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Mark R. Yanosky, DMD, MS
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Patient FAQs

Straight Talk: Frequently Asked Questions and Common-Sense Answers


What’s the best age to visit the orthodontist?

Any age! Ideally, children will begin visiting us at age seven so we can access how their adult teeth are growing in (don’t worry; we don’t charge for these initial consultations until treatment actually begins). Many of our patients are teenagers, and we work hard to accommodate their schedules and send them off to college with beautiful, confident smiles. But adults are welcome, too — one in five orthodontic patients are over the age of 21! No matter your age, come see us for a complimentary consultation, and let’s talk about what we can do for your smile.


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.
  • Use toothpaste that contains fluoride, and ask your orthodontist or family dentist if you need a fluoride rinse; This helps prevent cavities!
  • If you take out your retainer to eat, brush your teeth or floss, remember to keep it safe in its container so it doesn’t get lost or broken.
  • Keep your retainer clean too by brushing it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste. If your orthodontist asks you to, you might also need to soak in in denture cleaner. Never put your retainer in boiling water or in the dishwasher.
  • Try to avoid foods with a lot of sugar; sugar increases the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth causing more plaque and possibly cavities.
  • Avoid sticky and chewy foods (caramel, chewing gum, gummy bears), hard foods (hard candy, nuts, ice cubes) or any foods that could possibly get stuck in your braces (corn on the cob, soft bagels, ribs, taffy, etc).
  • Be sure to schedule your routine checkups with your family dentist. It is recommended you continue to visit the dentist every six months.

What are braces?

Braces are used by your orthodontist to help you improve the look and feel of your smile. We offer translucent braces, Invisalign® and traditional braces


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

This varies depending on the person; every smile responds differently. We usually estimate that your treatment will take between six and 30 months.


Do braces hurt?

Of course, some parts of the process will be uncomfortable, but in general, braces shouldn’t be a pain. For the first couple of days, expect sensitivity and some pain in your teeth, gums and cheeks; but as your mouth gets used to your braces, that pain should go away.


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

We recommend brushing your teeth at least three times a day when you have braces; this helps keep food and gunk from getting caught between your braces. You should also floss every day to get the spaces your brush won’t leave. Once your braces are on, ask Dr. Yanosky to show you how to brush and floss in the best way to keep your braces and clean as possible.


If I have braces, do I still need dental checkups every six months?

Yep. It’s even more important that patients receiving orthodontic treatment visit their dentist regularly, because food can get caught in your braces in places your toothbrush can’t reach. That can cause bacteria buildup, and that can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. When you, your orthodontist and your dentist work together, we can keep your teeth clean and healthy.


Will my braces interfere with my school activities like sports, playing an instrument, or singing?

Playing an instrument or a contact sport may require some adjustment when you first get your braces, but wearing braces won’t stop you from participating in any of your school activities. If you play a contact sport, wear a mouth guard to protect your braces or appliance.


How do I schedule my next appointment?

Just give us a call; our staff will be happy to schedule an appointment around your schedule. If you’re a new patient or you’ve been referred to us, let us know when you call and we’ll get you covered.


What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics is a specialized form of dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities. It also gives you a great smile!


Who is an orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dental specialist with two to three years of additional training and experience who is able to straighten teeth, correct misaligned jaw structure, and improve the function of your smile. Our orthodontist is Dr. Yanosky: He’s board-certified, has a fantastic rapport with patients, and likes to play competitive tennis!

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