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Patient Education

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic new patient examination?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommend an orthodontic screening exam at age seven. By this age, most children have several permanent teeth that have erupted, allowing us to adequately evaluate your orthodontic condition. Although most children do not require early treatment, for some it can greatly reduce the time and complexity of later treatment, or even prevent what would later require surgery to treat, ultimately saving time and cost in the long run.


Can adults have braces?

Yes.  No patient is too old to have their teeth straightened. Thirty percent of the patients in our practice  are adults.


How long will it take to complete treatment?

Treatment time depends on each patient’s specific orthodontic problem. A comprehensive treatment often takes 18-24 months, but can be much shorter or occasionally longer depending on the complexity. 


How often will I have an appointment?

Patients wearing braces are seen every four to six weeks.  Patients being treated by Invisalign® aligners are seen much less frequently, often twice as long between appointments.


Does wearing braces hurt?

The application of the braces does not hurt. As your teeth move, they will be sore for one to two days after each monthly appointment.  During this time, over-the-counter pain medications, such as Tylenol or Advil, can be used to improve the discomfort. Many patients report little soreness during the course of treatment.


Can I drop my child off for an appointment?

Yes. If you drop your child off for their appointment, we ask that parents check in after the appointment to make an appointment for the next monthly adjustment.


Do I need to see my family dentist while I am undergoing orthodontic treatment?

Yes. It is important to keep regular check-up appointments with your family dentist. We generally recommend you see your family dentist every six to 12 months.

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