Frequently Asked Questions About Braces
Who is an Orthodontist?

An Orthodontist is a dentist who is further specialized and trained in the field of orthodontics and facial development.  This training needs to be done in a residency program that is accredited by American Dental Association as well as American Association of Orthodontists. An orthodontist can change the alignment of the teeth or modify the shape or growth of the jaws to obtain a more harmonious and pleasing smile.   Different Appliances and Braces are used in this process.

When should the first orthodontic consultation be scheduled?
Every child should see an orthodontist at an early age. This could be as young as Five years old. Early consultation allows the orthodontist to determine the optimum time for treatment to begin. Many parents and some family dentists assume that they must wait until a child has all of his or her permanent teeth, only to find out that treatment would have been much easier if started earlier. Early treatment can eliminate the need for more drastic measures such as extraction of teeth. In some cases, satisfactory results are unattainable once the face and jaws have finished growing.
Is there an advantage in getting braces Early?
Yes. In earlier age the changes are more predictable and quicker. Since the changes are done while growing, they are more stable. In many cases growth modification can be used to correct the problem without any need for future extraction of teeth. Helpful interceptive treatment with simple appliances such as Headgear, Bite-plate or Expanders can modify the bite and jaw relations significantly. Children are seen as early as five years old to monitor the eruption of their permanent teeth and jaw coordination.

When is the best time for Braces?
  From age Five to Ninety nine years. The reason for such broad range is that, each individual is different with a different ranges of influences from factors such as:
Individual's background and genetics:
One could inherit  jaw discrepancies such as under-bite or Over-bite.  Or jaw size discrepancies which can cause crowding, overlapping or spacing of teeth. 
Individual's habits:
Habits such as digit sucking, tongue thrust or grinding can be harmful. Digit (thumb) sucking can cause narrow jaws or cross-bite and open-bite. Tongue thrust may cause speech problem and open-bite.
Problems of medical origin:
Slow eruption or missing or deformed permanent teeth
Problems of dental origin:
Trauma, missing teeth, overlapping, Spacing, tooth decay, gum disease, impaction of teeth
Finally the individual:
Esthetic concerns, possibilities, change of expectations and social life can have an influence on the timing of your demands and desires.
Can jaw growth resolve the problem of crowded teeth?
Even though, it seems that the jaw is growing, the space available for the front teeth does not increase significantly after age Six. In most instances, the space available for the front teeth actually decreases with aging. (Note the overlapping of lower front teeth of your friends and family.)
Why should I get Braces?
By getting your teeth straight, you can improve your self esteem, cosmetics, function and longevity of your teeth, and reduce the risks of : _ Trauma to protruded front teeth _ Trapping food particles _ Tooth decay and gum disease _ Poor digestion.
How do braces work?
Braces use steady, gentle pressure over time to move teeth into their proper positions. Even-though the process seems slow, but in fact, every moment that your smile is under construction, there's something happening in your mouth. The braces placed on your teeth and the main wire connecting them, are the most important parts of your braces. The wire threading through the brackets applies pressure and actually move your teeth. However thanks to new materials and procedures, all this happens much quicker than ever before.
Why can't you just get a retainer instead of braces?
Retainers don't do the same thing braces do. Braces move teeth into position and retainers hold ( retain ) them in position.
What do rubber bands do?
Rubber bands or elastics contribute in coordinating your jaws and bite together. They are attached to your braces and exert the force that creates the right amount of pressure to move teeth in directions that the braces alone can't. It's important to wear your elastics as prescribed and change them twice daily.
Can I get colors on my braces?
Colors are the most fun part of the braces. You can change or mix colors to coordinate with wardrobe, celebrating holidays or expressing team spirit. These colors can be changed on your monthly visits. Once the braces are off, then you could choose the retainer colors and designs.
Will braces help in treatment of TMJ or jaw joint problems?
Braces may or may not improve jaw joint problems. There are other alternative treatment choices more focused on TMJ treatment.
Will orthodontics change my lifestyle?
Some changes are necessary in your diet. You'll have to be careful and give up hard and sticky foods including gum. These foods can get caught on the braces and pull them off. You'll have to spend a few extra minutes to brush and clean your teeth after meals. But, for the most part, you'll find that braces don't cramp your style. You'll still be able to sing, play your musical instrument, play sports and carry on with your regular daily activities.
How long do you have to wear braces?
Treatment time is usually estimated at the time of your initial exam with your Orthodontist. This period can vary from 6 months to 36 months depending on how severe the problem is to begin with. But one thing is for sure, the better you are about wearing your appliances, taking care of your braces and keeping your appointments regular, the faster your treatment will progress.
Will you have to have any teeth pulled?
The determining factors in pulling teeth are, lack of space or not having enough room for all your teeth, or the jaw relationship. At your initial exam with your Orthodontist the need for extraction will be discussed. But don't worry, if you have teeth pulled, the spaces will be closed.
Is orthodontic care expensive?
At your initial exam appointment which is FREE the financial will be discussed. Based on the estimated treatment time and difficulty of your case the fee will be determined. At the financial consultation you are offered a wide verity of different payment options based on your financial planning. Keeping in mind your convenience, Orthodontic insurance coverage or any pre-tax self-funded company programs, we help you in setting up the most practical and the best monthly payment plan for you. We offer different avenues such as in office or outside financing. We process Visa, MasterCard or Discover at your convenience. Automated bank withdrawal from checking or saving accounts can also be set up with your preferences of the dates and amounts.
Why should you choose an orthodontic specialist?
Teeth and sometimes faces are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment; therefore, it is very important that the treatment be done by a licensed orthodontist who is an expert on moving teeth with special training in orthodontics.
Do you need a referral from your family dentist to see an orthodontist?
You can schedule your initial visit without any need for a referral from your family dentist or insurance. Word of mouth of our existing patients is often the primary way we meet new patients. Spread the word if you like our office.