Frequently Asked Questions
Does my family dentist have to schedule my appointment with the orthodontist?
You don’t need a referral from a General Dentist to make an appointment at our office. Anyone can call in who has concerns about their teeth or their child’s teeth.
At what age should I schedule an appointment for orthodontic treatment?
The Association of Orthodontists recommends that a child be seen at age 7 for a check up.
Will my teeth straighten out as they grow?
Unfortunately no, the tooth-bearing part of the jaw is done growing at about the age of 8-9 years old. At this point there are usually 12-16 more permanent teeth that need to erupt. If you see crowding, crossbites, overjets or underbites at age 7-9 it will most likely get worse and bigger as permanent teeth erupt.
Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?
With the capability of arch expansion with Damon braces, less than 2% of our patients ever have any permanent teeth extracted. With Damon braces we have the capability of expanding your dental arch and making room for crowded teeth without extractions.
How long will it take to complete treatment?
Average treatment time is 18 months if you have all your permanent teeth erupted.
How much do braces cost?
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 several 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.
How does my insurance work?
We accept about 90% of all insurance benefits and subtract the insurance from your financing. We bill them directly for your convenience.
How often will I have appointments?
Most patients are scheduled every 6-10 weeks which means it’s more convenient than ever to have braces.
Do braces hurt?
Getting braces on does not hurt. Your teeth will become sore and tender about 4-6 hours after you leave and usually lasts a couple days. We recommend Ibuprofen products to best ease the discomfort.
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. Most visits are only 30 minutes and we prefer to always speak to a parent at each visit so we ask that parents always check in with Karen or Haley, our Front Desk Concierges, before leaving their child.
Can I return to school or work the day I receive my braces?
Of course!!! No one should miss school, work or anything special just because you got your braces.
Do you give shots to get braces?
There are no shots required in having braces put on your teeth.
Do you use recycled braces?
We use only pre-sealed new brackets on our patient’s teeth. We wouldn’t use recycled brackets on our own family and wouldn’t do that to our patients.
Can I still play sports & musical instruments?
Yes!!! And let us know when your games and concerts are. We offer special orthodontic sports mouth guards at no charge. Those playing woodwind instruments will need to make slight adjustments.
Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?
For sure….be sure and see your Family General Dentist twice a year
Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?
We ask that you not eat anything sticky, chewy, hard or crunchy…Got it?? Ask our assistants to repeat the No-No list. You can avoid most emergency appointments to repair broken or damaged braces by carefully following our No-No List.
How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?
You will only need to brush the teeth you want to keep SO I guess that means brushing with braces at least 3-4 times a day. We will show each patient how to floss their teeth with braces and may also provide a prescription for a special fluoride, if necessary.
What is an emergency appointment? How are those handled?
A true emergency is if you have been hit it the mouth from a car accident, sport trauma or something similar. In most cases we can address poking wires or loose brackets over the telephone. If you require an emergency appointment, we will be more than happy to meet you for an emergency. You can always reach one of us during business hours or after hours/weekends.
Can orthodontic correction occur while a child has baby teeth?
Yes. Some orthodontic problems are significant enough to require early intervention while the bones are much softer and it will be least tender for the child. Issues that are addressed are crossbites, underbites, huge overjets or thumb sucking issues while the child still has baby and permanent teeth. 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 9-15 months. The primary objective for Phase One treatment is to address significant orthodontic problems and prevent them from becoming more severe plus it improves self-esteem and self-image.
Will my child need full braces after they have 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?
Our Damon braces are a “two-for-one” appliance and our patient seldom receive a separate expander. We can expand the same with our Damon braces and not use the expander.
Is it too late to have braces if I am already an adult?
A surprising percentage of our patients are adults. In fact, 35 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.
Why should I choose an orthodontic specialist?
Orthodontists receive more formal education than dentists to specialize in straightening teeth. Like dentists, orthodontists graduate from dental school. Then, to be an orthodontist, it takes an additional two to three academic years of education in an accredited orthodontic residency program. Orthodontists are dentistry’s specialists in straightening teeth and aligning jaws to create optimal function and form. Orthodontists only practice orthodontics. They treat hundreds of patients a year, drawing on tried-and-true and new orthodontic appliance technologies to get patients to the best results.