At What Age Should My Child See An Orthodontist?

Each child should visit an orthodontist by age 7, as suggested by the American Association of Orthodontists. This is because Dr. Liatti can learn a lot about your child’s teeth and jaw now that permanent teeth are starting to replace primary (baby) teeth. Dr. Liatti will look at the widths of the jaws and evaluate if the amount of space the child has in their mouth is enough for future permanent teeth. In addition, he can screen for any potential oral health issues at this time.

Your child’s first appointment with Dr. Liatti may not involve the actual placement of braces, but that doesn’t mean it’s not essential. If we determine that your child is not quite ready to begin treatment, we will put them on a plan to monitor their smile development.

What About Oral Hygiene With Braces?

Anyone who has ever worn braces knows how important dental hygiene is. Food gets lodged in the brackets, making brushing and flossing essential. There are several basic things you can do to maintain your teeth and gums healthy while wearing braces.


    • Brush your teeth at least two times every day, preferably once after each meal and once before going to bed.
    • Brush thoroughly – it should take you several minutes to brush your teeth thoroughly.
    • Brush your tongue, gums, cheeks, and chewing surfaces. Watch yourself in the mirror to help see how you did.
    • Inadequate brushing can result in cavities and/or persistent white spots.
    • If needed, use a water flosser to help remove food from between your teeth that your toothbrush may miss.


Dental floss can be used to remove food particles and debris from regions between the teeth that the toothbrush cannot reach.
Every day, floss under your archwire using a reusable floss threader, and be sure to floss your teeth before going to bed to ensure they are clean.

Will I Need To Change What I Eat While I Have Braces?

In most cases, common sense will tell you what you should avoid. Foods that are hard, sticky, or heavy in sugar should be avoided. Wires and brackets can be broken or damaged by hard foods. Sticky foods can become entangled in brackets and wires. Sugary meals should be avoided since they can cause tooth decay and other complications. Avoid nail biting, pencil and pen chewing, and chewing on foreign items. Other foods to avoid include:

    • Chips/Kettle chips
    • Nuts
    • Hard candies
    • Tough pizza crust
    • Ice cubes
    • Beef jerky
    • Sticky foods (caramels, Milk Duds, gummy worms, etc.)

Do Braces Hurt?

It’s a common question we get: “Do braces hurt?” Fortunately, the answer is generally no. While braces may cause some discomfort when first put on or when the tension is altered, this is usually very brief. Most people acclimate to wearing braces after a week or two and have no substantial pain after that.

Should I Continue To See My Family Dentist While In Braces?

Absolutely! At Encinitas Orthodontics, we stress the importance of regular dental visits, especially while receiving orthodontic treatment. It is essential to visit your dentist twice a year in order to prevent and identify dental decay and to check your general oral health to make sure your oral hygiene is effective. It is especially important to maintain good oral hygiene practices when wearing braces to ensure teeth and gum health.

Will Braces Make Me Talk Funny?

While your speech may sound different initially, it will only be temporary. As you get acclimated to wearing braces, your speech will revert to normal. In fact, many people feel that having braces enhances their speech since they can no longer hide behind their crooked teeth. So, if you’re concerned about how braces may affect your speech, know that the alterations will be transitory. You’ll eventually be speaking as clearly as ever – if not better!