To provide you with a better understanding of orthodontics and your orthodontic treatment in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Hiller Hummel Orthodontics has provided this page of answers to frequently asked questions. If you have further questions, feel free to call us at 225-924-7367 to speak with a member of our team or to schedule your consultation with Dr. Michael Hiller or Dr. Brooks Hummel.

What is an orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dental specialist, who has completed 2-3 years of additional training following dental school. Orthodontists focus on correcting abnormalities in the teeth and jaws, such as misaligned teeth and jaw structures, to improve the beauty and function of your smile.

When should my child first visit the orthodontist?

The American Association of Orthodontists® recommends that children should visit the orthodontist by age 8 for their initial screening. Our orthodontists will not charge anything for this initial consultation.

At what age should I get braces?

While the majority of orthodontic patients are between 10-14 years old, anyone can receive braces. If you want to straighten your teeth, then any age is a great age to get braces! Many children younger than age 10 need some form of orthodontic care, and many adult patients seek orthodontic treatments to improve their appearance.

Do braces hurt?

No. There may be mild discomfort and tenderness for a few days following placement of your braces. You can alleviate this soreness by brushing your teeth, rinsing with mouthwash or warm salt water, or by taking mild pain relief medicines, such as ibuprofen. If you experience intense or prolonged pain, please contact Hiller Hummel Orthodontics so that we can evaluate your braces for any problems.

How do I take care of my teeth while wearing braces?

We recommend the following actions to care for your teeth while wearing braces:

  • 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 to prevent cavities.
  • Avoid foods that contain sugar (sugar increases the number of bacteria that grows in your mouth causing more plaque and possibly cavities).
  • Avoid sticky and chewy foods (caramel, 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.).
  • Receive regular checkups with your family dentist. It is recommended that you visit the dentist every four to six months.
  • If you take your retainer out to eat, brush your teeth, and floss, remember to keep it safe in its container so that it does not get lost or broken.
  • Keep your retainer clean by brushing it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste. You may also soak it in cleaning solutions as instructed by your orthodontist. Do not put your retainer in boiling water, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or in the dishwasher.

Will my braces interfere with daily life?

No. While you may need to make some adjustments for playing an instrument or a contact sport, braces will not prevent you from participating in any activity. Our orthodontists recommends that you wear a mouth guard while playing sports to protect your braces or appliance.