Commonly asked orthodontic questions

If you’re new to orthodontics and aren’t quite sure what to expect, we’re here to help! Below we’ve compiled a list of some of our most commonly asked questions from new and existing patients to help provide you any information you need when researching braces or Invisalign treatment.

Should you have any other questions, we have a friendly team of professionals at both our Southlake and Colleyville offices that would be delighted to provide you more information.


Orthodontic FAQs

What is orthodontics?

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.

What is the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist?

Dentists are highly trained doctors with years of education and experience and they focus on keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Orthodontists are trained to correct issues with the structures of your jaws the positioning of your teeth. Orthodontists undergo three additional years of specialized education, training, and residency programs.

Orthodontic FAQs

What’s the best age to visit the orthodontist?

If you want to improve the look and feel of your smile, then any age can be a great age to see the orthodontist! However, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist around the age of seven.

How can I take care of my teeth if I’m wearing braces or a retainer?

ALWAYS remember to brush your teeth after every meal and floss at least once a day. If you take out your retainer to eat, make sure you brush your teeth and your retainer, floss, and remember to keep it safe in its container so that it does not get lost or broken. See more tips for life with braces.

Orthodontic FAQs

What are braces?

Braces are used by your orthodontist to help you improve the look and feel of your smile. There are several different types of braces to choose from. Learn more about the types of braces we offer.

If I get braces, how long do I have to wear them?

The amount of time spent in braces will vary depending on the individual patient, because every smile responds differently to treatment. Treatment times can take anywhere between 6 and 30 months.

Orthodontic FAQs

Do braces hurt?

Braces do not often hurt, although 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.

How do I schedule my next appointment?

Simply call our practice! Our front desk staff will be happy to help schedule your next appointment at your convenience. If you are a new patient or have been referred to our practice, please let us know and we will provide you with all the information you need.

Orthodontic FAQs

Do I need to brush my teeth more often if I have braces?

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. Your orthodontist can show you how to properly brush and floss once your braces are placed.

If I have braces, do I still need dental check-ups every six months?

Yes! In fact, it’s even more important that patients receiving orthodontic treatment 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.

Orthodontic FAQs

What are the most common orthodontic appliances?

Elastics (rubber bands)

Headgear is used to treat patients whose teeth are in an overbite, with the upper jaw forward of the lower jaw, or an underbite with the lower jaw forward of the upper jaw. Headgear gently “pulls” on your teeth to restrict further forward growth of your upper teeth and jaw.

Orthodontic FAQs

Palatal Expander

The palatal expander “expands” (or widens) your upper jaw by putting gentle pressure on your upper molars each time an adjustment is made. Your orthodontist will instruct you about when and how to adjust your expander. When you achieve the desired expansion, you will wear the appliance for several months to solidify the expansion and to prevent regression.


Positioners complete the final tooth movements in your orthodontic treatment. With your full cooperation, you should only need to wear the positioner appliance for 4-8 weeks.

Orthodontic FAQs

Separators or spacers

Separators are little rubber doughnuts that may be placed between your teeth to push them apart so that orthodontic bands may be placed during your next appointment. The separators will be removed before we place the bands. Separators do not mix well with sticky foods, toothpicks, or floss.

Orthodontic FAQs

Curious what our patients have to say?

See some of our before and after photos and read our patient testimonials to better understand what it’s like to be a patient at Schroeder Orthodontics.

Success stories

Orthodontic FAQs