Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I choose an orthodontic specialist?
Orthodontic specialists have extensive training and experience, generally two to three additional years of education after completing their doctorate in dental medicine. Teeth, and sometimes entire facial structures, are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment. It is important that the treatment be appropriate and properly completed by a doctor who exclusively practices this dental specialty.
What's the best age to visit the orthodontist?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic screening around the age of 7. However, orthodontic treatment is not just for children and teens, with about 1 out of 5 orthodontic patients being over the age of 21. Whether you're considering treatment for yourself or for a child, any time is a good time to visit the orthodontist.
Is it required that my family dentist schedule my appointment with the orthodontist?
No, it is not. Many of our patients are referred by their family dentist, yet many other patients take the initiative to schedule an examination themselves.
How do I schedule my next appointment?
Simply call our practice! Our front desk staff will be happy to help schedule your next appointment at your convenience. If you are 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.
Will my teeth straighten out as they grow?
No, they will not. The space available for the front teeth does not increase as you grow. In most people, after the permanent molars erupt, the space available for the front teeth decreases with age.
Will my braces interfere with my school activities like sports, playing an instrument, or singing?
Playing an instrument or a contact sport may require some adjustment when you first get your braces, but wearing braces will not stop you from participating in any of your school activities! If you play a contact sport, we recommend and provide you with an orthodontic mouth guard to protect your braces or appliance.
Do braces hurt?
There are no needles in our office! Braces do not often hurt though you may feel a small amount of discomfort for a couple days as your teeth, gums, cheeks, and mouth get used to your new braces.We recommend pain medication such as Advil or Tylenol to ease the discomfort and/or warm salt water gargles. However, after most visits, patients do not feel any soreness at all! We often remind our patients, "It does not have to hurt to work!"
Can orthodontic correction occur while a child has baby teeth?
Yes. Some orthodontic problems are significant enough to require early intervention. However, if a patient is not yet ready for treatment, we will follow that patient's growth and development until the time is right for treatment to begin.
What is Phase One (early) Treatment?
Phase One treatment, if necessary, is usually initiated on children between the ages of 7 and 10. Phase One treatment lasts about 12-18 months. The primary objective for Phase One orthodontic treatment is to address significant problems to prevent them from becoming more severe and to improve self-esteem and self-image.
How often will I have appointments?
Appointments are scheduled according to each patient's needs. Most patients in braces will be seen every 5 to 10 weeks. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly.
Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?
We have extended evening hours so that patients can be seen for routine appointments after school or after work. However, certain complex procedures are scheduled in the morning only. Most patients will miss minimal school due to their orthodontic treatments. We will make a sincere effort to meet your scheduling needs.
How long will it take to complete treatment?
Treatment time depends on each patient's specific orthodontic problem. In general, treatment times range from 6 to 30 months. The "average" time frame a person is in braces is approximately 22 months.
Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?
Rarely do we have to extract teeth. Sometimes it is necessary in order to correct severe crowding and achieve a balanced facial profile.
How much will braces cost? Are financing options available? How does my insurance work?
It is impossible to give an exact cost for treatment until we have examined you. We will cover the exact cost and financial options during the initial examination. We have many financing options available to accommodate your needs, and we will review these with you. We will also review your insurance policy and help to maximize your benefit and file your claims.
Can I drop my child off for an appointment?
Yes. We understand your busy schedule, and we are happy to help you make the most of your time. On some occasions, we may request to speak with a parent when they return, so we ask that parents check in with their patient manager before dropping off their child.
Can I return to school the day I receive my braces?
Yes. There is no reason to miss school because of an orthodontic appointment.
Do you give shots?
No. Shots are not necessary in orthodontic treatment.
Do you use recycled braces?
Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?
Yes. Once treatment begins, we will explain the complete instructions and provide a comprehensive list of foods to avoid. Some of those foods include: ice, hard candy, raw vegetables and all sticky foods (i.e. caramel and taffy). You can avoid most emergency appointments to repair broken or damaged braces by carefully following our instructions.
What is an emergency appointment? How are those handled?
If your braces are causing extreme pain or if something breaks, you should call our office. In most cases, we can address these issues over the telephone. If you require an emergency appointment, we will set aside time for you. Our staff is always on call.
Will my child need full braces if he/she has Phase One treatment
It is best to assume that your child will need full braces even after Phase One treatment. The period following Phase One treatment is called the "resting period," during which growth and tooth eruption are closely monitored. Throughout this period, parents and patients will be kept informed of future treatment recommendations.
Will my child need an expander?
At the completion of the initial examination, we will determine whether a patient will need an expander.
Is it too late to have braces if I am already an adult?
A surprising percentage of our patients are adults. In fact, 25 percent of all orthodontic patients are adults. Health, happiness and self-esteem are vitally important to adults. No patient is "too old" to wear braces!
Can I wear braces even though I have crowns and missing teeth?
Yes. A tooth with a crown will move just like a tooth with a simple filling. When teeth are missing, orthodontic treatment will aid in the alignment of the remaining teeth.
Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?
Yes! Regular checkups with your family dentist are important while in braces. Your family dentist will determine the intervals between cleaning appointments while you are in braces. We will work closely with your general dentist to make sure that your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.
Do I need to brush my teeth more often if I have braces?
With braces, you should brush your teeth at least three times a day to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy and clean. Brushing regularly will help remove any food that may be caught between braces. You should also floss daily to get in between your braces where your brush is not able to reach. We will give you an Oral B 5000 professional electric tooth brush and other oral hygiene essentials to adequately equip you to be a brushing champion! Our team will also show you how to properly brush with your new braces.
Mon: 8am - 5pm
Tues: 8am - 6pm*
Wed: 8am - 6pm*
Thu: 7am - 5pm*
Friday, Saturday, Sunday: Closed
*Extended Hours for Before or After School Appointments!