About Braces

What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics is the area of dentistry concerned with the supervision, guidance and correction of the dentofacial structures. Orthodontic treatment uses braces, retainers and other appliances to correct any dentofacial abnormalities. Regular dental check-ups and orthodontic treatment are proven to be effective tools in helping establish and maintain good oral health for people of all ages.

What is an orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dentist who has completed the required four years of college, four years of dental school and who has also completed additional 2-3 years of specialty educational training in Orthodontics.

When should I visit the orthodontist?

Ordinarily children should visit an orthodontist at the time permanent teeth begin to erupt in order to detect any deficiencies in the child’s teeth formation. This is usually between 7 and 10 years of age. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children visit an orthodontist no later than age 7. Adults should visit an orthodontist to improve their overall dental health at any time. It’s never too late to have a beautiful smile!

What can I expect on my first visit?

Your initial visit to the orthodontist will give you an opportunity to meet the doctor and our knowledgeable staff, who will answer any questions you may have. You will receive a complimentary clinical examination to determine whether orthodontic treatment is necessary, as well as an estimated length of treatment and cost. If you decide to start a treatment plan, a clinician will proceed with x-rays, impressions, and records. Another appointment will be scheduled for your braces or appliance to be fitted.

Who should wear braces?

Braces may be worn by both children and adults, not only to improve the attractiveness of their smile, but also because braces correct improper alignment of teeth that can lead to gum disease and early tooth loss. Left untreated, crooked teeth with irregular spacing makes cleaning harder and allows cavities to develop. A properly aligned tooth makes it easier to chew all types of food, and eliminates pain. Uneven teeth may cause weak enamel, gum problems and jaw misalignment.

What will my braces look like?

Braces are lighter and more comfortable today than ever before. They come in a variety of color and material choices, including Invisalign. Ask the office staff about what options are available. Other appliances include colorful bands, elastics and retainers, which are custom-made, removable orthodontic appliances, which help maintain teeth in their new straightened position after braces have been removed.

How will braces straighten my teeth?

Over time Braces exert a gentle pressure on teeth to straighten them. The two main components of braces include the brackets placed on the teeth and the arch wire that connects them. The bracket is a specially shaped metal or ceramic affixed to each tooth and the arch wire is bent to reflect the bite a patient should achieve after completing treatment. The wire is thread through the bracket and as the wire tries to return to its original shape, it applies pressure moving the teeth.

Do braces hurt?

There have been some fantastic advances in modern orthodontics to accomplish more comfort for patients. They are now smaller, smoother brackets and more flexible wires that provide a continuous small force over a longer period of time rather than a strong force for only a short period. Typically there is some discomfort two to three days after each adjustment. Over the counter pain relievers are recommended in such cases.

Will braces affect playing sports?

You should be able to play just about any sport or activity. However, many orthodontists recommend wearing a mouth guard in contact sports or any sport where there is a chance you can get hit in the face.

Why are retainers so important?

Retainers help keep your teeth straight after the completion of treatment. If they are not worn as instructed, your teeth will relapse or move back to their original position. Retainer wear is particularly important right after the braces are removed while the teeth are being stabilized.

How long does orthodontic treatment last?

Treatment may last from 18 to 30 months, although this will vary depending on your individual case. Your cooperation in keeping scheduled orthodontic appointments, maintaining proper hygiene and taking care of your braces may allow you to finish your orthodontic treatment early.

How much do braces cost?

Orthodontic fees depend on the complexity of the case, the age of the patient, the type of appliances used and the estimated length of treatment. Since each case is different, a visit to the office for a complimentary examination will allow you to get a better idea of the fee. We offer flexible payment plans that make orthodontic care affordable with low monthly payments. See the Finance link for more specific information.

How does insurance work?

Check with our office for a list of insurance providers. We accept and file most insurances. Contact your insurance provider for a complete understanding of your orthodontic coverage. Please provide us with your insurance information at your first appointment so that our staff can check all other details.