TIMING OF TREATMENT
1. At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic evaluation for my child?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have an orthodontic evaluation by age 7. At this age, several permanent teeth have erupted, allowing us to effectively evaluate your child’s orthodontic condition. After an orthodontic exam, we will be able to give you advice on how to properly treat your child’s orthodontic problems.
2. Will my child’s teeth straighten-out with growth?
The answer is a simple no. Growth does not resolve crowding issues. Once the first permanent molars have erupted, the space available for the remaining adult teeth decreases with age.
3. How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?
Simply call our office. We will be happy to schedule an appointment for you.
4. Do I need a referral from my family dentist to schedule an initial orthodontic exam?
No, you do not. In fact, many of our patients are referred by family and friends, and those new patients take the initiative to schedule an examination themselves.
5. What will happen at the initial examination appointment
When you arrive, you will be greeted by our new patient coordinator. She will review yours or your child’s health history and explain our office policies and procedures. Our doctor will then perform a complete and thorough orthodontic exam. The doctor will answer your questions, review your orthodontic options and customize a treatment plan for you or your child.
6. Will I need to have permanent teeth extracted for braces?
Some patients require the removal of teeth to achieve the best orthodontic result. However, many do not require the removal of permanent teeth to achieve that great result.
7. How long does it take to complete treatment?
Treatment time obviously depends on each patient’s specific orthodontic problem whether it is, Phase I, Phase II, comprehensive or surgical orthodontic care. In general, average treatment times range from 12 to 36 months. Quality care takes time.
8. How does my insurance work? Are financing options available?
Most orthodontic insurance polices only cover a portion of orthodontic treatment and have a lifetime maximum benefit. This is a distinct difference from regular dental insurance. Since orthodontic insurance policies vary we will review your particular insurance policy to maximize your benefit. Then, based upon your insurance benefits we will review with you different financing options.
9. How often will I have appointments?
Most of our patients are seen every five to seven weeks. Sometimes patients may be seen more frequently based upon that particular patient’s orthodontic needs.
10. Do braces hurt?
In general, braces may be uncomfortable after certain appointments, but they shouldn’t hurt. Over the counter pain relievers such as Advil or Tylenol should relieve any discomfort. However, after most visits most patients do not experience much soreness at all.
11. Can I still play sports with braces?
It’s a simple yes. We have patients playing all kinds of sports with braces.
12. Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?
All patients should maintain their regular checkups with their family dentist. These appointment are very important while a patient is in braces. Your family dentist will help determine the appropriate intervals between cleaning appointments.
13. Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?
Yes. Once treatment begins, we will provide a comprehensive list of foods to avoid. Some of these foods include: ice, hard candy, raw vegetables and all sticky foods (i.e. caramel and taffy). You can avoid damaged or broken appliances by carefully following our instructions.
14. How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?
Patients should brush their teeth every morning, after each meal and before going to bed.
15. What constitutes an emergency appointment? How are they handled?
If your braces are causing extreme pain or if something breaks, you should call our office. In most cases, we can address these issues over the telephone. If you require an emergency appointment, we will set aside time for you.
16. Can orthodontic correction occur while a child has baby teeth?
Yes. Some orthodontic problems are significant enough to require early intervention. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that a child be seen by an orthodontist at age 7. However, if a child is not yet ready for treatment, we will follow that child’s growth and development until the time is right for treatment to begin.