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 specially trained dentist who has attended an advanced education program
for a continual training period of 2 to 3 years. All members of the American Association of
Orthodontists (AAO) have received the appropriate training.
When should I visit the orthodontist?
Some orthodontic corrections need to be made as early as 3 to 5 years of age, but 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 the
appearance of their smile and 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 and
will be beneficial. A course of treatment, as well as an estimate of the treatment duration
and fee, will be decided. If treatment is required, the clinical staff will take the required
x-rays and a convenient appointment will be made for your fitting.
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 make
cleaning harder and allow cavities to more easily develop. Properly aligned teeth also make it
easier to chew all types of food, and eliminate the headaches and pain caused by uneven
chewing. Uneven teeth may result in 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. Ask the office staff about what options are available. Other
appliances include colorful bands, elastics and retainers, which are custom-made, removable
orthodontic appliances that help keep teeth in their new straightened position after braces
have been removed.
How will braces straighten my teeth?
Braces exert a gentle pressure on teeth over time to straighten them. The two main components
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 that the patient should have after treatment. The wire threads through the brackets.
As the wire tries to return to its original shape, it applies pressure to move the teeth.
Do braces hurt?
There have been some fantastic advances in modern orthodontics to make treatment more
comfortable for patients. There are now smaller, smoother brackets and gentler wires which
provide a continuous small force over a long 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 may be used in case of any significant pain.
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 at the completion of treatment. If they are not worn
as instructed, your teeth will move or tend to relapse. Retainers are particularly important
right after the braces are removed while the teeth stabilize.
How long will my orthodontic treatment last?
Treatment may last from 18 to 30 months, though 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
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 insurance.
Please provide us with your insurance information at your first appointment.