From Quality Orthodontic Care in San Antonio & Universal City, TX

h-braces1At UC Smiles Orthodontics, we pride ourselves on providing high quality orthodontic care while maintaining a fun, friendly office environment. Dr. Bebe and our highly trained team of orthodontic specialists work hard to treat every patient on an individual level, and we strive to design specialized treatment plans that perfectly suit our patients' unique orthodontic needs. But while the treatments we perform in-office are critical to a healthy smile, patient education is another crucial component - so we've compiled a list of some common questions we get from patients along with their answers.

Q: Do I really need an orthodontist? Can't my dentist treat me? 

A. Orthodontics changes the alignment of your teeth, the orientation of your jaws, and sometimes even your entire facial skeletal structure. These are serious, permanent changes that have significant effects on your health and appearance, and orthodontists go through years of training to learn the tools and techniques of the field - training that dentists simply don't have. To protect the health of your mouth and face, we always recommend using a board certified orthodontist.

Q. When should my child first get screened?

A. In keeping with the American Association of Orthodontists, we recommend that children receive their initial examination around age 7. By this age, the back bite is established, so we can spot any current or developing problems and plan the best way to treat them.

Q. Won't my teeth get better as I age?

A. We've seen many orthodontic cases over the years, and trust us - orthodontic problems do not go away with age. On the contrary, they usually get worse!

Q. Can I still get braces if I'm an adult?

A. Absolutely! It's true what they say - you're never too old for braces. Many, many adults in the communities of Universal City and San Antonio are discovering the magic of orthodontic treatment, and in fact, more than 25% of our patients are adults.

Q. How long does treatment take?

A. This varies from patient to patient, but treatment usually lasts anywhere between 12 and 30 months, with an "average" of about 22 months.

Q. How often will I need to come in?

A. During your treatment, we'll generally schedule you for an appointment every 5 to 10 weeks - but this number varies by patient, and if you need closer monitoring, we might have you come in more often.

Q. Can I drop my child off for their appointment?

A. Of course! We know your time is valuable, so we're happy to have you drop them off. Sometimes, though, we will want to speak with you, so please check in with the patient manager before dropping your child off.

Q. Do braces hurt?

A. While braces don't really "hurt," some patients experience discomfort - generally a feeling of pressure - after some appointments. Thankfully, though, this usually fades within a few days and can be alleviated with over the counter painkillers like Tylenol or Advil.

Q. Can I still play sports or my instrument with braces?

A. Absolutely! We recommend a mouth guard while playing sports, and musicians playing any woodwind or horn instruments may experience an adjustment period - but the more you practice, the quicker you’ll adjust.

Q. Do I still need to see my regular dentist during treatment?

A. Because tooth decay is such a concern during treatment, dental hygiene is of utmost importance - so it's critical that you see your dentist regularly during your treatment. If you need help finding a dentist in San Antonio or Universal City, just let us know and we can recommend some.

Q. How often will I have to brush my teeth?

A. Proper oral hygiene is critical for successful treatment, so we ask that patients brush their teeth at least 4 times daily: once in the morning after breakfast, once after lunch or after school, once after dinner, and once before bed.

Q. Do I have to avoid any foods?

A. To avoid damaging brackets or wires, you'll need to avoid foods that are hard, sticky, or high in sugar. Hard foods can damage brackets, sticky foods can get stuck under the archwire, and sugary foods can combine with bacteria to produce acids that eat away at tooth enamel.

Contact Your Universal City or San Antonio, TX Orthodontists

Have more questions about treatment? We're always here to help. Feel free to reach out to us at our contact page or use our easy online form to schedule an appointment at our Universal City or San Antonio, TX office. We can't wait to hear from you, and we look forward to helping you achieve a beautiful, healthy new smile!