Orthodontic faq's

What is Orthodontics?

Orthodontics (also referred to as dentofacial orthopedics) is a specialized form of dentistry focusing on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities.


Why should I choose an Orthodontic Specialist?

Teeth, and sometimes entire facial structures, are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment, so it’s important to have treatment done well. Orthodontic specialists like Drs. Kessel and Bouwens have extensive and specialized training that enables them to provide their patients with professional, personalized treatment. They’ve received 2-3 years of additional training and experience beyond dental school. They are able to straighten teeth, correct misaligned jaw structure, and improve the function of your smile.


What’s the Best Age to Visit the Orthodontist?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist around the age of seven; however, orthodontic treatment is not exclusive to children and teens, with about 25% of all orthodontic patients being adults. If you want to improve the look and feel of your smile, then any age can be a great age to see the orthodontist!


Do I Need a Referral from My Family Dentist?

No, this is not required. Many of our patients are referred by their family dentist, but many other patients take the initiative to schedule an initial consultation themselves.


How Do Braces Work?

Braces place constant pressure on your teeth, and the force of the pressure helps move teeth into proper position. At each appointment, your orthodontist may tighten the archwires. In addition to braces, some patients may need rubber bands or other appliances.


How Much Will Braces Cost?

Each patient is unique, so we cannot give you an exact cost for treatment until having performed an initial examination. During this visit we will review the several financing options available to accommodate your needs. We will also file all orthodontic insurance claims.


How Long Do Braces Take?

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


Do Braces Hurt?

Braces do not often “hurt”, although you may feel a small amount of soreness for a couple days after they are placed or adjusted. Pain medications such as Advil or Tylenol will ease the discomfort.


Do I need to Brush My Teeth More Often if I have Braces?

Oral hygiene is extremely important while undergoing orthodontic treatment. Brushing after every meal will help remove any food that may be caught between the braces. You should also floss daily to get in between your braces where your brush isn’t able to reach. Our team will show you how to properly brush and floss once your braces are placed.


If I Have Braces, Do I Still Need to See My Dentist?

Yes! It is vital that you continue to visit your family dentist for teeth cleanings and routine dental checkups, even during your orthodontic treatment. Your dentist will work closely with your orthodontist to make sure that your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.


Can I Still Play Sports with Braces?

Wearing braces will not stop you from participating in any of your school activities. If you play a contact sport, we recommend a mouth guard.


How Do I Schedule My Next Appointment?

Simply call our practice! Our front desk staff will be happy to help schedule your next appointment at your convenience. If you are a new patient or have been referred to our practice, please let us know and we will provide you with all of the information you need.