Braces FAQ

At What Age Should I Bring my Child to See Your Office?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that your child be evaluated at or before age 7. Early detection of some orthodontic problems is important in order to take early corrective action and avoid more difficult treatment later.

Will My Child Need One or Two Sets of Braces?

The vast majority of kids will only need one set of braces. In most cases, this will be once all of their baby teeth have fallen out, and all of their adult teeth have grown in. However, some kids will benefit from braces while they still have baby teeth.

What is Phase I Treatment?

Phase I is an early-round of treatment that we recommend to a small number of our patients between the ages of 7-10. The goal of Phase I is to prevent challenging orthodontic problems from developing. Severe crowding, crossbites, and flared teeth are some examples of conditions that may require a Phase I treatment. Sometimes Phase I can eliminate the need for treatment when all of the adult teeth have grown in.

Is It Too Late to Get Braces if I Am Already an Adult?

A high percentage of our patients are adults. Health, happiness, and self-esteem are vitally important to adults. No patient is “too old” to wear braces!

When Do I Need to See an Orthodontist?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends 7 and up.

You’re never too old to begin orthodontic treatment — but if you start at an earlier age, your problems may be easier to treat.

You should see an orthodontist any time you have a question about the alignment of your teeth or the quality of your bite. Sometimes, a problem in this area is painfully obvious. For example, you may have difficulty biting, chewing, or speaking, or some of your teeth may be clearly protruding, crowded, or misplaced. If that’s the case, then it’s time to schedule a free consultation — Dr. Harris has the special skills and training needed to diagnose and treat the problem.

Other conditions may not be as clear-cut. Mouth breathing, clenching or grinding your teeth, and the inability to comfortably close your lips may be signs that orthodontic treatment is needed. Likewise, if your jaws seem to frequently shift in position or make sounds as they move, or if you find you’re unintentionally biting your cheek or the roof of your mouth, you may have an orthodontic issue.

When Should an Orthodontist Straighten My Teeth Instead of My General Dentist?

Always. To become an orthodontist, a dentist must complete a 2-3 year residency program that is dedicated solely to orthodontics. This in-depth training is crucial for high-quality orthodontic treatment. If you or your child is facing problems beyond brushing and flossing, it may be time to see an orthodontist.

What Does it Mean to be Board-Certified?

A Board-Certified Orthodontist has successfully passed an extensive and rigorous examination process. This certifies that Dr. Harris will provide the highest quality treatment. Board certification for orthodontists is optional and there are surprisingly few orthodontists who are board-certified.

How Long Will I Have Braces?

Treatment time 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 18 months.

How Much Do Braces Cost?

The actual cost of treatment depends on several factors, including the severity of your problem and the treatment approach selected.

You should never have to choose between the best provider and a payment you can afford. With our flexible payment options, the power is in your hands – you design a payment plan that fits your budget. It’s easy.

Cost can vary, but the results are priceless.

Do Braces Hurt?

It doesn’t hurt to apply your braces, but for the first week, after you’ve had them put on, your teeth and jaw may ache. If any parts of the braces start to hurt the inside of your mouth, you can apply wax to the braces to smooth things over.

You can also take Tylenol or Motrin to help ease the pain. But, remember – the pain doesn’t last very long. Limiting the diet to soft foods may help the pain for the first week as well.

How Often Will I Get My Braces Tightened?

On average, you will see the orthodontist about every six to ten weeks during treatment. This allows us to make the changes needed to progress through treatment and also allows them to keep an eye on your treatment progress, and monitor the health of your teeth and gums.

How Long Are My Appointments?

Most appointments will take around 15-30 minutes. Getting braces on and off will be your longest appointment and can take up to 90 minutes.

How Long Will I Need to Wear my Retainers?

We recommend wearing them every night for the rest of your life. Once you are tired of straight teeth, you can throw your retainers away.