- Is it required that my family dentist schedule my appointment with the orthodontist?
- At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?
- Will my teeth straighten out as they grow?
- How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?
- What will happen at the initial examination appointment?
- What will I learn from the initial examination?
- How long will it take to complete treatment?
- How much will braces cost? Are financing options available? How does my insurance work?
- How often will I have appointments?
- Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?
- Can I drop my child off for an appointment?
- Do braces hurt?
- Can I return to school the day I receive my braces?
- Do you give shots?
- Do you use recycled braces?
- Can I still play sports?
- Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?
- Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?
- How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?
- What is an emergency appointment? How are those handled?
- Can orthodontic correction occur while a child has baby teeth?
- What is Phase One (early) Treatment?
- Will my child need full braces if he/she has Phase One treatment?
- Will my child need an expander?
- Is it too late to have braces if I am already an adult?
- Can I wear braces even though I have crowns and missing teeth?
- Why should I choose an orthodontic specialist?
- Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?
1. Is it required that my family dentist schedule my appointment with the orthodontist?
No, it is not. Many of our patients are referred by their family dentist, yet many other patients take the initiative to schedule an examination themselves.
2. At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic screening at age 7. By this age, several permanent teeth in most children have erupted, allowing us to effectively evaluate your orthodontic condition.
3. Will my teeth straighten out as they grow?
No, they will not. The space available for the front teeth does not increase as you grow. In most people, after the permanent molars erupt, the space available for the front teeth decreases with age.
4. How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?
Simply call our office, send us an e-mail or fill out our appointment request form online. We will be happy to schedule an appointment for you. If you have orthodontic insurance, please have that information available at the time you first contact us.
5. What will happen at the initial examination appointment?
Each patient will meet with our treatment coordinator and Dr. White to evaluate orthodontic needs. Digital photographs and X-rays will be taken to allow us to make a proper diagnosis. Dr. White will then complete a thorough examination and present diagnostic findings and treatment recommendations to you and your family. Financial options available to take care of the treatment fee will be presented for your consideration.
To read more about your first visit, see our First Visit Page.
6. What will I learn from the initial examination?
There are five essential questions that we will cover during the initial examination:
- Is there an orthodontic problem, and if so, what is it?
- What must be done to correct the problem?
- Will any teeth need to be removed?
- How long will the treatment take to complete?
- How much will the treatment cost?
7. How long will it take to complete treatment?
Treatment time obviously depends on each patient's specific orthodontic problem. In general, treatment times range from 12 to 30 months. The "average" time frame a person is in braces is approximately 22 months.
8. How much will braces cost? Are financing options available? How does my insurance work?
It is impossible to give an exact cost for treatment until Dr. White has completed a thorough evaluation. We will cover the exact cost and financial options during the initial examination. We have many financing options available to accommodate your needs, and we will review these with you. We will also review your insurance policy with you and discuss the best way to maximize your orthodontic benefits.
9. How often will I have appointments?
Appointments are scheduled according to each patient's needs. Most patients in braces will be seen every 5 to 10 weeks. If there are specific situations that require patients to be seen more frequently, we will schedule appointments accordingly.
10. Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?
We make every effort to decrease the amount of time our patients must be out of school or work. Because most appointments are scheduled 5 to 10 weeks into the future, we can usually reserve a time for you after 3:00 p.m. Understandably, the majority of our patients prefer these times, however, we cannot schedule all appointments during after school hours. Longer, more complex appointments are generally scheduled in the morning. These appointments in our office are considered excused absences, and we will provide any documentation required by your school or employer.
11. Can I drop my child off for an appointment?
Yes. We understand your busy schedule, and we are happy to help you make the most of your time. However, we do ask that you come into the office at the completion of your child’s appointment. This allows us to discuss your child’s treatment progress with you and to schedule his or her next visit.
12. Do braces hurt?
Generally, braces do not "hurt." After certain visits, teeth may be sore for a few days especially when eating. In these situations, pain medications such as Advil or Tylenol will ease the discomfort. However, after most visits, patients do not feel any soreness at all! We often remind our patients, “It does not have to hurt to work!”
13. Can I return to school the day I receive my braces?
Yes. There is no reason to miss school because of an orthodontic appointment.
14. Do you give shots?
No. Shots are not necessary in orthodontic treatment.
15. Do you use recycled braces?
Absolutely not! It is our belief that each patient should be provided with their own braces to achieve the best orthodontic result possible.
16. Can I still play sports?
Yes. We recommend a mouth guard for all sports.
17. Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?
Yes! Regular check-ups with your family dentist are important while in braces. We recommend you see your dentist at least every 6 months during orthodontic treatment.
18. Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?
Yes. Once treatment begins, we will provide a comprehensive list of foods to avoid. Some of those foods include: ice, hard candy, and all sticky foods (i.e. caramel and taffy). We will also provide detailed instructions on ways to eat healthy foods (fruits and raw vegetables) without breaking brackets. Most emergency appointments to repair broken or damaged brackets can be avoided carefully by following our instructions.
19. How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?
Patients should brush their teeth for 4 minutes at least three times each day (after each meal). We will show each patient how to properly brush and floss their teeth with braces, and we may also provide prescription toothpaste, if necessary.
20. What is an emergency appointment? How are those handled?
If your braces are causing extreme pain or if something breaks, you should call our office. In most cases, we can address these issues over the telephone. If you require an emergency appointment, we will set aside time for you. A member of our team is always available for emergencies that occur after office hours.
21. Can orthodontic correction occur while a child has baby teeth?
Yes. Some orthodontic problems are significant enough to require early intervention. However, if a patient is not yet ready for treatment, we will follow that patient's growth and development until the time is right for treatment to begin.
22. What is Phase One (early) treatment?
Although Dr. White prefers to begin orthodontic treatment when all of the permanent teeth are present, some children who still have a large number of primary teeth require interceptive (Phase I) treatment. The primary objective for interceptive treatment is to address a functional problem such as a finger/thumb-sucking habit, a crossbite, an open bite, a severe overbite, an under bite, or severe crowding that would require the extraction of permanent teeth if not addressed early. Additionally, Dr. White recommends Phase One treatment if a young patient is suffering socially or psychologically from severely crooked teeth. Phase One treatment typically lasts about 12-18 months.
23. Will my child need full braces if he/she has Phase One treatment?
It is best to assume that your child will need full braces even after Phase One treatment has been completed. Dr. White will closely monitor your child’s growth and development as more permanent teeth erupt, and you will be kept informed of any future treatment recommendations.
24. Will my child need an expander?
At the completion of the initial examination, we will determine whether a patient will need an expander.
25. Is it too late to have braces if I am already an adult?
No! A surprising percentage of our patients are adults. In fact, 25 percent of all orthodontic patients are adults. Health, happiness and self-esteem are vitally important to adults. No patient is "too old" to wear braces!
26. Can I wear braces even though I have crowns and missing teeth?
Yes. A tooth with a crown will move just like a tooth with a simple filling. When teeth are missing, orthodontic treatment will aid in the alignment of the remaining teeth.
27. Why should I choose an orthodontic specialist?
Teeth, and sometimes entire facial structures, are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment. It is important that the treatment be appropriate and properly completed. Orthodontic specialists have extensive and specialized training that enables them to provide their patients with professional, personalized treatments.
28. Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?
New technology in orthodontics has greatly decreased the need for permanent tooth extractions. However, tooth extractions are occasionally recommended in order to provide the healthiest and most aesthetically pleasing smile. Each patient is unique, and Dr. White will discuss the best treatment options available to you.