Braces and Orthodontic Treatment

Straight Teeth

Orthodontics, derived from the greek words orthos (proper or straight) and odous (tooth), is the diagnosis and treatment of tooth irregularity and misalignment in the jaw or bite. This condition is also known as malocclusion and can be found in children and adults of all ages. 

There are many advantages to having straight teeth and an aligned jaw and bite. Even cleaning your teeth becomes easier with straight teeth; and that will ensure a bright white smile for a long time to come.

Preventative Care in Children

Malocclusions are common so it is recommended by the American Dental Association that children should have their first Orthodontic evaluation no later than age 7. At this age children often have a mix of primary, also known as "baby", and permanent teeth and malocclusions start to develop.

Dr. James advocates that children as young as two (2) should have their first orthodontic evaluation. At this stage Dr. James will be able to spot any irregularities in emerging tooth or jaw growth and begin treatment.

Treatment for young children often occurs between the ages of 8 and 14. However, many problems can be corrected with less pain, and better results, when children are even younger than 8 years old. The child is still growing rapidly at this stage in their life. Bones have not completely hardened, and gums and teeth are malleable. Procedures often produce optimal results when performed earlier on pre-school and school aged children.

Adults need great smiles too!

Adults out there looking to straighten their smile should not be discouraged by the word "optimal" that the American Dental Association uses to describe orthodontic treatment on children. The health benefits gained from straight teeth and an aligned jaw cannot be measured using any modern scale.

Although it may take longer to accomplish, nearly all the procedures are similar for all ages. Why does it take longer for adults than children? The bones and teeth for an average adult have hardened in place. So, because if this resistance the procedures take some extra time as your body adjusts to the forced changes.


Dr. James makes treatment even more convenient and afforable by offering low down payments and interest-free financing spread out over the course of treatment.

Modern Orthodontic Solutions


Separators, or spacers, are little rubber bands which will be placed between your teeth to make space for your orthodontic bands.

When the separators are placed in between your teeth, where you floss, they may fee tight and strange for the first few minutes. You'll grow accustomed to them quickly, often only taking several minutes.

These separators will be moving your teeth; so you may be sore especially when biting or fitting your front teeth together. Different people have a wide variation of soreness, from none to more, and usually the soreness is noticed mostly the next day.

Studies have shown that patients have the least soreness when Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) is taken one (1) hour before separator placement and again siz (6) hours after separator placement.

Before your separators:
  • One (1) hour before your separators take Ibuprofen
    • 200mg under age 6
    • 400mg after age 6
  • Six (6) hours after your separators are placed, take another Ibuprofen.
  • After that, if you need another, take your Ibuprofen every 4-6 hours as needed.
Brushing and Flossing with Separators

Brush normally, gently and thoroughly, and floss every contact where there is no separator. Avoid flossing separators.

Eating with Separators

Avoid sticky foods. They may pull your separators out.

Before your braces are bonded:
  • Repeat the Ibuprofen regimen. One (1) hour before and again six (6) hours after.
  • After the first 24 hours in braces. Tylenol is your best choice for discomfort.
    • Ibuprofen should be avoided which is an anti-inflammatory medication and studies have shown it may slow the movement of your teeth because inflammation is needed for tooth movement.
For an archwire change:
  • You may wish to use the Ibuprofen regimen
    • One (1) hour before your appointment and six (6) hours after.
  • Then switch to Tylenol as needed.


Dental braces, or Orthodontic braces, are the primary tool used to align teeth. Common solutions include the use of metal bands that pull and turn the teeth. Other solutions include the use of Invisible braces which will help you align your teeth, while remaining hidden.

Once your braces are off, then you'll be required to wear your retainers. This can be one of the most important parts of your procedure. Click here to read more about the importance of your retainers.

Prevent Tooth Decay

Now that everything is straight, it's the best opportunity to adopt a rigorous brushing and flossing routine. Flossing and a thorough brushing with fluoride toothpaste will help prevent decay and periodontal disease. A Water Pik machine with fluoride rinse can also be helpful. Just remember that drinks and foods with high sugar content boosts bacteria production of acid that causes damage to the tooth enamel.

Before and After

Please see the images below for some before and after pictures of how effective Orthodontic treatments can be: