FAQ

Bullmoose Orthodontics is always here to help. In order to better serve our patients, we’ve compiled a list of the most commonly asked questions about orthodontic treatment. Have a question or concern not on the list? Our staff is here to help. Feel free to contact our office with any other questions or concerns about the treatment process.

Orthodontist FAQ

Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?

Yes. Once treatment begins, we will explain the complete instructions and provide a comprehensive list of foods to avoid. Some of those foods include: ice, hard candy, raw vegetables and all sticky foods (i.e. caramel and taffy). You can avoid most emergency appointments to repair broken or damaged braces by carefully following our instructions.

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

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic screening at age 7. By this age, several permanent teeth in most children have erupted, allowing us to effectively evaluate your orthodontic condition.

Can I still play sports?

Yes. We highly recommend a mouth guard for all  sports.

Can I wear braces even though I have crowns and missing teeth?

Yes. A tooth with a crown will move just like a tooth with a simple filling. When teeth are missing, orthodontic treatment will aid in the alignment of the remaining teeth prior to replacement of absent teeth.

Can orthodontic correction occur while a child has baby teeth?

Yes. Significant orthodontic problems require early intervention. Being pro-active reduces many complications later.

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 Tylenol will ease the discomfort. However, after most visits, patients do not feel any soreness at all!

Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?

Yes, it is absolutely mandatory to receive regular dental cleanings with orthodontic appliances in place. Your daily brushing can only reach the surfaces above the gumline, your dentist or hygienist needs to get the hidden, deeper areas around the appliances and under the gum line to avoid the bacterial damage of plaque. Ask your dentist how often you should be seen while in braces.

Do you use recycled braces?

Absolutely not! It is our belief that each patient should be provided with their own braces to achieve the best orthodontic result possible.

How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?

Simply call our office, send us an e-mail or fill out our appointment request form online. We will be happy to schedule an appointment for you. When you call to schedule your appointment, our front office staff will request some basic information from you.

How long will it take to complete treatment?

Treatment time obviously depends on each patient’s specific orthodontic problem. In general, treatment times range from 12 to 30 months. The “average” time frame a person is in braces is approximately 22 months.

How much will braces cost? Are financing options available? How does my insurance work?

It is impossible to give an exact cost for treatment until we have examined you. We will cover the exact cost and financial options during your consultation. We have many financing options available to accommodate your needs, and we will review these with you. We will also review your insurance policy and help to maximize your benefit and file your claims.

How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?

Patients should brush their teeth at least four times each day – after each meal and before going to bed. We will show each patient how to floss their teeth with braces and may also provide a prescription for a special fluoride, if necessary.

How often will I have appointments?

Appointments are scheduled according to each patient’s needs. Most patients in braces will be seen every four to six weeks. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly.

Is it required that my family dentist refer me to the orthodontist?

No, it is not. Many of our patients are referred by their family dentist, yet many other patients take the initiative to schedule an examination with an orthodontist themselves.

Is it too late to have braces if I am already an adult?

A surprising percentage of our patients are adults. In fact, 25 percent of all orthodontic patients are adults. Health, happiness and self-esteem are vitally important to adults. No patient is “too old” to wear braces!

What is an emergency appointment? How are those handled?

If your braces are causing significant pain 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, we will set aside time for you. Please call ahead, we will always accommodate you.

What will happen at the initial examination appointment?

Upon arriving, each patient and parent will be seen by the staff and doctor who will acclimate you to our office and prepare for the initial exam. We may ask to take necessary photographs and X-rays to allow us to make a proper diagnosis. The doctor will then complete a brief, but thorough, exam.

To read more about your first visit, see our First Visit page.

What will I learn from the initial examination?

There are 7 essential questions we cover during our initial examination:

  • Is there an orthodontic problem? What is it? When should treatment start?
  • What must be done to correct the problem?
  • Can we avoid tooth extractions? Surgeries?
  • How long will the treatment take to complete?
  • How much will the treatment cost?
  • How does my insurance or flexible spending accounts fit in?
  • What payment arrangements are possible?
Why should I choose an orthodontic specialist?

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, efficient and more lasting treatment plans.

Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?

Removing teeth is sometimes required to achieve the best orthodontic result. Straight teeth and a balanced facial profile are the goal of orthodontics. However, because new technology has provided advanced orthodontic procedures, removing teeth is not always necessary for orthodontic treatment.

Will my child need an expander?

At the completion of the initial examination, we will determine whether a patient will need an expander.

Will my child need full braces if he/she has Phase One treatment?

It is best to assume that your child will need full braces even after Phase One treatment. The period following Phase One treatment is called the “resting period,” during which growth and tooth eruption are closely monitored. Throughout this period, parents and patients will be kept informed of future treatment recommendations.

Will my teeth straighten out as they grow?

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.