Why is early treatment (between the ages of 7 and 9) so important?

For parents, it’s not always easy to know if your child may need orthodontic treatment but early treatment allows your orthodontist to:

    • Correct and guide the growth of your child’s jaw to help the permanent teeth come in straight


    • Regulate the width of the upper and lower arches


    • Create more space for crowded teeth


    • Avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions later in life


    • Correct thumb sucking and help improve minor speech problems


What if treatment is put off?

Putting off treatment can result in a need for more invasive treatment later in life. Early treatment is most effective for achieving lasting results.

How can I tell if my child needs to see an orthodontics about getting braces?

Here are a few things to look for that may mean your child needs to see an orthodontist:

    • Early or late loss of baby teeth


    • A hard time chewing or biting food


    • Mouth breathing


    • Finger or thumb sucking


    • Crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth


    • Jaws that pop or make sounds when opening and closing


    • Teeth that come together abnormally, or do not come together at all


    • Jaws and teeth that are not proportionate to the rest of the face


    • Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight

Please contact our practice to schedule an appointment for an orthodontic evaluation. Early treatment now will give your child a healthy, beautiful smile for the future.

Why should I consider orthodontic treatment?


    • Straight teeth are healthy teeth — Teeth that are properly aligned are easier to keep clean with flossing and brushing, and may help prevent other health problems.


    • A beautiful, straight smile builds confidence — Orthodontic treatment can help boost your self-confidence, giving you a better quality of life and the freedom to smile without holding back!


    • Mouths left untreated can get worse — Not receiving orthodontic treatment when it’s needed can create long-term health issues costing you more in the end.


What are the main differences between adult orthodontics and orthodontics for children and teens?


    • In younger patients the jawbones are still developing. For adults, these bones have stopped growing, which may mean the possibility of orthognathic surgery to align the jawbones.


    • Gum or bone loss (periodontal disease) — Adults are more likely than children to experience gum recession or even bone loss due to gingivitis or advanced periodontal disease. Patients with straighter teeth are less likely to get gum disease.


    • Worn or missing teeth — Over time teeth can become worn down and shift into different positions that can only be corrected with orthodontic care. Missing teeth can cause other teeth to shift and tilt, creating a bad bite and increasing the possibility of gum disease.


    • Incomplete orthodontic treatment as a teen — Many adults received some orthodontic treatment as a child or teen, but never completed their treatment. As an adult, they choose to complete their orthodontic treatment to achieve the healthy, beautiful smile they always wanted.


How long will I have to wear braces?


    • Early treatment — Early treatment allows orthodontists to monitor the growth of the jaw and recommend further orthodontic treatment if it becomes necessary. Not everybody receives early orthodontic treatment; in some cases it may be recommended that a patient wait to receive treatment.


    • What needs correction — The amount of treatment needed to correct a problem will determine how long the process takes. Different patients react to treatments differently. While it may take one patient only 12 months to complete treatment, it may take another patient 24 months. Treatment times can vary depending on how quickly your body responds and how much work is needed to give you the show-stopping smile you expect.


    • YOU! — Your willingness to use the appliances your orthodontist gives you plays a major role in the length of time it takes to complete your treatment. Always remember to take care of your braces and appliances; this truly will help make your treatment shorter!


What kinds of braces are available?

Kanata Orthodontics offers a variety of braces, types, and styles, to choose from. Some common options include:

    • Ceramic braces


    • Invisible braces/Invisalign


    • Lingual braces


    • Traditional metal braces


What are the most common reasons adults get braces?


    • A bad bite or malocclusion, causing teeth to fit together incorrectly


    • Teeth are crowded or spaced apart, possibly causing tooth decay or gum disease


    • Abnormal jaw pain, or pressure that is caused by crooked teeth


    • Desire for a healthier mouth and a more confident smile


What kinds of treatment options are available for adults?

For many adults, the thought of having metal braces is enough to discourage them from receiving treatment. However, today’s orthodontic treatment options offer a variety of braces and appliances that are comfortable, aesthetic, and customized to meet your needs. Types of braces include:

    • Clear braces


    • Ceramic braces


    • Self-ligating braces


    • Lingual (behind the tooth) braces


    • Invisible braces (Invisalign)


    • Traditional metal braces


How should I brush my teeth while wearing braces?

