Kovacs Orthodontics Answers Your Common Orthodontic Questions
New to braces? Dr. Kovacs can help!
Answers to Common Questions in Billings & Miles City
Get answers to the most common orthodontic questions from people like you in Billings and Miles City.
If you don't see your question listed, always feel free to call our office at (406) 655-9300 and our helpful team members can answer all your questions.
It can be difficult for parents to determine if treatment is necessary because many problems can occur even when the front teeth look straight. Also, there are some problems that look intimidating and complex which will resolve on their own.
Asking your general dentist is a good reference, but Dr. Kovacs is your best resource since orthodontics is all he does. Our initial exam is complimentary and we would be more than happy to see your child and make any recommendations necessary.
Although determining if treatment is necessary is difficult for you to assess, 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 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.
These are only a few of the obvious symptoms of orthodontic problems. The best way to be sure about your child’s needs is to schedule a free consultation at our Billings or Miles City office.
The American Association of Orthodontists and Dr. Kovacs recommend that your child be evaluated by age seven.
Early detection of some orthodontic problems is important in order to take early corrective action and avoid more difficult treatment later.
You’re never too old for orthodontic treatment! As long as your teeth, gums, and jaws are healthy, orthodontics could benefit your smile.
In fact, about 25% of our orthodontic patients at Kovacs Orthodontics are adults and that number is still growing!
Orthodontic treatment has improved dramatically in recent years. While braces will usually make your teeth sore for a few days, the process itself is not painful. This soreness can be relieved with an over-the-counter pain reliever.
Today’s braces are smaller, more comfortable and use technology that reduces the discomfort. We use the latest in miniature braces and the highest quality of orthodontic materials in order to reduce discomfort and treatment time.
Yes. When teeth are missing, adjacent teeth will drift into the empty space. This will cause functional, esthetic, or periodontal problems.
Orthodontic treatment will correct and prevent these problems and will also provide proper alignment for your dentist to replace the missing teeth.
Phase I, or interceptive treatment, usually starts while the child has most of their baby teeth and a few of their permanent front incisors. This stage in development is usually about the age of seven.
The goal of Phase I treatment is to intercept a moderate or severe orthodontic problem early in order to reduce or eliminate it. These problems include skeletal dysplasia, crossbites and crowding.
Phase I treatment takes advantage of the early growth spurt and turns a difficult orthodontic problem into a more manageable one. This helps reduce the need for extractions or surgery and delivers better long term results and treatment options. Most Phase I patients require a Phase II treatment in order to achieve an ideal bite.
Phase II treatment usually occurs a number of years later. Usually we are waiting for 12-16 more permanent teeth to erupt before Phase II begins. This most commonly occurs at the age of 12 or 13. The goal of Phase II treatment is to achieve an ideal occlusion with all of the permanent teeth.
This is another name for orthodontic treatment in the permanent dentition at any age. It is more commonly used when a Phase I treatment was not performed.
Absolutely not! Only certain bites require early intervention.
All others can wait until most, if not all, their permanent teeth erupt.
This is not recommended. If your child needs Phase I treatment, this usually means that they have a difficult problem that requires attention now. If no orthodontic action is taken, treatment options become limited, more difficult, and the long-term stability may be compromised. In addition, it may lead to extractions, oral surgery and increased costs.
Braces may be on between 6 months to 30 months, or longer depending on the age of the patient, the severity of the problem, the patient’s cooperation, and the degree of movement possible.
Extraction therapy is a technique where some teeth are removed to make room for the other teeth in your child’s mouth. This is in contrast to non-extraction therapy where one expands a patients’ jaw and shave down some teeth to make everything fit.
When orthodontic treatment is implemented at the proper time, treatment is often less costly than the dental care required to treat the more serious problems that can develop years later.
Orthodontic fees have not increased as fast as many other consumer products. Financing is usually available and our office offers many payment programs that will meet your needs. In addition, many insurance plans now include orthodontics.
Orthodontic treatment is a partnership between the doctor and patient. Dr. Kovacs provides custom-made fixed or removable appliances that use gentle pressure to move teeth into their proper positions.
Your job is to follow Dr. Kovacs’ 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.
Yes! Regular check-ups with your general dentist are important while in braces or Invisalign. Your dentist will determine the intervals between each cleaning appointment while you have your braces.
Kovacs Orthodontics patients should brush their teeth at least four times each day – after each meal and before going to bed. We will also show you how to floss your teeth with braces. We may provide a prescription for a special fluoride treatment, if necessary.
If you notice an unwanted change in your smile or bite, contact our Billings or Miles City office for a free consultation. You might need an orthodontic tune-up to regain proper alignment.
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. Kovacs can help determine whether or not your wisdom teeth need to be removed.
Kovacs Orthodontics 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 by Dr. Kovacs 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. When you wear your retainers, your teeth are more likely to remain where Dr. Kovacs has placed them through braces treatment.
Yes. Once treatment begins, we will explain our complete instructions and provide you with a comprehensive list of foods to avoid.
Some of those foods include ice, hard candy, raw vegetables and all sticky foods (i.e., caramel and taffy). You can avoid most repair appointments by carefully following our instructions!