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Orthodontics Specialist

Dr. Ricardo M. Gaitan, DDS and Associates

Orthodontics & General Dentistry located in Fairfax, VA & Sterling, VA

Orthodontics can transform any poorly aligned smile to be healthier and more attractive in two years or less. At his offices in Fairfax and Sterling, Virginia, Ricardo M. Gaitan, DDS, offers traditional braces and early childhood orthodontic treatments to prepare for braces, like arch expanders. For an adult or child orthodontics consultation, call Ricardo M. Gaitan, DDS, or book online today.

Orthodontics Q&A

What are braces?

Braces are brackets that your dentist or orthodontist cements to each of your teeth. Dr. Gaitan feeds a wire through them and regularly tightens the wire to encourage your teeth to move into better positions for both appearance and function. He also attaches rubber bands to the braces to guide and accelerate the shifting. 

Braces can treat:

  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Open bite
  • Crossbite
  • Gaps
  • Crowding
  • General crookedness

You can go with the more traditional option of metal braces, which are silver, or you can opt for white braces. White braces stand out a bit less when you smile. If you want to express yourself a little more, Dr. Gaitan also offers colored bands for braces.

How long will I need to wear braces?

The time it takes to adjust your teeth with braces depends on just how crooked your teeth are. During your orthodontic consultation with Dr. Gaitan, he examines your smile and might take a few X-rays, impressions, measurements, and images of your teeth. These pictures and X-rays help him plan your treatment and predict how long it’ll take.

Most people can complete their orthodontic treatment with braces in 1-2 years, and you may need to wear a retainer permanently or only at night after that for the rest of your life. A retainer keeps your teeth from shifting back to where they were before. 

What are the benefits of getting braces?

Getting braces benefits your oral health and your appearance. A few of the many benefits that orthodontic treatment can offer are:

  • Reduced risk for oral injuries
  • Less risk of decay since straight teeth are easier to clean
  • Less risk of jaw pain
  • Less wear on your tooth enamel
  • A more attractive smile
  • A boost in confidence and self-esteem

Compared to other orthodontic treatments, like Invisalign®, braces can tackle more complex cases and often work faster. 

When should my child get braces?

You can get braces at any age as long as your teeth and gums are healthy enough to withstand the treatment. However, getting braces during childhood or adolescence is preferable. You should bring your child around age 6 for their first orthodontic evaluation. 

Your child probably won’t need braces at this point, but Dr. Gaitan might suggest other treatments to reduce the need for braces in the future or stop your child from needing them altogether. For example, an arch expander creates more room in your child’s mouth for healthy adult teeth to grow without crowding. 

Are you interested in scheduling an orthodontic evaluation for braces? Call the office of Ricardo M. Gaitan, DDS, or request an appointment online today.