Orthodontist Basics

What you need to know

What is

Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. If your teeth aren’t aligned properly, you could experience tooth decay, bone loss, difficulty chewing, and even speech impairment. Orthodontics can give you a beautiful smile, while preventing or correcting these issues.

Who Needs

Most people who get orthodontic treatments have dental or facial irregularities that run in the family, including those related to tooth and jaw size. These problems can lead to crowding or spacing of the teeth. Overbites, underbites, and extra or missing teeth are also usually inherited. Others might choose orthodontics to treat problems related to accidents, pacifier or thumb sucking, dental diseases, or premature tooth loss.

How long does
it take?

In general, orthodontic treatment time ranges from 18-24 months. The actual time depends on the growth of your mouth and face, your cooperation in your treatment, and the severity of the problem.

How we work:
The latest orthodontic technology

At Lo Elliott, your treatments are performed using the most advanced orthodontic technology and sterilization equipment available. We use new digital 3D x-ray technology, which has lower radiation and produces full resolution images for more thorough diagnosis and treatment planning.

We’re also proud to offer the exclusive 3D scanner for Invisalign patients – no more messy mold impressions, or sending them by mail. An image of your mouth is scanned and instantly sent to the Invisalign manufacturer. And if you’re getting braces, we use the latest technology from 3M, including a clear porcelain bracket system, so your smile always shines through.

Treatment for Adults

Adults need
braces too!

It’s never too late to get the smile you’ve always wanted. Orthodontic treatments can change your life, at any stage of life.

Perhaps you’ve been concerned about how metal braces will look and feel, but smile correction technology has come a long way. At Lo Elliott, we offer aesthetically pleasing options for straightening your teeth, including clear porcelain braces and Invisalign, which are a lot more comfortable than the braces of the past.

It’s true–adult orthodontic treatments can be more complex than a child’s, but our team of highly specialized orthodontists, surgeons and dentists ensures the best treatment process and outcome. We continually study the latest advances in orthodontics, allowing us to treat all kinds of smile irregularities in the most comfortable, effective way possible. We’re also known for offering a an unparalleled patient experience from the moment you walk through our door, until your brand new smile is revealed. It’s why people travel from all over the province just to see us!

Most commonly asked
questions about orthodontics

  • When should a child have their first evaluation with an orthodontist?


    Children generally have their first evaluation between the ages of 7 and 10. Early consultation is recommended to identify any potential problems that require treatment. Delaying treatment can make some orthodontic problems worse. After the age of 12 when the jaw stops growing, certain conditions may be more difficult to correct.

  • How do I brush my teeth with orthodontic braces?


    We can recommend a special toothbrush that helps you brush between the wires and your gums. You should brush your teeth after you eat anything, whether it’s a snack or a meal. Carry a travel toothbrush so you always have one on hand for brushing away from home.


  • How to brush your teeth?


    Start on the outside of your upper teeth, positioning the bristles at a 45-degree angle toward your gums. Brush two to three teeth at a time using a circular motion, for about 10 strokes. Next, brush the inside surface and the chewing surface in the same manner. Repeat the same process for your lower teeth. Rinse your mouth and your toothbrush well and check in the mirror to make sure you’ve brushed all tooth surfaces. Floss daily between your braces using a floss threader.

    While you have braces, keep your teeth and gums healthy by scheduling regular dental care exams and cleanings every 3-6 months. Ask your dentist and orthodontist how often they would like to see you.


  • What does orthodontic treatment cost?


    The cost of your orthodontic treatment depends on several factors, including the severity of your problem and the recommended treatment approach. You will be able to discuss fees and payment options before your treatment begins. Generally, treatment fees may be paid over the course of active treatment. Common payment plans involve an initial down payment with monthly installments by cheque, Visa, Mastercard or debit. In most cases, your insurance will cover a portion of the expenses.

  • How do braces feel?


    Overall, orthodontic discomfort is short-lived and easily managed. Most people experience some discomfort when their braces are first put on or when they’re adjusted during treatment. After braces are applied, teeth may become sore and tender to biting pressure for up to 5 days. You can manage your discomfort with whichever pain medication you normally take for a headache, such as ibuprofen. Your lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for up to two weeks as they become accustomed to the surface of the braces.

  • At what age can people have orthodontic treatment?


    Children and adults can both benefit from orthodontics because healthy teeth can be moved at almost any age. Monitoring growth and development is crucial to managing some orthodontic problems well, so we recommend that children have an examination at age 7. Waiting until all permanent teeth come in or facial growth is nearly complete may make correction of some problems more difficult.

  • How often do your staff members update their skills?


    Continuing education and training is a vital part of our team’s direction. In total, we have over 175 years of experience in the various facets of orthodontics. We attend many conferences and sessions annually, allowing us to stay on the cutting edge of orthodontic technology and practice. Many of our team members have not only attended international education sessions, but have also given presentations.

  • Do you have your own lab or is everything sent to an outsource lab?


    Our on-site lab provides exclusive service to our patients, and creates all of our custom appliances and retainers.

  • How will you make my visit a positive one?


    At Lo Elliott, we take patient care to heart. We want you to have a positive experience each time you visit our office. We provide a reminder call the day before your appointment and computer check-in upon arrival. Feel free to enjoy our selection of current magazines and iPad games while you wait, and our coffee, tea, and juice bar with fresh, baked cookies after your appointment. We often run contests with special seasonal themes and exciting prizes, and patients can earn tokens for demonstrating good brushing habits and wearing elastics. Tokens can be saved up and exchanged for a variety of goodies as a reward.

    Learn more about contests, events and other ways we give back to our patients and our community on our News + Fun page.