Q. Is it required that my family dentist schedule my appointment with you?

A. No. Many patients are referred by their family dentist, yet many others schedule an examination themselves.

Q. At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?

A. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic screening at age 7. By this age, several permanent teeth have erupted, allowing us to effectively evaluate your orthodontic condition.

Q. Will my teeth straighten out as they grow?

A. No. The space available for front teeth does not increase as you grow. In most people, after permanent molars erupt, the space available for the front teeth decreases with age.

Q. How do I schedule an initial exam?

A. Simply call our office or send us an e-mail and with some basic information, our front office team will schedule an appointment for you.

Q. What happens at the initial appointment?

A. Each patient and parent will be seen by the staff and doctor to get ready for the initial exam. We take photographs and X-rays to make a proper diagnosis before the doctor completes a brief, yet thorough, exam.

To read more about your first visit, see our First Visit page.

Q. What will I learn from the initial examination?

A. There are six essential questions that we cover:

  • Is there an orthodontic problem, and if so, what is it?
  • What must be done to correct the problem?
  • What can happen if we don't address the problem?
  • Will any teeth need to be removed?
  • How long will the treatment take to complete?
  • How much will the treatment cost?

Q. Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?

A. Removing teeth is sometimes required. Straight teeth and a balanced facial profile are the goals of orthodontics. However, thanks to advanced orthodontic procedures, removing teeth is not always necessary.

Q. How long will treatment take to complete?

A. Treatment time depends on each patient's specific orthodontic problem. In general, treatment times range from 12 to 30 months. The "average" time in braces is approximately 18 months.

Q. What does it cost? Are financing options or insurance available?

A. Each patient is unique and we cannot give you an exact cost until we see you. We discuss the investment and available financing options during the initial examination. We review your insurance policy to help you maximize your benefit and file your claims.

 Q. How often will I have appointments?

A. Appointments are scheduled according to your needs, usually every 5 to 10 weeks. With specific situations that require frequent monitoring, we schedule appointments accordingly.

Q. Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?

A. No. Unfortunately, we cannot schedule all appointments after school. However, because most appointments are 5 to 10 weeks apart, most patients will miss minimal school and we will do our best to meet your scheduling needs.

Q. Can I drop my child off for appointments?

A. Yes. We are happy to help you make the most of your time. Sometimes, we may request to speak with you when you return, so check with our scheduling team before dropping off your child.

Q. Do braces hurt?

A. Generally, braces do not "hurt." After certain visits, teeth may be sore for a few days. Pain medications such as Advil or Tylenol will ease the discomfort. After most visits, patients do not feel any soreness at all! We often say: “It does not have to hurt to work!"

Q. Can I return to school the day I receive my braces?

A. Yes. There is no reason to miss school because of an orthodontic appointment.

Q. Do you give shots?

A. No. Shots are not necessary in orthodontic treatment.

Q. Do you use recycled braces?

A. Absolutely not! We provide each patient with their own braces to achieve the best orthodontic result possible.

Q. Can I still play sports?

A. Yes. We recommend a mouthguard for all sports.

 Q. Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?

A.Yes! Regular check-ups with your family dentist are important and your family dentist will determine the intervals between cleaning appointments while you are in braces.

Q. Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?

A. Yes. Once treatment begins, we will give you complete instructions and provide a comprehensive list of foods to avoid. These include: ice, hard candy, raw vegetables and all sticky foods (i.e. caramel and taffy). You avoid emergency appointments to repair broken or damaged braces by carefully following our instructions.

Q. How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?

A. Patients should brush their teeth four times each day – after each meal and before bed. We will show each patient how to floss their teeth with braces and provide a prescription for a special fluoride, if necessary. For all our patients in full treatment, we give you a WaterPik to help keep your teeth clean.

Q. What is an emergency appointment? How are those handled?

A. If your braces cause pain or something breaks, call our office. In most cases, we can address these issues over the telephone. If you require an emergency appointment, we set aside time for you.

Q. Can orthodontic correction occur while a child has baby teeth?

A. Yes. Some orthodontic problems are significant enough to benefit from early intervention. However, if a patient is not ready, we will follow that patient's growth and development until the time is right for treatment to begin.

Q. What is Phase One (early) treatment?

A. Phase One treatment is initiated on children between the ages of 7 and 10 and lasts about 12 to 21 months. The primary objective for this treatment is to prevent problems from becoming more severe and to improve self-esteem and self-image.

Q. Will my child need full braces after Phase One treatment?

A. Your child will likely need full braces even after Phase One. 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 are kept informed of future treatment recommendations.

Q. Will my child need an expander?

A. At the completion of the initial examination, we determine whether a patient needs an expander.

Q. Is it too late to have braces if I am an adult?

A. No. 25% of our patients are adults. Health, happiness and self-esteem are vitally important to adults. No patient is "too old" to wear braces!

Q. Can I wear braces even though I have crowns and missing teeth?

A. Yes. A tooth with a crown moves like a tooth with a simple filling. When teeth are missing, orthodontic treatment aids the alignment of the remaining teeth.

Q. Why should I choose an orthodontic specialist?

A. Teeth, and sometimes facial structures, are changed by orthodontic treatment. It is important that the treatment be appropriate and complete. Orthodontic specialists have extensive training that enable them to provide patients with professional, personalized treatments.