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Frequently Asked Questions

  • 1. Why should you choose an orthodontic specialist?

    Orthodontists go through years of specialized training beyond dental school that enables them to provide optimized specialized orthodontic care.

    Orthodontics is not just moving teeth, but understanding the bony, facial and dental relationship beyond “just the teeth.” All patient cases are unique and simple cookie cutter approach does not serve the patient’s interest. Full depth of understanding is needed for proper diagnosis and treatment. Without the proper training and understanding, teeth may get straightened but not the best result.

  • 2. At what age do you recommend starting orthodontic screening?

    The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic screening should start at age 7. However, not all patients will be requiring braces at that time. However, if your child needs help with bone growth/modification, we can use earlier window to achieve better result. Moreover, most children will have some adult teeth in by then, which allow us to provide better appliance support.

  • 3. Can you explain Phase One (early) Treatment?

    Early treatment is not for every children. However some children need early intervention so that we can utilize their growth period to prevent the issues from becoming more severe, which in turn, can help children’s self-esteem. This treatment is initiated between age 7 and 10, and treatment lasts 10-15 months.

  • 4. Will my child need full braces even after early treatment?

    Yes, most of the time. Phase I treatment need Phase II (full treatment) afterwards. After the Phase I, we will monitor your child’s growth and teeth eruption so that we can start the full treatment at the best timing with most efficiency.

  • 5. Does my child need an expander?

    If your child has narrow upper jaw or obstructive sleep apnea, he or she may need an expander. We will discuss this with you during the initial consultation.

  • 6. What happens if I break my brackets?

    After we place brackets it takes 24 hours for the glue to set. Breakage can be prevented by following diet guidelines.

    If breakage occurs, please call us to schedule repair. However, when the brackets are broken not only is it inconvenient for you, but also the treatment tend to get longer and may add additional cost.

  • 7. Can my TMJ get better with braces?

    There is no clear evidence that braces can reduce TMD symptoms. TMD can be caused by multiple reason and when symptoms are significant, it is best evaluated and treated by a TMJ specialist before considering orthodontic treatment.

  • 8. Is 6 months dental check-up needed even if I have braces?

    Yes, you must continue to visit your general dentist on a regular 6 month interval. Some patients with periodontal concerns may require more frequent check-ups. You don’t just want to have straight teeth but also healthy teeth. Brushing around wires and brackets is not easy and regular professional cleanings is needed to optimize dental health. We can coordinate care with your dentist to perform wire removal and placement.

  • 9. If we wait, will the crowding get better?

    No, they won’t. Many try to believe teeth might get better as they grow. However, as the bigger adult teeth come in, they tend to require more space and cause worse crowding.

  • 10. How can I schedule an initial exam?

    Please give us a call, send us an email or fill-out the form online. We will give you a call to schedule your appointment as early as possible. During the call, we will ask you a few insurance/ dental history information to facilitate your first visit.

  • 11. Do I need extraction for braces?

    By utilizing modern techniques, extractions can be avoided in many situations.

    Still there are situations where extraction maybe needed to obtain optimum result to correct crowding issues and to achieve a more balanced facial profile.

  • 12. How long does it take to get my braces off?

    Typical treatment time would be 15-24 months. Early treatments (Phase I) tend to be shorter and complex/ surgical cases tend to be longer. Also, breaking brackets can elongate the treatment duration.

  • 13. How much does orthodontic treatment cost?

    Treatments differ from case to case and the cost will be reviewed at the time of your initial consultation. We will review your insurance and help you maximize your benefits and file your claims.

  • 14. How often do I have to come for my visit?

    Most patients will be seen every 4-10 weeks, unless we need to check on appliances. Initially, the appointments will be less frequent since it takes time to straighten the teeth. However, toward the end of the treatment, more frequent visits are required for fine tuning/refinement.

  • 15. Can you accommodate me only after school hours?

    We will do our best to accommodate your scheduling needs. Occasionally, a longer visit maybe required and thus we may ask patients to come in earlier during school hours.

  • 16. Can I drop off my kid at the clinic?

    Yes, we understand you have a busy schedule. However, we may require the parent/guardian to be present before or after the treatment so that we can explain or give you information you need. Please feel free to call our office beforehand if you have any drop-off concerns.

  • 17. Will it hurt getting braces?

    We value providing comfortable care by utilizing gentle forces to enhance your orthodontic experience. Discomfort should be minimal. It all depend on case by case. Most patients experience minimal discomfort, while possibly a few may experience moderate discomfort. In these cases, you can take Tylenol or Advil to help you. Most of the time, discomfort goes away within 2-3 days.

  • 18. Can I go back to work/school when I first get my braces?

    Of course, we will give you an excuse letter for the period you are at our office.

  • 19. Do I need to get shots?

    No, we do not give shots for orthodontic treatment.

  • 20. Would braces interfere with sports activity?

    It shouldn’t. We want you to continue all your daily activities even with braces. We will give you recommendation for mouth guard that can protect your teeth during sports activities.

  • 21. Do I have to avoid some foods when I have braces?

    Yes, once brackets are placed you need to be careful what you eat to prevent broken brackets. We will provide you with list foods to avoid and instruction how to take care of them. You should avoid any sticky, hard food. This will avoid emergency appointments, which will reduce the treatment duration as well.

  • 22. While I have braces, how frequently should I brush my teeth?

    Patients should try to brush three times a day after each meals. Also, patient should floss every night before going to bed, we will provide instructions on dental care with braces.

  • 23. What would be considered an emergency visit? What should I do?

    If something breaks, pokes or your braces are giving you pain, please call our office. Most of the time, we can help you over the phone. However, if office visit is needed, we will work to get you in for care as soon as possible.

  • 24. Is braces an option when I have crowns and missing teeth?

    Of course. We can move teeth with crowns/ simple fillings just like our regular teeth. When you are missing teeth, we will discuss with your general dentist and move the teeth according to your future restorative plans.