Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best age for an orthodontic evaluation?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children be seen by an orthodontist at the age of 7 years. This will allow the child's growth and changing dentition to be monitored, as well as identify and intercept potential problems early. However, you are never too old to start orthodontic treatment, and people of all ages can reap the benefits.

Does my insurance cover treatment?

If you bring your insurance information with you to your first appointment, we will be able to determine what portion of your treatment may be covered.

If treatment is started early, will teeth move out of alignment later?

We intercept many orthodontic problems now by using better techniques for influencing growth and development, which means we get better and more stable results. When we are finished with treatment, our patients wear retainers to keep the results they have obtained in treatment.

Can all of my appointments be after school?

We are aware of and sympathetic to children's school schedules. Therefore, we strive to minimize the number of times our patients have to miss any school. Sometimes, especially for procedures that require longer appointments, we need to schedule these appointments in the morning. Some of our patients prefer to come in the early morning and then go to school.

Do I see the doctor at every appointment?

Yes, absolutely!

Can I eat anything that I want to?

Almost. We ask that our patients stay away from very hard things (ice cubes for example) and very sticky things (such as taffy and other candy). Also, some foods such as apples, carrots, and bagels should be cut into pieces. Please use common sense when choosing foods to eat.

Do braces hurt?

As a rule, braces do not hurt. Usually after an adjustment, your teeth will be sore for a day or two. This annoyance is relieved with an over-the-counter pain reliever if necessary.

Will I need to wear a retainer after treatment?

Yes. Even after braces, teeth can shift. A retainer is the only way to minimize this movement.

Are braces noticeable?

Most braces are bonded (glued) to the front of teeth thereby eliminating the amount of metal on each tooth. It is possible to have ceramic braces which blend in with your natural tooth color.

Will I talk funny with braces?

No. Braces should not affect your speech. However, some patients do require a day or two to adjust to speaking with a retainer.

Will I have to have teeth removed for braces?

Removal of teeth is sometimes necessary for an orthodontic correction. However, with today's techniques, the need for removing teeth is greatly reduced.

Can I still have braces even though I have crowns and missing teeth?

Absolutely! Often when teeth are missing, adjacent teeth will drift into the empty space causing a gum problem. Orthodontic treatment will correct and prevent this from happening and also provide the proper alignment for your dentist to replace the missing teeth if you so choose.

Will braces leave marks on my teeth?

No. The bonding agents used today contain fluoride so the teeth underneath the braces are protected. However, if your oral hygiene is poor, the accumulation of plaque can result in the formation of marks on the teeth.

Why do I need braces if my teeth are straight?

The goal of orthodontic treatment is much more than straight teeth. The most important part of your smile is a good bite. Even though your teeth may be straight, your bite may be off and need correction.

Can I still have braces if I have some teeth missing?

Absolutely! Often when teeth are missing, adjacent teeth will drift into the empty space causing a periodontal, esthetic or functional problem. Orthodontic treatment will correct and prevent this from happening and also provide the proper alignment for your dentist to replace the missing teeth if you so choose.

How long will I be in braces?

The average time for active treatment is 18-24 months, but complex cases may require more time.

How costly is orthodontic treatment?

The actual cost of treatment depends on the individual case and depends largely on the complexity of treatment. Many orthodontic problems require only limited treatment. You may be surprised to discover that orthodontics is less expensive than you thought.