You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers! Check out our most common concerns below to help guide you in the right direction.
Appointment & First Visit
Can I schedule all my appointments after school?
We do our very best to accommodate you and your family’s schedule. The great news is we typically see our patients every 8-12 weeks so minimal school is missed due to orthodontic appointments.
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. On some occasions, we may request to speak with you when you return, so we ask you to check in with us before dropping off your child.
What is an emergency appointment? How are those handled?
If your braces are causing extreme discomfort 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, our Team will work to accommodate you.
What will I learn from the initial consultation?
At your free consultation, we will answer all your questions and review your options for personalized treatment, treatment length and costs, and flexible monthly payment plans.
What will happen at the initial consultation appointment?
After welcoming you to Smile Doctors, we will review all your information previously gathered over the phone. Your Doctor will complete a thorough clinical exam and our Team will take X-rays or photographs if they are needed for proper diagnosis. Your photos, X-rays, exam, and consultation are all free of charge.
How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?
Simply call, book online, or send us a message through Facebook chat. We will be happy to schedule an appointment for your free consultation. Please let us know if you have insurance benefits so that we can help you maximize your financial options.
Does my family dentist have to schedule my appointment with the orthodontist?
Not at all. Many of our patients are referred by their family dentist, but a lot of our patients call us directly to schedule their free consultation.
At what age should I schedule an appointment for a screening?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic screening at age 7. By this age, most children have several permanent teeth starting to surface, allowing us to effectively evaluate your child’s orthodontic condition. In certain cases, early evaluation allows us to identify missing permanent teeth or jaw growth and habit problems that can be easily corrected if caught early. We want to help your child avoid future problems and potential costly corrections.
Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?
Our goal is to help you achieve beautiful, straight teeth and a balanced facial profile. In very rare cases, this may require permanent tooth extraction. Approximately 95% of our patients are successfully treated without having permanent teeth extracted for orthodontic treatment.
Will my teeth straighten out as they grow?
Research shows that teeth typically worsen over time. As we age, teeth tend to shift and erupt leading to orthodontic problems. The good news – once teeth are corrected with treatment, we can hold them in position with the help of fixed or removable retainers.
Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?
Yes, but it’s not forever! Once treatment begins, we will explain which foods and food types to avoid. Some of those foods include ice, hard candy, broccoli, and all sticky candies. Just kidding about the broccoli.
Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?
Yes! Regular checkups with your family dentist are very important while you are wearing braces. Your family dentist will determine the intervals between cleaning appointments and watch for decay while you are in braces.
Can I return to school or work the day I receive my braces?
Yes. Generally there is no reason you cannot return to school or work the same day.
Do braces hurt?
Generally, braces do not hurt. After certain visits, teeth may be sore for a few days. 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 doesn’t have to hurt to work!”
How often must I wear my aligners? Can I just wear them while I sleep?
We find that aligners are most effective when worn 22+ hours per day and removed only for eating, brushing, and flossing, so they cannot only be worn while sleeping.
Will Invisalign® treatment be painful?
Generally, Invisalign® treatment does not hurt. Some people experience temporary discomfort for a few days at the beginning of each new stage of treatment. This is normal and is typically described as a feeling of pressure. It’s also a sign that Invisalign® treatment is working, as it moves your teeth to their final destination. This discomfort typically goes away in a couple of days.
Will wearing Invisalign® clear aligners affect my speech?
Like other orthodontic treatments, Invisalign® clear aligners may temporarily affect the speech of some people, and you may have a slight lisp for a day or two. However, as your tongue gets used to having clear aligners in your mouth, any lisp caused by the clear aligners should disappear.
Are there restrictions as to what I can eat while in treatment?
No. Thanks to the removable nature of the aligners, you can eat and drink whatever you want while in treatment. In fact, you’re required to remove your aligners to eat and drink. So, unlike traditional treatment using wires and brackets, there is no need to restrict your consumption of any of your favorite foods and snacks unless you are otherwise instructed by your doctor. Also, it is important that you brush your teeth after each meal and prior to reinserting your aligners to maintain fresh breath and proper hygiene.
