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FAQs

Will my teeth straighten out as they grow?

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

Why is orthodontic treatment important?

Crooked teeth are harder to clean and maintain. A bad bite can also cause abnormal wear on tooth surfaces, difficulty speaking, and possibly joint problems (TMJ).

There can also be a psychological aspect to an unattractive smile. Children with untreated orthodontic problems may go through life with low self-esteem.

Would an adult patient benefit from orthodontics?

Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age. Everyone wants a beautiful and healthy smile. Twenty to twenty five percent of orthodontic patients today are adults.

What is an orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a specialist who has completed an advanced education program for 2 to 3 years following dental school, to learn the special skills required to manage tooth movement and guide facial development.

At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic 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 orthodontic condition. Occasionally, early treatment can help avoid more difficult or extensive treatment later.

How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?

If you or your child can potentially benefit from orthodontic treatment, simply call our office, send us an e-mail or fill out or appointment request form online. We will be happy to schedule an appointment for you. When you call to schedule your appointment, our front office staff will request some basic information from you.

How does orthodontic treatment work?

Orthodontic appliances can be made of metal, ceramics or plastic. They may be removable or they may be brackets bonded to the teeth. By placing a constant, gentle force in a carefully controlled direction, braces slowly move teeth to a corrected position.

Most bonded brackets can be placed with no discomfort. You can choose brackets that are clear or metallic color. You can choose the color of the ties that hold the wire in the brackets. Wires are also less noticeable than they used to be and the latest materials move teeth faster with less discomfort to patients.

Is it required that my family dentist schedule my appointment with the orthodontist?

No, it is not. Many of our patients are referred by their family dentist, yet many other patients take the initiative to schedule an examination themselves.

Do braces hurt?

The placement of bands and brackets on your teeth does not hurt. Once your braces are placed and connected with the arch-wires you may feel some soreness of your teeth for one to four days. Your lips and cheeks may need one to two weeks to get used to the braces on your teeth.

How Long Do I Have to Wear Braces?

Every patient is different and responds to treatment differently. Some treatment times can be as little as six months or as long as 30 months. On average, standard orthodontic treatment with braces is 22 months.

Can I Still Participate In School Activities, Like Sports, Singing, Or Playing An Instrument?

There may be an adjustment period when you’re playing an instrument or a contact sport. However, wearing braces won’t stop you from participating in school or other activities. Ask your orthodontist about wearing a mouth guard to protect your braces.

What is Phase I and Phase II treatment?

Phase I, or early interceptive treatment, is limited orthodontic treatment (i.e. expander or partial braces) before all the permanent teeth have erupted. Such treatment can occur between the ages of six and ten. This treatment is sometimes recommended to make more space for developing teeth, correction of crossbites, overbites, underbites, or harmful oral habits.

Phase II treatment is also called comprehensive treatment, because it involves full braces when all of the permanent teeth have erupted, usually between the ages of eleven and thirteen.

What Is a Board Certified Orthodontist?

A dentist who graduates from a specialty program becomes an orthodontic specialist is eligible to become board certified through the voluntary examination process of The American Board of Orthodontics (ABO). Involvement in the certification process is a demonstration of the orthodontist’s pursuit of continued proficiency and excellence.

The certification process involves a thorough Written Examination covering all areas of information on which an orthodontist should be knowledgeable. Successful passage allows the orthodontist to present treated cases which will be evaluated by expert examiners of the Board during a Clinical Examination.