View our Braces 101 guide to follow easy steps for brushing and flossing your teeth while wearing braces.

What should I do if my braces hurt?

When you first get your braces on, you may feel general soreness and your teeth may feel extra sensitive for a few days. It is important that you continue to chew as you regularly would as this will strengthen your muscles and alleviate the pressure that much sooner. Irritated gums and other sore spots can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt-water wash. If the discomfort is severe, you can take Acetaminophen (Tylenol) but steer clear of products that include Aspirin, Ibuprofen and Naproxen Sodium as these may actually slow the tooth movement.

Are Invisalign aligners more expensive than traditional braces?

No. Both treatment options are comparably priced based on each patient’s personalized treatment plan and most insurance companies will cover Invasalign® treatment to the same extent they do traditional braces.

What is the advantage of two-phase orthodontic treatment?

Two-phase orthodontic treatment combines tooth straightening and physical, facial changes in order to accomplish healthy, functional, aesthetic, and long lasting results.

What is a two-phased treatment?

An approach often utilized by Kanata Orthodontics, the two-phase treatment is best employed in early intervention with children. The goal of phase one is to help the jaw develop in a way that will accommodate improve the way the upper and lower jaws fit together. Making records is also part of phase one and will help to determine the course and duration of treatment, appliances, and expected results. Records include photographs, xrays, and molds of the teeth. Intervention generally doesn’t occur until the permanent teeth are in place – though in some case, intervention and assistance may be required. Once the permanent teeth are in place, we begin phase two which will usually involve full upper and lower braces.

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a condition in which your breathing stops periodically during sleep, as many as 20-30 times per hour. Each time you stop breathing in your sleep, the resulting lack of oxygen alerts your brain, which temporarily wakes you up to restart proper breathing. The constant wake-sleep cycle prevents those with sleep apnea from achieving deep sleep, resulting in a constant drowsy feeling during the day.

What are the signs of sleep apnea?

The following symptoms can indicate the presence of sleep apnea:

    • Insomnia or difficulty sleeping


    • Loud snoring


    • Waking up at night short of breath


    • Snorting or choking sounds during the night (indicating a restart of breathing)


    • Headaches upon waking


    • Falling asleep unintentionally during the day


    • Extreme drowsiness throughout the day


Are there different types of sleep apnea?

There are three categories of sleep apnea:

    • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common type of sleep apnea and occurs because of physical blockage, usually the collapsing of the soft tissue in the back of the throat.


    • Central sleep apnea (CSA) occurs when breathing stops because the muscles don’t receive the proper signals from the brain.


    • Mixed or complex sleep apnea, which is a combination of OSA and CSA.


What are risk factors for sleep apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea is more common in males than females, and more common in adults over the age of 40. Aside from age and gender, other OSA risk factors include:

    • Obesity


    • Smoking


    • Drinking


    • Use of sedatives or tranquilizers


    • Family history

CSA is most common among people with:

    • Heart disorders


    • Neuromuscular disorders


    • Strokes


    • Brain tumors


Is sleep apnea dangerous?

Sleep apnea is a serious medical problem that can lead to high blood pressure, increasing the risk of heart failure and stroke. Sleep apnea can be dangerous to people who operate heavy machinery (including driving a car) and can also cause complications with medication or surgery.

How is sleep apnea treated?

Treatments for sleep apnea depend on the severity of each individual case, and the type of apnea. Basic treatment can be behavioral — losing weight, quitting smoking, sleeping in different positions (i.e. not on their backs).  In some cases, oral devices may be used to prevent throat blockage.

What should I do if I or someone in my family suffers from sleep apnea?

Contact Kanata Orthodontics or speak to your family doctor.

What is TMD / TMJ?

