthodontic problems so that you can achieve a smile that is straighter, healthier, more functional and more attractive. Some of the most common orthodontic problems we see at our office include the following:

  • Overbites
  • Underbites
  • Open bites
  • Crossbites
  • Upper front teeth protrusion
  • Unmatched dental midlines

Dentofacial orthopedics is a type of orthodontic treatment focused on the control and modification of facial growth. Dentofacial orthopedic treatment works to normalize the growth of bone structure and repair the related imbalances of the face and jaws.

I’m terrified to visit the orthodontist — what can I do?

Please speak with our team. We take your fear seriously and will work with you to help you feel more comfortable in our office. There are many strategies that we can use to help reduce anxiety and fear. These include medications to numb treated areas, sedation dentistry, and a variety of techniques to reduce anxiety and discomfort (guided imagery, deep breathing, etc.). There are also clinics and support groups available for those who feel anxious about visiting an orthodontic office.

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What Patients Are Saying

  • I had scheduled an appointment with Dr. Vlacancich while my usual dentist was on vacation, and the office made time to see me very quickly. I was able to fill out my paperwork online, making the process extremely easy when I arrived at the office. Dr. Vlacancich and her staff were extremely welcoming and friendly and talked me through every step, even fitting me in for a cleaning after my issue was resolved. I can't say enough good things. There was not a single bit of pain, and I will definitely be returning for my next cleaning as well as recommending Dr. Vlacancich to my friends and family.

    Show More - Salvatore P.
  • Our family (all 5 of us) have been coming here for over 12 years and we have been treated like family. Dr. Tanya always makes time to speak with each and every one of us. She takes in to account our comfort and any concerns we have regarding our care. Her office is clean and modern. She makes coming to the dentist a non-event and we always look forward to having our check up and cleaning every time. Her staff is friendly and always makes us feel welcomed. We would recommend her highly to anyone looking for a dentist in the area.

    Show More - A. Toskas
  • Dr. Tanya Vlacancich is a gentle, kind, and knowledgeable dentist. My family and I have been going to her for many years & we are very happy!

    - Donna S.

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