New Patients | FAQs

Here are some of our most frequently asked questions and answers.  If you have a question that is not here, please feel free to contact us and one of our team members will be delighted to speak with you!

Why choose an orthodontic specialist?

Orthodontists have their general dentistry degree and an additional 3 years of specialized training in orthodontics.  Certified Orthodontic Specialists are experts at moving teeth, correct misaligned jaw structure and presenting a plan that will give you a great smile and a functional bite.  Tooth position is changed by orthodontics and sometimes the structure of the face is affected as well.  Therefore, it is important that a certified orthodontist complete the treatment.

At what age should my child see an orthodontist?

If you have no immediate concerns then it isn't necessary to visit an orthodontist until your child is approximately 7 years of age.  However, if there are suspicions of a developing problem then it is beneficial to see an orthodontist at an earlier age so your child's oral health can be monitored.  Some alignment problems can be intercepted and either reduced in severity or eliminated if caught early.

Am I too old for orthodontic treatment?

It is never too late to have a healthy and functional bite and present a great smile to the world!  In fact, about 30% of our patients are adults and adult orthodontics is the fastest growing patient population.  Health, happiness and self-esteem are vitally important to adults. No patient is "too old" for orthodontic treatment.  We offer a variety of esthetic treatment options for adults who do not want the look of traditional braces.

Is a referral necessary?

Absolutely not!  Referrals from our general dental colleagues are welcome, but not a requirement.  If you would like to book an initial consultation, you can use our Request a Consultation form and one of our New Patient Coordinators will contact you.

How long will it take to complete treatment?

Treatment time obviously depends on each patient's specific orthodontic problem. In general, treatment times range from 12 to 30 months.

How much will braces cost? Are financing options available? How does my insurance work?

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 many 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 often will I have appointments?

Appointments are scheduled according to each patient's needs. Most patients in braces will be seen every 4 to 10 weeks. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly.

Do braces hurt?

Orthodontic treatment can be briefly uncomfortable because teeth are moving.  Our team will keep you informed about what you can expect at each visit and give you tips to lessen the initial discomfort. You may feel a small amount of discomfort for a couple days as your teeth, gums, cheeks, and mouth get used to your new braces.

If I have braces, do I still need dental checkups every six months?

Yes. In fact, it's even more essential that patients receiving orthodontic treatment visit their dentist regularly. With braces, food may be caught in places that your toothbrush can't reach and can lead to cavities and gum disease.  We work closely with your dentist to make sure that your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.

Do I need to brush my teeth more often if I have braces?

Yes! With braces, you should brush your teeth at least three times a day to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy and clean. Brushing regularly will help remove any food that may be caught between the braces. You should also floss daily to get in between your braces where your brush isn't able to reach. We will show you how to properly brush and floss once your braces are placed.

Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?

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

Will my braces interfere with my school activities like sports, playing an instrument, or singing?

Playing an instrument or a contact sport may require some adjustment when you first get your braces, but wearing braces will not stop you from participating in any of your school activities. If you play a contact sport, it is recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your braces or appliance.

Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?

Unfortunately, we cannot schedule all appointments for students during after-school hours. However, because most appointments are scheduled 4 to 10 weeks apart, most patients will miss minimal school due to their orthodontic treatments. We will, however, make a sincere effort to meet your scheduling needs.

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 12-18 months. The primary objective for Phase One treatment is to address significant problems and to prevent them from becoming more severe. 

Will my child need full braces if he/she has 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.