Why should an orthodontic specialist complete my treatment?

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.

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

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic screening at age 7. For most children, several permanent teeth have erupted by this age, allowing the orthodontist to effectively evaluate the patient’s orthodontic condition.

Will my teeth straighten out as I grow and get older?

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.

Is it too late to have orthodontic treatment if I’m already an adult?

No patient is “too old” for orthodontics! A surprising percentage of our patients are adults. In fact, 25 percent of all orthodontic patients are adults. Health and happiness are vitally important to adults, and orthodontic treatment can increase your self-esteem at any age!

How long will it take to complete treatment?

Overall treatment time depends on each patient’s specific orthodontic problem(s). In general, treatment times range from 12 to 30 months. The “average” timespan is approximately 22 months.

How often will I have an appointment?

Appointments are scheduled according to each patient’s needs.

Can I drop my child off for an appointment?

Yes. We understand your schedule is busy, and we are happy to help you make the most of your time. On some occasions, we may request to speak with a parent when they return, so we ask that parents check-in with their patient manager before dropping off their child.

Does orthodontic treatment hurt?

Generally, orthodontic treatment does not “hurt.” After certain appointments, your teeth may be sore for a few days. In these situations, over-the-counter 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!”

Can I still play sports or play my instrument while going through orthodontic treatment?

Yes! We recommend that patients wear mouth guards while playing sports. Musicians will likely experience an adjustment period until they are comfortable playing while undergoing treatment.

Do I need to see my general dentist while undergoing treatment?

Yes! Regular check-ups with your general dentist are important. Your dentist will determine the intervals between each cleaning appointment.

How will I know my child is ready for orthodontics?

For general orthodontic concerns, your pediatric dentist will follow the development of your child’s teeth, jaws, and oral structures. They can let you know if signs of malocclusion are present and when they should meet with an orthodontist. If you notice that your child has breathing difficulties and poor sleep, or if sleep changes occur with behavioral changes, we can evaluate them to determine if treatment to address an obstructed airway is recommended.