orange blob outlined

All About Orthodontics

We’ve compiled the questions we hear most often from our Westminster, Wheat Ridge and Arvada, CO braces and Invisalign® patients about orthodontics. Browse the answers below. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, contact us at (303) 428-3613. Our friendly team is always happy to help!

What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics (also referred to as orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics) is a specialized form of dentistry focusing on the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities.

What is an orthodontist?

Similar to a medical specialist like a surgeon, an orthodontist is a dental specialist. After graduating from dental school, an orthodontist must be accepted into and complete a residency program to become a certified specialist in orthodontics. During their residency, they receive two to three years of additional education and training focused exclusively on orthodontics. This specialized training is what makes your orthodontist an expert in shifting teeth and aligning jaws to improve the function and appearance of your smile.

Are Dr. Cronin and Dr. Czarnik board certified?

Yes, both Dr. Cronin and Dr. Czarnik are board certified by the American Board of Orthodontics (ABO). Board certification is a voluntary credential that shows an orthodontist’s commitment to exceptional patient care and lifelong learning. After their orthodontic residencies, Dr. Cronin and Dr. Czarnik completed hundreds of additional hours of preparation and education and passed witten and clinical examinations to become board certified. They must renew their certification every 10 years.

What's the best age to visit the orthodontist?

If you want to improve the look and feel of your smile, then any age can be a great age to see the orthodontist. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist by age of 7; however, orthodontic treatment is not exclusive to children and teens. In fact, about one in every five orthodontic patients is over the age of 21. Whether you’re considering treatment for yourself or for your child, schedule a complimentary consultation with a Westminster orthodontist today!

Can children start orthodontic treatment if they still have primary teeth?

Yes! While the majority of kids can hold off on treatment until their permanent teeth are in, at around age 12 or 13, for some children, intervening early is ideal. For certain types of orthodontic issues, early orthodontic treatment while a child is still growing and has primary teeth will stop more serious problems from developing and help them avoid surgery or extractions later in life. This is why the American Association of Orthodontists recommends kids see an orthodontist by age 7.

How can I take care of my teeth if I'm wearing braces, clear aligners or a retainer?

  • ALWAYS remember to brush your teeth after every meal and floss at least once a day.
  • Make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride, and ask your orthodontist or family dentist if you need a fluoride rinse. This will help prevent cavities!
  • If you take your retainer or clear aligners out to eat, make sure you remember to keep them safe in their case so that they do not get lost or broken.
  • Brush your teeth after eating and before putting your Invisalign aligners or retainer back in your mouth. This will prevent your appliance from trapping food particles or liquid against your teeth.
  • Keep your retainer clean by brushing it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste. You may also soak your retainer in denture cleaner as instructed by your orthodontist. Do not put your retainer in boiling water or in the dishwasher.
  • As for how to clean Invisalign trays, you can purchase Invisalign cleaning crystals. However, these aren’t necessary. You can clean your Invisalign by brushing your aligners with a soft-bristled toothbrush and rinsing them with lukewarm water. For a deeper clean, you can use an unscented, clear, mild liquid soap too.
  • During your treatment, try to avoid foods with a lot of sugar, which increases the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth, causing more plaque and possibly cavities.
  • When you have braces, avoid sticky and chewy foods (caramel, chewing gum, 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.).
  • Be sure to schedule your routine checkups and cleanings with your family dentist. It is recommended that you continue to visit the dentist every six months.

What are the benefits of orthodontic treatment?

Getting straight teeth and an aligned bite with orthodontic treatment can have a huge impact on your appearance, oral health and overall health. There are a number of important benefits of orthodontic treatment:

  • Straight teeth are easier to effectively clean, which reduces your risk of tooth decay and gum disease
  • When teeth are in their correct positions, bite forces are evenly distributed, stopping or lessening excessive or uneven wear of the enamel
  • When the jaw is aligned, it prevents undue pressure on your jaw joint and, in turn, can help with jaw and TMJ pain, headaches, migraines and teeth grinding (bruxism)
  • A stable bite and straight teeth encourage proper chewing and speaking
  • In some cases, orthodontic treatment can help open the airway
  • Eliminating large gaps in your smile can ward off bone loss
  • By creating a beautiful smile and facial symmetry, treatment can improve your appearance and make you look more youthful.
  • Having a smile you love will give you more confidence and better self-esteem!

How do I schedule my next appointment?

Simply call our Westminster or Winter Park orthodontic practice! Our front desk staff will be happy to help schedule your next appointment at your convenience. If you’re a new patient or have been referred to our practice, please let us know and we will provide you with all of the information you need.

You can also schedule a virtual consultation right here on our website. This feature allows you to receive personalized treatment recommendations from Dr. Cronin or Dr. Czarnik from the comfort of your own home, office or anywhere!

What happens at my first visit at Cronin & Czarnik Orthodontics?

At your first appointment at our Westminster, CO orthodontic office, you’ll receive a warm welcome from our friendly team. The complimentary exam includes free photos and x-rays, which a team member will take after showing you around the office.

Dr. Cronin or Dr. Czarnik will then perform a thorough oral examination and review your x-rays. They’ll sit down with you and talk to you about your concerns, lifestyle and goals for treatment before walking you through your diagnosis and their personalized treatment recommendations. They’ll also answer any and all questions you have.

Finally, we’ll wrap things up by having a team member go over the details, such as the cost of your orthodontic treatment, your insurance coverage, and our flexible payment plans. You’ll feel well informed and confident about moving forward!

What happens after my initial consultation?

After your consultation, we’ll schedule you for your first appointment, which is when the doctors will place your new appliance. This appointment generally takes about an hour.

light cream divider

Confident Smiles Start With Expert Care

Don’t let your smile insecurities hold you back! As a top orthodontist in Westminster, CO, we have the knowledge and expertise to achieve fantastic results for patients of all ages. Whether you have slightly crooked teeth, severe orthodontic concerns or anything in between, our doctors will tailor treatment to your unique needs. To get started, schedule a complimentary consultation today!

Book a Free Consultation