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Frequency Asked Orthodontic Questions

Below are many frequency asked Orthodontic questions that patients may have before, during or after orthodontic treatment

What age should a child get braces?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends your child be evaluated by an orthodontist by age 7. Early detection of orthopedic problems can be corrected at an early age to avoid more difficult treatment later.

Will my teeth straighten out as I grow and get older?

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.

Is it too late to have braces if I'm already an adult?

No patient is "too old" to wear braces! A surprising percentage of our patients are adults. In fact, 30 percent of our orthodontic patients are adults. Health and happiness are vitally important to adults, and orthodontic treatment can increase your self-esteem at any age!

Why should an orthodontic specialist complete my treatment?

Teeth, and sometimes entire facial structures, are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment. It is important that the treatment be appropriate and properly completed. Orthodontic specialists have extensive and specialized training that enables them to provide their patients with professional, personalized treatments. This includes 3 years of post dental school education and training.

Does Invisalign cost more than braces?

It depends. Sometimes Invisalign is less, sometimes it’s more. It depends on the specifics of your individual needs.

Is Invisalign quicker than braces?

Teeth don’t really know what’s pushing or pulling on them. Only that it’s a gentle force. Invisalign and braces move the teeth at the same speed

Do you have payment plans?  How do I pay for my treatment?

Yes! We offer payment plans with no monthly interest! We accept all major credit cards as well as health savings cards (HSA/FSA) and of course checks/cash. We also work with Care Credit.

Do you take insurance?

Yes! We will be happy to check into your insurance plan for you to see what your benefit is and how they release payments. Orthodontics is a separate rider on your dental insurance policy and we will be happy to navigate this with you.

How long will it take to complete treatment?

Overall treatment time depends on each patient's specific orthodontic problem(s). In general, treatment times range from 12 to 30 months. The "average" timespan a patient wears braces is approximately 22 months.

How often will I have an appointment?

Appointments are scheduled according to each patient's needs. Most patients in braces will be seen every five to 10 weeks. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly.

Does wearing braces hurt?

Generally, braces do not "hurt." After certain appointments, your teeth may be sore for a few days. In these situations, over-the-counter pain medications, such as Advil or Tylenol, will ease the discomfort. 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 I drop my child off for an appointment?

Yes. We understand your schedule is busy, 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 still play sports or play my instrument while wearing braces?

Yes! We recommend that patients wear mouthguards while playing sports. We give our patients the mouthguard they need. Musicians will likely experience an adjustment period until they are comfortable playing while wearing braces.

Do I need to see my general dentist while wearing braces?

Yes! Regular check-ups with your general dentist are important while in braces. Your dentist will determine the intervals between each cleaning appointment while you have your braces.

How often should I brush my teeth while I have braces?

Patients should brush their teeth at least four times each day – after each meal and before going to bed. We will also show you how to floss your teeth with braces, and we may provide a prescription for a special fluoride treatment, if necessary.

Are there any foods I cannot eat while I have braces?

Once treatment begins, we will explain our complete instructions and provide you with 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 repair appointments by carefully following our instructions!

Will I have to wear a retainer and why?

Yes because teeth will always want to shift or go back to their untreated position. Some retainers can be bonded to the back of your front teeth so you don’t have to remember to wear it while other retainers are removable.

How long will I have to wear retainers for?

The short answer is, as long as you want to keep your teeth straight! The truth is, your teeth will always want to drift and shift, so lifetime retention is important. Usually wearing your retainer at night is sufficient.

Orthodontist talking to patient
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