Braces FAQ

Braces FAQ

1. At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?

The American Association of Orthodontics recommends a first screening at age 7. By this age enough adult teeth have erupted to properly evaluate for orthodontic treatment.

2. Is it required that my family dentist refer me for an orthodontic appointment?

Although many patients are referred by their general dentist, it is not necessary. Many patients schedule their own appointments.

3. What will happen at my first visit?

See our About Your First Visit

4. Will I need to have adult teeth extracted?

Because new technology has provided advanced orthodontic techniques, extractions are often not necessary for orthodontic treatment. However, removing teeth is sometimes required to achieve not only straight teeth but a balanced facial profile as well.

5. How long will treatment take?

Treatment time depends on each patients specific orthodontic problems and the techniques chosen for treatment. In general, treatment times range from 12 to 30 months with an average of approximately 22 months.

6. How much do braces cost? Will my insurance cover them? Is there financing?

It is impossible to give exact costs for treatment until after your initial examination and discussion of treatment options. During the initial exam we will discuss the exact cost, financing options, and how your insurance policy will help with coverage.

7. How often will I have appointments?

Most patients will be seen every 4 to 10 weeks. Occasionally there are circumstances which require more frequent monitoring.

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

Unfortunately for our patients in school we cannot schedule all appointments during after-school hours. Fortunately some of our new technologies have decreased the total of number of appointments necessary for orthodontic treatment to help our students miss the least amount of school.

9. Do braces hurt?

In general, braces do not “hurt.” A dull soreness is usually experienced for a couple days between visits. Over the counter pain medications such as Advil or Tylenol are appropriate. With new technologies, tightening of braces is no longer like it once was. We often have to remind our patients that it does not have to hurt to work

10. Do you use recycled braces?

No way! Each patient’s smile is just for them, and so are their braces.

11. Should I still see my general dentist while in braces?

Absolutely. Regular checkups are just as important when in braces. Your dentist should determine the interval time between cleaning appointments while in braces. Don’t forget to show your dentist how your new smile is coming along.

12. What can’t I eat while in braces?

Braces are not “super glued” to you teeth. They are bonded in a way which allows them to be taken off at the end of treatment without damaging your teeth. So added responsibility is important particularly when it comes to eating crunchy or sticky foods. Complete instructions and a general list of foods to avoid will be given after the beginning of treatment. Avoiding broken brackets will help prevent emergency visits and keep your total treatment time down.

13. How often should I brush my teeth?

When in braces we recommend brushing at least 4 times per day. That’s after meals and before bed. Flossing once per day is important to keep your gums healthy as well. Dr. Goodman may recommend the use of an “anti-cavity” fluoride rinse as well.

14. How do you handle emergencies?

If your braces are causing extreme pain or if something breaks, please call our office. Many issues can be resolved over the telephone. If you require an emergency appointment, we will find time for you.

15. Why should my child be seen as early as 7 years old for an initial screening?

Orthodontics is not limited to straightening the teeth, but includes consideration of the facial complex, tooth eruption, and jaw positions. These issues are best addressed during your child’s growth and development. Early treatment can often help your child avoid the need for future surgical procedures.

16. What is Phase One or Early Treatment?

Phase One treatment is orthodontic treatment with braces or sometime only fixed (glued in) or removable appliances. Treatment time can range from 18 months to as little as 3 months while still having a significant affect on your child’s teeth. Dr. Goodman will be very specific to define the goals of your child’s phase one treatment. Once those goals are accomplished, treatment will be stopped and a resting period will start before phase two or comprehensive treatment will begin.

17. After Phase One treatment will my child need full braces?

It is best to assume a second phase of comprehensive orthodontic treatment will be necessary. The goals of Phase One will be specifically defined prior to treatment. If those goals do not justify an early phase of treatment, Dr. Goodman will instead ask you to bring your child back after further growth and development has occurred.

18. I am an adult, is it too late for orthodontic treatment?

Absolutely not. Health, happiness, and self-esteem are important to us all.

19. Why should I choose and orthodontic specialist?

Orthodontic specialists have extensive and specialized training that enables them to provide ideal orthodontic treatment. They take into account not simply the teeth but the entire dentofacial complex which helps them deliver amazing smiles and facial aesthetics.