The Canadian Dental Association defines TMD and TMJ as follows:

“The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the name of the joint located on either side of your head, just in front of your ears. These joints connect your mandible (jawbone) to your temporal bone (skull). The TMJ, which can rotate and move forward, backward and side to side, is considered one of the most complex joints in the body. This joint, in combination with other muscles and ligaments, lets you chew, swallow, speak and yawn. When you have a problem with the muscle, bone or other tissue in the area in and around the TMJ, you may have a TMD.”

What are some of the symptoms of TMD/TMJ?


    • Pain in the jaw area


    • Tenderness or pain around the ears


    • Pain, ringing, or stuffiness in the ears


    • Frequent headaches or neck aches


    • Clicking or popping sound when the jaw moves


    • Swelling on the sides of the face


    • Muscle spasms in the jaw area


    • A change in the alignment of top and bottom teeth


    • Locked jaw or limited opening of the mouth


*Glossary of Terms: Parts of Braces

Band: A metal ring that is cemented to your tooth that goes completely around it. Bands provide a way to attach brackets to your teeth.

Bond: The seal created by orthodontic cement that holds your appliances in place.

Coil Spring: A spring that fits between your brackets and over your archwire to open space between your teeth.

Elastic Tie: The tiny rubber band that fits around your bracket to hold the archwire in place. They come in a variety of colours.

Headgear: Headgear uses an external wire apparatus known as a facebow to guide the growth of your face and jaw gently by moving your teeth into proper position. The force is applied to the facebow by a spring-loaded neck strap or head strap. The straps have a safety release that disconnects if the facebow is pulled or snagged.

Headgear Tube: A round, hollow attachment on your back bands. The inner bow of your headgear fits into it.

Hook: A welded or removable arm to which elastics are attached.

Ligature: A thin wire that holds your archwire into your bracket.

Lip Bumper: A lip bumper is an archwire attached to a molded piece of plastic. The lip bumper holds back the molars on your lower jaw to provide more space for your other teeth.

Mouthguard: A device that protects your mouth from injury when you participate in sports or rigorous activities.

Palatal Expander: A device that makes your upper jaw wider.

Retainer: An appliance that is worn after your braces are removed, the retainer attaches to your upper and/or lower teeth to hold them in place. Some retainers are removable, while others are bonded to the tongue side of several teeth.

Separator or Spacer: A small rubber ring that creates space between your teeth before the bands are attached.

Tie Wire: A fine wire that is twisted around your bracket to hold the archwire in place.

Wax: Wax is used to stop your braces from irritating your lips.

*Glossary of Terms: Orthodontic Procedures

Banding: The process of fitting and cementing orthodontic bands to your teeth.

Bonding: The process of attaching brackets to your teeth using special orthodontic cement.

Cephalometric X-ray: An X-ray of your head that shows the relative positions and growth of the face, jaws, and teeth.

Consultation: A meeting with your orthodontist to discuss a treatment plan.

Debanding: The process of removing cemented orthodontic bands from your teeth.

Debonding: The process of removing cemented orthodontic brackets from your teeth.

Impressions: A model of your mouth made by biting into a soft material that hardens into a mold of your teeth. Your orthodontist will use these impressions to prepare your treatment plan.

Invisalign®: An alternative to traditional braces, Invisalign straightens your teeth with a series of clear, custom-molded aligners. Invisalign can correct some, but not all, orthodontic problems.

Ligation: The process of attaching an archwire to the brackets on your teeth.

Panoramic X-ray: An X-ray that rotates around your head to take pictures of your teeth, jaw, and other facial areas.

*Glossary of Terms: Types of Appliances

Forsus™: The Forsus Fatigue Resistant Device is an alternative to headgear which promotes growth in adolescents, helping to eliminate excessive overbites, improve the fit of teeth, and possibly prevent the need for jaw surgery.

Headgear: 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.

Herbst® Appliance: The Herbst® appliance reduces overbite by encouraging the lower jaw forward and the upper molars backward. This fixed appliance is used mostly for younger, growing children and is worn for about 12-15 months.

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

Retainers: Retainers may be removable or fixed. They hold your teeth in their new, correct positions after your teeth have been straightened. Your orthodontist will instruct you on how to care for your retainer and about the duration of the wear. Wearing your retainer as directed is crucial to prevent regression of your treatment.

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.