Will smoking stain the aligners?
We discourage smoking while wearing aligners because it is possible for the aligners to become discolored.
Can I drink alcohol when wearing my aligners?
A moderate amount is fine to consume as long as you brush your teeth. Because of the high sugar content in alcohol, you want to make sure sugar is not trapped between your teeth and aligner. The same applies for any sugary beverage.
Can I chew gum while wearing aligners?
No, gum will stick to the aligners. We recommend removing your aligners for all meals and snacks.
Do Invisalign® clear aligners contain Bisphenol-A (BPA)?
No. Invisalign® clear aligners do not contain Bisphenol-A or phthalate plasticizers. These clear aligners and retainers are made with USP Class VI medical-grade, high molecular weight, and polyurethane resins. Tests have been conducted to determine the biocompatibility of these materials and show that they are biocompatible and pass all applicable regulatory requirements and thresholds for human wear in the mouth. Of course, as with any medical device, you should consult with your health professional about your clear aligner or retainer treatment and any applicable risks of use.
What’s the best way to clean my aligners?
The best way to clean your aligners is to use the Invisalign® Cleaning system, available for order at InvisalignStore.com. As a secondary method, however, your aligners can also be cleaned by brushing them and rinsing them in lukewarm water.
I currently have veneers. Will Invisalign® clear aligners work with them?
The best way to clean your clear aligners is to use the Invisalign® Cleaning system, available for order at InvisalignStore.com. As a secondary method, however, your clear aligners can also be cleaned by brushing them and rinsing them in lukewarm water.
I currently have bridgework on several teeth. Will Invisalign® treatment still work?
Because bridgework involves the connection of a tooth to surrounding teeth, proper tooth movement must be programmed for best results to be achieved. After a thorough exam and consultation, we will be better able to give you treatment options.
General & Financial
How often will I have appointments?
Appointments are scheduled according to each patient’s treatment needs. For patients with braces, most patients in treatment will be seen every 6-10 weeks. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, we schedule appointments to get the best possible outcome and the most beautiful smile. For Invisalign®, we will schedule regular appointments, usually about once every 10-12 weeks. The goal of these visits is to ensure that your treatment is progressing as planned.
How long will it take to complete treatment?
Treatment time depends on each patient’s specific orthodontic concerns. Most of our patients wear their braces for approximately 14-18 months. Treatment time can last as little as 6-9 months for simple cases and up to 36 months for more complex cases. With Invisalign®, the average case takes about 12 months for adults. The length of time necessary for a teen Invisalign® patient may vary.
Will I need to wear a retainer after treatment to prevent my teeth from moving again?
We recommend that anyone who has completed orthodontic treatment, whether braces or Invisalign® treatment, use a retainer to prevent teeth from gradually shifting back toward their initial position. Because every case is different, please speak to us if you need post-treatment retainers, and if they are needed for both upper and lower teeth.
Why should I choose an orthodontic specialist from Smile Doctors?
Our Doctors have extensive, specialized training that enables us to provide our patients with professional and personalized treatments tailored especially for you. We have treated thousands of cases, likely just like yours, and go above and beyond to get to know you and ensure you have the proper bite and facial balance that will have you Smiling Happy.
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 monitor that patient’s growth and development until the time is right for treatment to begin.
How will braces and Invisalign® cost?
We offer free consultations including photos and X-rays so that we can give you an estimated treatment time, treatment type, and monthly installment plan. We understand the demands on working families, and we refuse to let finances get in the way of treatment.
Are financing options available?
During your free consultation and exam, we will review all your treatment and financial options. We have very flexible installment plans.
How does my insurance work?
We will help you maximize your orthodontic insurance benefits and are happy to assist in filing claims.