FAQ

1. Is it required that my dentist refer me to 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.

2. 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.

3. Will my teeth straighten out as they grow?

Typically 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.

4. 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.

5. What will happen at the initial examination appointment?

Upon arriving, each patient and parent will be seen by the staff and doctor who will acclimate you to our office and prepare for the initial exam. The doctor will then complete a brief, but thorough, exam.  We may recommend additional diagnostic records.

To read more about your first visit, see our First Visit Page.

6. Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?

Removing teeth is sometimes required to achieve the best orthodontic result. Straight teeth and a balanced facial profile are the goal of orthodontics. We make every attempt not to remove teeth if possible.

7. How long will it take to complete treatment?

Treatment time depends on each patient’s specific orthodontic problem.  Typical treatment time can range from 1-2 years.

8. 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 and determined your or your child's specific orthodontic needs. We will cover the exact cost and financial options during the initial examination. We have several 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 assist with filing your claims.

9. How often will I have appointments?

Appointments are scheduled according to each patient's needs. Most patients in braces will be seen every 5 to 10 weeks. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly.

10. Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?

Unfortunately, we cannot schedule all appointments for students during after-school hours. We will, however, make a sincere effort to meet your scheduling needs.

11. Can I drop my child off for an appointment?

Yes. We understand your busy schedule, and we are happy to help you make the most of your time. On some occasions, we may request to speak with a parent when they return, so we ask that parents check in with the front desk when they pick up their child.

12. Do braces hurt?

Generally, braces do not "hurt." After certain visits, teeth may be sore for a few days. In these situations, over the counter medications such as Advil or Tylenol will ease the discomfort.

13. Can I return to school the day I receive my braces?

Yes. There is no reason to miss school because of an orthodontic appointment.

14. Can I still play sports?

Yes. We recommend a mouth guard for all sports.  There are special mouth guards made for use with braces.

15. Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?

Yes! Regular checkups with your family dentist are important while in braces. Your family dentist will determine the intervals between cleaning appointments while you are in braces.

16. 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, 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.

17. How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?

Patients should brush their teeth at least twice a each day, and preferably three times - after each meal. Each patient will receive detailed instructions on how to brush and floss with braces.

18. What is an emergency appointment? How are those handled?

If your braces are causing extreme discomfort 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.  If your emergency occurs after office hours, call the emergency contact number on the office message.

19. Can orthodontic correction occur while a child has baby teeth?

Yes. Some orthodontic problems are significant enough to require early intervention. However, if a patient is not yet ready for treatment, we will follow that patient's growth and development until the time is right for treatment to begin.

20. Is it too late to have braces if I am already an adult?

A surprising percentage of our patients are adults. In fact, 25 percent of all orthodontic patients are adults. Health, happiness and self-esteem are vitally important to adults. No patient is "too old" to have straight teeth.

21.  Why should you choose an orthodontic specialist?

Teeth, and sometimes entire facial structures, are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment. It is important that the treatment be appropriate and properly completed. Orthodontic specialists have extensive and specialized training that enables them to provide their patients with professional, personalized treatments.


For more information about Orthodontics, or to schedule an appointment, please complete our online form or call 415.461.9755.