When is the best age for the first orthodontic visit?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child receive an evaluation by age 7. An early examination allows the orthodontist to monitor the jaws and teeth development. Children under the age of 7 may also benefit from early treatment to correct habits, such as thumb or finger sucking, or tongue thrusting with abnormal swallowing habits. Please click here for more information.

Can orthodontic treatment start while younger children still have baby teeth: Phase I (Early) Treatment?

Yes. Some orthodontic problems are significant enough to require early intervention. Early detection can have a tremendous impact on a young child’s dental health and enhancing self-esteem. Early treatment takes advantage of a child’s growth to move jaw bones and muscles (also known as Dentofacial orthopedics) into the proper position. It can significantly minimize the need for removal of permanent teeth and future jaw surgery. By starting early, you have given your child the best chance for the best result. Please click here for more information.

Do some kids get braces more than once?

Yes. Early treatment (Phase 1) is typically completed when children do not have all their permanent teeth yet. Permanent teeth can still erupt in the wrong place or misaligned so children will often need full orthodontic treatment (Phase 2) later. However, early treatment can improve the overall outcome and can help shorten Phase 2 treatment.

Do braces hurt?

Generally, braces do not “hurt.” Advances in orthodontic technology have reduced the discomfort associated with braces. When the braces are first applied and after certain adjustments, patients may feel some soreness and tenderness in the teeth and gums. These discomfort situations can be treated with an OTC pain-reliever such as Advil or Tylenol. After you get used to your braces, you probably won’t even notice you have them.

Do I need to have teeth extracted for braces?

Some cases do require removing teeth to achieve the best orthodontic result, but don’t worry! All spaces in your smile will be fully closed in the end. On the other hand, new orthodontic techniques may allow us to avoid completely avoid removing teeth. This is completely case dependent, so please make an appointment so we can evaluate you in person!

How long does orthodontic treatment usually last?

The average time a patient wears braces is approximately 12 to 30 months. However, each patient is unique and the actual treatment time depends on each patient’s specific orthodontic problems. A few factors come into play for the treatment time: the amount of correction needed, the rate of the patient’s growth, the maintenance of proper oral hygiene, and the cooperation of the patient.

How often do I have to come in for appointments?

Most patients in braces will be seen approximately every 4-6 weeks. However, there are some specific situations that require more frequent or less frequent monitoring. We will schedule appointments accordingly!

Should I keep seeing my family/ pediatric dentist while I have braces?

Yes, it is very important that you continue to see your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups to avoid gum disease and cavities while in braces.

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

No. Everyone deserves a beautiful smile! Especially adults! Many patients opt for treatment in preparation for their weddings, their career, or other major events. Braces are not just for children, and many adults opt for clear aligners.

Can I wear braces if I have crowns or missing teeth?

Yes, the crowned tooth will move just like a normal tooth. When the tooth is missing, orthodontic treatment can assist with the alignment of the remaining teeth.