Frequently Asked Questions
Below is a list of frequently asked questions about braces and orthodontic treatment. Let us know if we didn’t answer a specific question you had by calling us today.
Is it required that my dentist schedule my appointment with the orthodontist?
No, it is not. Many of our patients are referred by their dentist, but many other patients take the initiative to schedule their own consultation and exam appointment.
At what age should I schedule an appointment for a screening?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic screening at age 7. By this age, several permanent teeth in most children have erupted, allowing us to effectively evaluate your child’s orthodontic status.
What will I learn from the initial consultation?
We are normally able to answer the following questions for you during your first visit:
- Is there an orthodontic problem, and if so, what is it?
- What must be done to correct the problem?
- Will any teeth need to be removed?
- How long will the treatment take to complete?
- What will the fee be and what does it cover?
Will I need to have teeth removed for braces?
Removing teeth is sometimes necessary to achieve a balanced facial profile and straight teeth; however, new technological advances are allowing us to avoid extractions more frequently than in the past.
How often will I have appointments?
Appointments are scheduled according to each patient’s needs. The type of braces that we use allows us to routinely see patients once every two months instead of once a month.
Can I schedule all my appointments after school?
Once the braces are on, most of your appointments can be arranged during after-school hours. Please understand, however, that after-school appointments are treasured by all, and they might not always be available.
Can I drop my child off for an appointment?
Of course. We appreciate your busy schedule, and we are happy you make the most of your time. In order to keep you informed about your child’s treatment progress, however, occasionally, we’d like a quick moment of your time for updates following appointments.
Do braces hurt?
Typically, braces do not “hurt.” Particularly since we utilize the most technologically advanced braces systems, patients are pleasantly surprised by how easily they adjust to having braces. They can, however, make your teeth sore, but generally, a little Advil or Tylenol should alleviate most of the discomfort.
Can I return to school after appointments?
Of course! No excuses to miss school, unfortunately. Even right after the braces are put on, it is fine to have lunch and return to school.
Can I still play sports with braces?
Absolutely, and we urge you to use a sports mouthguard. Be sure to ask us for one when you get your braces!
Are there foods I should avoid while I have braces?
Yes, and we’ll explain how braces can be broken by certain types of hard foods. Normally, foods that can break braces are usually not good for your teeth anyway: ice, peppermints, taffy, etc.
Why do some kids have braces so young these days?
Technological advances and new treatment philosophies allow us to correct some orthodontic and orthopedic problems at an early age, thereby making treatment during adolescence less complicated. If interceptive treatment is done, it is usually initiated between the ages of 7-10. Our section on “Early Treatment” has much more information on this subject.
Is it too late for me to get braces?
There is no age limit for braces. Adults can benefit hugely from orthodontic treatment in many ways. Not only are straight teeth a treat to yourself and your self-image, but they are also easier to clean which results in fewer dental problems in the future. As long as there are no unresolved dental problems like cavities or gum disease, it is safe to have orthodontic treatment at any age.