The Magic of a Smile

Frequently Asked Questions

The smile is the first and most important thing that other people remember about us. It is important to have a nice smile because it raises our self-esteem. Orthodontics is an investment for life: its benefits remain forever.

In addition to improving one’s look, orthodontic treatment is very important for oral health: deep overbite can lead to problems in chewing and can damage teeth; in some cases deep overbite can also cause problems in the tempero-mandibular joint. If teeth are in the right position they can be cleaned more easily and there will probably not be the risk of dental decay or problems in retaining tissue.


The Specialist in Orthodontics is a Dentist who graduated in Dentistry and Dental Prosthesis (before the creation of that University, in Medicine and Surgery), was admitted to a Postgraduate School in Orthodontics and dedicated three more years to the study of malocclusions. He thus had the possibility of delve into Orthodontic problems thanks to classes, seminars/workshops, scientific research and treatment of patients.

He passed all the exams of each course year and he completed a Graduation Thesis that allowed him to obtain the title of “Specialist in Orthodontics”. Therefore he is the only freelancer adequately trained to carry out a correct diagnosis and fulfill orthodontic treatment successfully.

In Italy every Dentist is authorized by law to perform orthodontic treatment even if he didn’t get a specific qualification in the subject.

The A.S.I.O. is the Association of Italian Freelancers in Orthodontics. If You want more information please visit these websites: www.asio-online.it and www.specialistidelsorriso.it.


The American Association of Orthodontists recommends submitting every child to a medical examination at the Specialist in Orthodontics by age 7. The treatment can be postponed if there is a good harmony between skeletal and dental elements.
If there are specific dental and/or skeletal problems that cannot be put off until later, earlier treatment is necessary; the “interceptive treatment” (see Section Orthodontic Treatment on children - Phase I).

However we recommend taking the child to the orthodontic office to submit him for a medical examination as soon as possible (approximately 4 years of age): even if the child doesn’t need an early orthodontic treatment we can explain how to achieve the right oral hygiene or we can suggest topical application of fluorine.
It is very important to keep deciduous teeth healthy because they lead to permanent tooth appearance and they keep their space in the arch.

Moreover we could require colleagues’ collaboration for: sealants for tooth decay prevention (General Dentist), trouble in swallowing or speech rehabilitation (Speech Therapist), breathing problems (Otorhinolaryngology).

The Specialist in Orthodontics is the most qualified person to coordinate, in collaboration with the Pediatrician and Specialists of other branches of medicine, this tricky period of development.


The duration can vary from one to three years, depending on many elements like age, kind of treatment (phase I or phase II), type of equipment needed kind and degree of malocclusion complexity. If the patient cooperates, the treatment will be very efficient.

Before starting the orthodontic therapy the Doctor will discuss the treatment plan with the patient (see Section New patients - Diagnostic path) during the case presentation. He will tell the patient how long the therapy will probably last.


Authoritative research has demonstrated that the brace cannot cause damage to teeth if the patient carries out correct oral hygiene and if he/she goes to the dental office every 6-8 weeks to for a check-up.

However, if the patient does not have a correct oral hygiene food or he/she has dental plaque on the surface of teeth, in particular near brackets and bands, there can be reversible or irreversible damage like decalcification, dental caries, gum inflammation and damage to tissue.


Some people’s permanent teeth need to be extracted to make room for the other teeth in a stable position; some other people have enough space (or even too much) to place all the teeth correctly.

The Specialist in Orthodontics studies with orthodontic material carefully to make a diagnosis and to plan a focused treatment: in most of the cases which require extractions, the Doctor communicates that plan during the case presentation before the therapy starts. (see Section New Patients - Diagnostic Itinerary).

Our work mainly drives at a beautiful smile in a balanced and harmonic face. We do not want to create faces with protruding teeth that do not allow the lips to close properly. We want to manage high-quality orthodontic treatment: for this reason in 20-25% of cases extractions are not only advisable but necessary so as not to compromise the result in in terms of beauty and stability.


The evolution of orthodontic skills has reduced the need for headgear but every so often it is still the most appropriate brace.

This device enables the back of the head to be used as anchorage to move the anterior teeth without modifying the position of the posterior teeth, so it is difficult to substitute it.


Yes, we can use miniscrews. They are little devices that are put into the alveolar bone or into the palate and can serve the same function of the headgear. Sometimes they may fail so they have to be replaced.


There are two kinds of brackets: metal and ceramic brackets.

Metal brackets move teeth more rapidly and more efficaciously; moreover they can bear more weight without being damaged.

Ceramic brackets are more attractive than the others but they cause more friction (as they reduce the speed of movements) and they can rarely damage teeth: the American Association of Orthodontists recommends great care in using ceramic brackets because during removal they can fracture teeth.

I personally prefer to use metal brackets instead of ceramic brackets because they are visible in any case. If patients want a cosmetic therapy we decide to use either Lingual Orthodontics or Invisalign.


Rubber bands put groups of teeth into the desired position. They must be worn continuously for 22 hours (they do not have to be worn during meals): a partial usage reduces their effectiveness and lengthens the treatment. Sometimes it even compromises the quality of the final result quality.


You should not eat hard, crispy and chewy food. We will give you more information when the orthodontic therapy starts.


It is necessary to clean teeth accurately, employing the right length of time (no fewer than 4 minutes), after every meal. We suggest the use of an orthodontic toothbrush (for braces) and a fluorine toothpaste.

You should use floss (for braces) once a day. Ask the Doctor if he suggests that you use a fluorine mouthwash to wash your mouth.


Playing an instrument or doing a physical contact sport will require some common sense at the beginning but the orthodontic treatment will not exclude those activities.

In the practice of contact sport we recommend the use of a gum-shield: we will give you more information when the orthodontic therapy starts.


An essential condition for the success and the stability of the orthodontic treatment is a correct balance function of lips, gums and tongue.

If there is irregularity between those elements the Doctor will advise a phoniatrics visit.

Speech therapy can often be a big aid in obtaining a functional and stable result.


If the Doctor thinks that there is an obstruction, even partial, of the airways, he will require the patient’s parents to agree to an otorhinolaryngologic visit.

Normal nasal breathing and correct lip closure are essential requirements to achieve efficacious speech therapy and orthodontic treatment.


In the case of important skeletal problems, Orthodontics cannot always provide a good result: functional and aesthetic aims can also be reached with orthodontic-surgery treatment.

This type of treatment is used for patients with syndromic pathologies in teenagers or adults who have skeletal or jawbones irregularities. It may also be necessary in children with growth issues. In that case, the orthodontic treatment and surgery are postponed (generally over 18 years of age for women, over 20 years of age for men) because growth will be concluded by then.

Orthognatic surgery is made up of several steps: initially orthodontic treatment with a brace changes the shape of dental arches and lines up teeth.

Then, with orthodontic equipment in the mouth, the surgeon carries out the surgery that allows the correction of the skeletal joins the three dimensions. Finally the orthodontic treatment ends with the finishing phase.

The orthognatic surgery is carried out over 12 to 24 months. Patients are admitted for 3-7 days and they cannot work for 3-5 weeks.


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