Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions

What’s the right age for orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontics now focuses on patients of many ages.

  • We recommend having your child’s needs assessed at age seven. Interceptive treatment may save you financially and help your child avoid self-esteem issues.
  • Teens make up the majority of our patients. Adolescence brings a heightened emphasis on appearance; more than ever before. Having a beautiful smile builds confidence, boosts self-esteem and encourages teens to try new things. Being able to smile and communicate without worry or embarrassment is a prime reason why teens readily accept the long months spent in braces. Incredible change and a gorgeous, confident smile are the rewards of making this life-changing commitment.
  • We enthusiastically welcome adults into our world! It takes determination and courage to change your appearance later in life. We proudly offer Invisalign® and clear braces to our adult patients who want to avoid the “metal mouth” stereotype often associated with orthodontics. We’re certain that we can help our adult patients improve their looks without compromising their confidence.

How can I tell if my child has an orthodontic problem?

It’s not always easy for parents to tell if their child has an orthodontic problem. Here are some signs or habits that may indicate the need for an orthodontic examination:

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Difficulty in chewing or biting
  • Mouth breathing
  • Thumb sucking
  • Finger sucking
  • Crowded, misplaced or blocked out teeth
  • Jaws that shift or make sounds
  • Biting the cheek or roof of the mouth
  • Teeth that meet abnormally or not at all
  • Jaws and teeth that are out of proportion to the rest of the face

If any of these apply to your child, please be sure to make an appointment with our office – we can do a thorough evaluation, and together we can decide on the best course of treatment for your child.

Why is it important to have orthodontic treatment at a young age?

Research has shown that serious orthodontic problems can be more easily corrected when the patient’s skeleton is still growing and flexible. Children who begin a course of orthodontic treatment fairly early (say by age 7 or so) gain several benefits, including the following:

  • Guiding jaw growth
  • Lowered risk of trauma to protruded front teeth
  • Correcting harmful oral habits
  • Improved appearance and self-esteem
  • Guiding permanent teeth into a more favorable position
  • Improvement in the way lips meet

Once we have evaluated your child’s orthodontic needs, we can more clearly decide if these benefits will apply to your child’s treatment.

Some of my child's friends are already wearing braces and some parents are waiting until their children are older. Why is there a difference in treatment?

Each treatment plan is specific for that child and his/her specific problem. In some cases, children mature early (for example, they get their permanent teeth early); and, in some cases, early treatment is indicated to prevent a more severe problem from occurring. Together, we will decide the optimum treatment plan. If you have questions, please feel free to call our office any time.

Will my child be able to participate in sports and band while wearing braces?

We advise wearing a protective mouth guard while riding a bike, skating, or playing any contact sports, whether organized sports or a neighborhood game. We’ll be happy to recommend a specific mouth guard.

Playing wind or brass instruments, such as the trumpet, will clearly require some adaptation to braces. With practice and a period of adjustment, braces typically do not interfere with the playing of musical instruments. As a side note, your child will also need a period of adjustment upon the removal of braces to, once again, get used to the new feeling of his or her mouth.

What will braces cost?

Costs depend on a few simple factors: the type of treatment required, the time and expense necessary to diagnose and treat a particular problem and the length of monitoring needed after treatment is complete.

Though dental insurance isn’t designed to cover all the costs of treatment, we’re committed to helping you take full advantage of your insurance benefits. We have several options for financing the portion owed after your benefit plan has fulfilled its obligations to you. Not sure you understand your coverage or what you’ll owe after your insurance pays? Ask our team of professionals and we’ll do our best to help. Financing doesn’t have to be difficult! We offer several types of plans and even offer a monthly bank draft to make payments easy.

Am I too old for braces?

Clearly, there are no age limitations on beautiful, easy-to-clean smiles. We enthusiastically welcome adults into our world! It takes determination and courage to change your appearance later in life. We proudly offer Invisalign® and clear braces to our adult patients who want to avoid the “metal mouth” stereotype often associated with orthodontics. We’re confident that we can help our adult patients improve their looks …and have a great experience at the same time.

Does the doctor really run on time?

Yes, with cooperation from patients (i.e. taking care of appliances, arriving on time, good brushing).

Does orthodontic treatment hurt?

A little discomfort after adjustments is common. Usually Tylenol® or Advil® is all it takes to remedy any discomfort.

Why do you need braces if teeth are straight but bite is off?

The goal of orthodontic treatment is not simply to achieve pretty teeth. A good, healthy bite helps eliminate other health problems in later years and decreases wear on teeth.

How long do I have to wear my braces?

We let each patient know their Estimated Completion Date. However, if a patient misses or reschedules appointments, fails to wear elastics, or does not cooperate and follow instructions, orthodontic treatment will take longer.