What is an orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dental specialist that analyses your mouth and surrounding bone structures to determine where your teeth should be. This helps your teeth and mouth look and work better. When there is enough room in your mouth, the orthodontist can manipulate teeth and bone to their optimal alignment using various orthodontic appliances. However, if there is not enough room in your mouth, some teeth may have to be removed to achieve the desired orthodontic results.

Orthodontic appliances can be made of metal, ceramic or plastic and may be removable or bonded to your teeth depending on your dental situation or preference.

Dental Malocclusions

Generally, dental malocclusions are the reason orthodontic treatments may be needed. Dental malocclusions are misalignments in teeth that include crowded teeth, protruding teeth, widely spaced teeth and bad dental bites. Malocclusions are caused when there is a difference between the upper and lower jaw sizes or when a tooth-to-jaw-ratio is off-balance.

Dental malocclusions can give you an unattractive smile and can impair proper mouth function making it more difficult to speak and/or chew properly. What is more, dental malocclusions make it difficult to effectively clean teeth. For this reason, those with dental malocclusions have a higher risk of developing oral health problems such as tooth decay, gingivitis (gum disease) and even tooth loss!

So… What are my treatment options?

At Altima, we offer a range of modern orthodontic treatments to our patients including traditional braces and Invisalign® clear aligners.

Invisalign® Clear Aligners

Invisalign® braces can give you the beautiful, confident smile you’ve always wanted and no one can tell you’re wearing them!

Virtually invisible and removable, Invisalign braces can be an effective alternative to traditional braces for teens and adults who want to straighten their teeth while avoiding the embarrassment and burden of wearing metal wires, brackets, braces or headgear.

The Invisalign® System consists of a series of clear orthodontic appliances called aligners that allow you to comfortably straighten your teeth. Invisalign aligners are customized to fit your mouth and allow you to straighten your teeth in small steps to the desired, final position. Each pair of Invisalign aligners in the series is worn in two-week increments without interfering with your day-to-day life.

What are the advantages of Invisalign?

Invisalign aligners are not only invisible but are also easily removable. Invisalign aligners need to be removed only when eating, brushing and flossing, and can be worn while playing sports or while playing your favourite instrument.

Invisalign aligners are also comfortable. They do not contain cumbersome metal wires or brackets that have the potential to cause mouth abrasions over the course of treatment. Also, because Invisalign aligners do not contain metal wires and brackets, less time is usually spent at the dentist for orthodontic adjustments and repairs.

Traditional Braces

Traditional braces use elastics, bands, metal brackets, and wires that are placed on the front of your teeth to gradually manipulate your teeth to their optimal alignment.

Today, traditional braces have become “less traditional”, allowing you to customize the look of your braces. For example it is possible to get ceramic, clear or tooth-coloured brackets for a discrete look. Alternatively you can get various coloured wires and bands for your braces to give them a uniquely colourful and trendier look.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who can wear braces?

A: Anyone of any age can wear braces! In fact, approximately 20% of people who wear braces are adults between the ages of 20 and 60 years old. Braces are used not only to enhance the attractiveness of your smile, but can correct improper alignment of teeth that can lead to periodontal disease and early tooth loss.

Q: How long will my orthodontic treatment last?

A: Orthodontic treatments are generally expected to last from 6 to 8 months for cosmetic treatments and 12 to 24 months for full conventional treatments. However, the duration of orthodontic treatment can depend on many individual factors. One of the most important factors in the duration of orthodontic treatment is the cooperation of the patient in keeping scheduled orthodontic appointments, maintaining proper hygiene, taking care of the braces and proper wear of orthodontic appliances.

Q: What should I expect on my first visit?

A: Your initial visit will give you the opportunity to meet your doctor and discuss possible orthodontic treatment options. This will allow our professional dental teams to answer any questions that you may have regarding your treatment. A clinical examination will be performed to determine an individualized course of treatment and you will be provided with an estimate of the treatment duration and cost.

Q: Do braces hurt?

A: Typically there may be minor, temporary discomfort two to three days after each adjustment of your braces. However, this discomfort can be effectively minimized with the use of over-the-counter pain relievers (e.g. ibuprophen).

Q: Will braces affect my diet?

A: Temporarily. A “soft foods diet” is recommended when braces are initially bonded to teeth as there may be a minor, temporary level of discomfort. “Soft foods” include foods such as soup, well-cooked pasta, peanut butter and tuna. After a few days when teeth begin feeling less sensitive, you can resume your regular diet – with some restrictions. Foods that have the potential to cause damage to braces must be avoided during orthodontics treatment including:

  • Chewy foods: bagels, hard rolls, licorice
  • Crunchy foods: popcorn, ice, chips
  • Sticky foods: caramels, gum
  • Hard foods: nuts, candy
  • Foods you have to bite into: corn on the cob, apples, carrots

Q: Can I play sports while wearing braces?

A: Yes. During orthodontic treatment, you will be able to play almost any sport or activity that you are currently involved with prior to orthodontic treatment. However, it is highly recommended that a sports mouthguard is worn during any sports activity to decrease the risk of damaging your orthodontic appliances or causing injury to the soft tissues of your mouth. Click here to learn more about custom-made sports mouthguards.

Q: Why do I have to wear a retainer?

A: Retainers are very important because they help keep your teeth straight at the completion of orthodontic treatment. If retainers are not worn as instructed, your teeth will move or will tend to relapse. Retainers are most crucial right after the braces are removed because this is when the teeth begin to stabilize.  Wearing a retainer as instructed will help keep your teeth in their optimal position.

Q. What does orthodontic treatment cost?

A. It is impossible to determine the cost of a treatment such as this without seeing you in person. Each individual requires a customized orthodontic treatment plan that will vary in complexity, duration and with the orthodontic appliances used. However, orthodontic treatment is a good investment when compared with the cost of untreated problems caused by dental malocclusions. That is, orthodontic treatment can have long-term health benefits and may contribute to the avoidance of costly, serious dental problems later in life.

At Altima we offer a unique, 0% Payment Plan that allows you to spread out the cost of your orthodontic treatment over a 6 to 24 month period interest-free, instead of paying a large sum all at once. Click on the icon below to learn more about our 0% Payment Plan.

Here is the list of participating Altima & BrightSmile Dental Centres
where various forms of orthodontic services are available:

Invisalign® Participating Altima Dental Centres

Invisalign® Participating BrightSmile Dental Centres

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