FAQ

  1. Is it required that my family dentist schedule my appointment with the orthodontist?
  2. At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?
  3. Will my teeth straighten out as they grow?
  4. How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?
  5. What will happen at the initial examination appointment?
  6. What will I learn from the initial examination?
  7. Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?
  8. How long will it take to complete treatment?
  9. How much will braces cost? Are financing options available? How does my insurance work?
  10. How often will I have appointments?
  11. Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?
  12. Can I drop my child off for an appointment?
  13. Do braces hurt?
  14. Can I return to school the day I receive my braces?
  15. Do you give shots?
  16. Do you use recycled braces?
  17. Can I still play sports?
  18. Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?
  19. Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?
  20. How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?
  21. What are comfort and repair appointments? How are those handled?
  22. Can orthodontic correction occur while a child has baby teeth?
  23. What is Phase One (early) Treatment?
  24. Will my child need full braces if he/she has Phase One treatment?
  25. Will my child need an expander?
  26. Should I consider braces or Invisalign if I am already an adult?
  27. Can I have braces or Invisalign even though I have crowns and missing teeth?
  28. Why should I consider an orthodontic specialist instead of a general dentist?

1. Is it required that my family dentist schedule my appointment with 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 themselves.

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2. 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.

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3. 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.

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4. How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?

If you or your child can potentially benefit from orthodontic treatment, 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.

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5. 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 will take the 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.

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6. What will I learn from the initial examination?

There are five essential questions that we will cover during the initial examination:

  • Is there an orthodontic problem, and if so, what is it?
  • What must be done to correct the problem?
  • Will any teeth need to be removed?
  • How long will the treatment take to complete?
  • How much will the treatment cost?

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7. 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 often necessary for orthodontic treatment.

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8. 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 treatment in our office is approximately 18-24 months.

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9. 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 the initial examination. 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.

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10. How often will I have appointments?

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

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11. Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?

Unfortunately, we cannot schedule all appointments for students during after-school hours. However, because most appointments are scheduled six to eight weeks apart, most patients will miss minimal school due to their orthodontic treatments. We will, however, make a sincere effort to meet your scheduling needs.

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12. 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 a parent when they return, so we ask that parents check in with their clinical assistant before dropping off their child. Conversely, parents are always welcome in the treatment area at each appointment and are always welcome to ask questions related to their child’s treatment progress.

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13. 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 does not have to hurt to work!”

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14. Can I return to school the day I receive my braces?

Yes. There is no reason to miss school because of an orthodontic appointment.

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15. Do you give shots?

No. Shots are not necessary in orthodontic treatment.

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16. 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.

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17. Can I still play sports?

Yes. We recommend a mouth guard for all sports.

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

Yes! Regular checkups with your family dentist are important while in braces. Your family dentist will determine the intervals between cleaning appointments while you are in braces.

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19. 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.

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20. 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.

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21. What are comfort and repair appointments? How are those handled?

If your braces are causing extreme pain or if something breaks, you should call our office. In most cases, we can address these issues over the telephone. If you require a special appointment, we will set aside time for you.

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22. 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 follow that patient's growth and development until the time is right for treatment to begin.

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23. What is Phase One (early) treatment?

Phase one treatment, also called early or interceptive treatment, is usually initiated on children between the ages of 7 and 10, where indicated. Early treatment lasts about 12-18 months. The primary objective for early treatment is to address significant problems to prevent them from becoming more severe and to improve self-esteem and self-image.

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24. 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 early treatment. The period following early 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.

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25. Will my child need an expander?

At the completion of the initial examination, we will determine whether a patient will need an expander. In our office we have found advantages with the Damon system that often replace the need for an expander.

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26. Should I consider braces or Invisalign 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! Alternatively, many of our adult patients are excellent candidates for Invisalign instead of braces.

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27. Can I have braces or Invisalign 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.

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28. Why should I consider an orthodontic specialist instead of a general dentist?

Orthodontists are dentists first! The only way to become an orthodontist is to complete the necessary dental school training followed by specialized training in an accredited orthodontic residency. A residency is a 2-3 year program where post-graduate students study and treat patients full-time to properly learn the specialized training of orthodontics. While your general dentist may or may not have taken some courses during or after dental school to learn orthodontic techniques, they are not orthodontic specialists. We love our local general dentists but at Bountiful Orthodontics we believe that the ideal way to help you or your child achieve the smile of their dreams is trusting an orthodontist!

We are active members of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) who state:

“What’s the Difference Between a Dentist and an Orthodontist?

A dentist is similar to your family doctor - great for check-ups and filling cavities. An orthodontist is a specialist who has two to three years of additional education, and is an expert in straightening your teeth and choosing the treatment option that’s best for you.”


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