Do I have to be referred by my family dentist?

No, you do not. While many patients are referred by their family dentist, many patients are referred to our practice by their family and friends. If you feel there is a problem with the smile and appearance of your teeth or child's teeth, please call us for a complimentary examination and chairside consult. In all cases we will communicate with your family dentist to ensure that you receive the very best comprehensive care.

What are the main benefits of orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontic therapy can:

  • Improve the smile and/or profile
  • Improve the function and comfort of the natural teeth
  • Improve growth of the jaws in a positive manner
  • Provide guidance of facial growth for better facial balance and harmony if done before the pubertal growth spurt is complete
  • Guide permanent teeth into more favorable positions
  • Provide better long term health of the teeth and gums
  • Align teeth for easier cleaning
  • May prevent appearance consciousness and emotional trauma during the critical developmental years
  • Increase self-confidence and interpersonal effectiveness
If my teeth have been crooked for years, why do I need orthodontic treatment now?

It's never too late! Healthy teeth can be moved at any age. Orthodontic treatment can restore good function, and teeth that work better usually look better, too. A healthy, beautiful smile can improve self-esteem, no matter your age.

Can an adult have braces?

Yes, approximately 25 percent of all orthodontic patients are adults. Age is not a factor. Any adult that has teeth and healthy supporting structures - the bone and gum tissue - is able to have braces. Many adults are taking advantage of the lifelong benefits of orthodontics. They have made the choice to have an attractive and healthy smile and the confidence that it brings to their personal, social, and professional lives.

What are my options if I don't want braces that show?

Should your case warrant it, you might want to consider lingual braces, which feature brackets that are bonded behind the teeth. Ceramic braces are another option to lessen the visibility of braces; they blend in with the teeth for a more natural effect. Additionally, the use of a series of invisible aligner trays (invisible braces) instead of traditional braces may be used to correct some problems.

I am pregnant and want to begin orthodontic treatment. Is this OK?

Discuss this question with your medical practitioner/physician and orthodontist before you start any orthodontic treatment, as pregnancy brings on bodily changes that may affect the mouth. Soft tissues such as gums become much more susceptible to infection.

How long does treatment take?

In general, active treatment time ranges from one to three years. The actual time depends on the growth of the patient's mouth and face, cooperation of the patient, and the severity of the problem. Mild problems require less time and some individuals respond faster to treatment than others.

Do braces hurt?

There is usually some initial discomfort after the braces are placed as the teeth start to move and your cheeks, gums, and mouth get used to your new braces. We may recommend over the counter medication such as ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) to ease the discomfort. We will do everything we can to make your orthodontic experience as pleasant and comfortable as possible.

Do teeth with braces need special care?

Yes, clean, healthy teeth move more quickly. Patients with braces must be careful to avoid hard, sticky, chewy and crunchy foods, or hard objects, such as pens, pencils and fingernails. Keeping your teeth and braces clean requires more time, thoroughness, and must be done every day if the teeth and gums are to be healthy during and after orthodontic treatment.

How important is cooperation?

Successful orthodontic treatment requires a cooperative effort between the orthodontist, patient, and parent when the patient is a child. Good cooperation with appointments, oral hygiene, diet instructions, and any other instructions leads to better results and shorter treatment times.

How are orthodontic instruments sterilized?

We package our instruments and they are run through an autoclave or high-heat sterilizer to provide you with the utmost in protection. Every sterilizer is checked each day and is monitored once per week by an outside laboratory to ensure proper operation.

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

Yes. Please be sure to continue visits to your dentist during and after orthodontic therapy. Regular examinations and cleanings by your dentist or hygienist are important for your overall dental health.

Can I play sports while wearing braces?

Yes, but make sure you wear a protective mouthguard.

Can I play musical instruments while wearing braces?

With practice and a period of adjustment, braces typically do not interfere with the playing of wind or brass instruments.

What happens if I have a problem after hours or on a weekend?

True orthodontic emergencies do not occur often, but when they do, we will respond quickly. Many problems can be handled over the phone. Emergency care is provided at all times. We are available when you need us.