Comprehensive Orthodontic Treatment in Knoxville, TN

At Myers Orthodontics, our mission is to help our patients achieve their dream smiles through easy, convenient orthodontic treatment. As a leading orthodontist serving the Knoxville, TN area, we're proud to treat patients of all ages, and we offer a variety of treatments to suit the unique needs of each patient. We strive to be a comprehensive resource for every aspect of the orthodontic treatment process, and if you have questions about orthodontics, you can use this page for quick, convenient answers.

Common Questions About Orthodontic Treatment

What does an Orthodontist Do?

An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has gone through extensive training in dental school to prevent, diagnose, and treat problems with the position, alignment, or spacing of teeth, and other dental irregularities in the face and jaw. Our own Knoxville orthodontist, Dr. Myers, uses a variety of treatments such as braces and Invisalign to correct these problems.

Why should I (or my loved ones) get orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontic treatment comes with a number of benefits, and they go beyond simply having a beautiful smile. In addition to aesthetics, orthodontics improves the functional health of the bite, reducing problems like TMJ pain. Straight teeth are also easier to keep clean, which means orthodontic treatment reduces the risk of cavities and dental decay. Finally, having a smile you're proud of delivers a boost of confidence, happiness, and self-esteem that radiate through personal and professional situations. Truth be told, orthodontic treatment can benefit virtually every aspect of life!

When should I (or my child) begin orthodontic treatment?

In keeping with the American Association of Orthodontists, we ask parents to bring their children in for an initial consultation around age 7. This may seem early, but evaluating at this age lets our Knoxville orthodontist spot both current problems and problems that may develop in the future, giving us the freedom to either start early treatment right away or monitor your child's development until the ideal time. However, for adults, there's no limit on when to start orthodontic treatment. We can move healthy teeth at any age - so the best time to begin orthodontic treatment is right now!

How do I know if I have a potential bite problem?

Sometimes, orthodontic problems are obvious: teeth that are crooked, twisted, crowded, erupt out of alignment, or otherwise cause problems are a clear sign that orthodontic treatment is necessary. But some problems are far less obvious. Any of the following issues may mean it's time for orthodontic treatment:

  • Mouth breathing
  • Frequent headaches
  • Grinding or clenching of teeth in sleep
  • Speech difficulties
  • Thumb sucking beyond age 3-4
  • Jaws making sounds or shifting as they move
  • Teeth not meeting properly when the mouth is closed

Ultimately, the only way to know if you need braces is to schedule a consultation at our Knoxville orthodontic practice.

Do braces hurt?

To answer perhaps one of the most common questions asked, having braces put on is generally painless. It's common for patients to experience minor aches and pains in the first few days or the first week, as your teeth are still adjusting to the new appliance. Soreness may come back after adjustment appointments as well, but the discomfort never exceeds what can be handled by over-the-counter pain relievers. Generally speaking, braces don't "hurt" - they just cause a bit of soreness or discomfort on rare occasions.

How long will treatment take?

Treatment time depends entirely on the patient. Depending on the severity of your orthodontic condition, the time of life you're getting braces, and a variety of other factors, orthodontic treatment can last anywhere from six to 30 months, and after that stage is over, you'll wear a retainer for the next several months.

How often will I come in for an appointment?

Each treatment option is different and it depends on how often you will be monitored, but most patients visit our office once every four to ten weeks.

Will I need to have any teeth extracted?

We can't rule extraction out completely, but we strive to prevent it whenever possible. Extraction may be necessary if your teeth are severely crowded or if you have impacted teeth (teeth that are trapped beneath the gum line by other teeth). But every patient is different, and our Knoxville orthodontist works hard to help each patient keep their natural teeth whenever possible.

What can I eat while wearing braces?

Braces will influence what you can and cannot eat, since some foods can get stuck in braces or even break the wires and brackets. Generally, we encourage patients undergoing treatment to avoid hard and sticky foods. For a comprehensive list, read our Foods To Avoid page.

Will I still be able to play sports or a musical instrument?

Definitely. You can still play sports or musical instruments with braces, but we strongly recommend wearing a custom-made athletic mouthguard while playing or practicing any sport. Depending on the instrument you play, you may go through an adjustment period as your mouth gets used to playing with braces, but you should be able to play without issue after a bit of practice.

What are the different types of braces?

We offer a variety of orthodontic treatments at our office, ranging from traditional braces to discreet alternatives. Our orthodontic treatment options include:

  • Traditional Metal Braces
  • Clear Braces
  • Lingual Braces
  • Invisalign Clear Aligners

What's the difference between braces and Invisalign?

While both treatments straighten the teeth, Invisalign uses a series of clear, removable aligners to do so instead of metal brackets and wires. The aligners are nearly invisible when worn, so you won't have to worry about braces in pictures or social situations, and you can take them out to eat, drink, brush, and floss.

Do I still need to see my regular dentist every six months while getting orthodontic treatment?

Absolutely! Oral hygiene is vital during orthodontic treatment, and visiting your family dentist for routine dental cleanings is a core part of that.

Will I wear a retainer when my braces come off?

Yes, you will. While your teeth are in new positions at the end of treatment, the tissues supporting them have yet to adapt to these positions. Without retention therapy, your teeth will simply regress back to their old positions, erasing your hard work! A retainer is vital to ensuring your smile lasts a lifetime, and we'll provide detailed wear and care instructions after removing your braces.

Is orthodontic care worth it?

After helping countless patients achieve a new smile, we can say definitively: yes, it absolutely is! Orthodontic treatment is an investment in your best asset, and a new smile causes a boost in happiness, confidence, and self-esteem that you'll enjoy for a lifetime. A new smile can be nothing short of life-changing, so we'd say that orthodontic treatment is 100% worth it.

Contact Your Knoxville, TN Orthodontist Today

We hope you found this FAQ page helpful, but if you still have questions, we're always here to help. Contact us today to ask any specific questions you have about braces, Invisalign, or orthodontic treatment in general and we'd be happy to answer them. Or, if you're ready to get started right away, take the first step by requesting a free consultation online. We can't wait to hear from you, and we're excited to help you achieve your dream smile!