You have questions?

Hang 10 with our Orthodontics FAQ segment.

We have answers!

We encourage you to use this page as a handy reference for answers to questions that we hear often. If you don’t see your question, please contact us directly or schedule a consultation, and we will be more than happy to assist you!

Can I chew gum with braces? Do I have to change my diet?

The American Dental Association has found that sugar-free gum can aid in cleaning teeth and freshening breath after a meal! Many sugar-free gums (Dentyne, Trident, Orbit, Extra, etc.) are not too sticky and won’t get caught in braces. However, we ask our patients who want to chew gum to be very careful the same way they would with other hard or chewy nutritious foods such as cut apples, carrots, or raisins. Avoid hard candies and chewy, sticky, sugary foods to prevent plaque buildup in your braces. Chewing with care will help ensure a smooth treatment process. During the first couple weeks of your braces treatment, you may experience some mild soreness in your mouth. Your diet may need to be temporarily altered with softer/liquid foods to accommodate the initial tenderness.

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

Not at all! A large percentage of our patients are adults. In fact, about 30 percent of our orthodontic patients are adults. No patient is “too old” to for orthodontics – we even have a few patients in their 90s! Orthodontic treatment improves your personal appearance, your self esteem and your overall health. It’s never too late to take steps toward becoming your happiest, healthiest you.

What will happen at your initial examination appointment?

When you arrive, one of our treatment coordinators will introduce you to our office and take the necessary photographs and x-rays for Dr. Caudill or Dr. McNeight to properly understand your condition. They will discuss the concerns you have about your teeth and then complete a brief, but thorough, exam. After this, Dr. Caudill or Dr. McNeight will discuss their findings with you, inform you of your condition in great detail, and present your treatment options. They will discuss the expected treatment length and help you understand what’s to come. You will then visit with our treatment coordinator, who will discuss the cost of your personalized treatment plan and our available payment options. Our goal during your initial exam is to work with you in choosing a treatment and payment plan that makes you feel comfortable and excited about your orthodontic journey.

How much does orthodontics cost? Are financing options available?

The cost of orthodontic treatment will depend on your individual treatment plan; there isn’t a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach when it comes to payment. During your initial examination, we will discuss the exact cost as well as our financial options. Our in-house office financing offers an initial down payment with low monthly payments, interest-free! CareCredit financing is also available with no interest if paid within the promotional period of 6 to 12 months. If you prefer to pay in full, additional discounts are given. We also offer coverage from most insurance companies! Check out our insurance options here.

How long will it take to complete treatment?

Orthodontic treatment time will depend on the specific conditions present to fix and their severity. It is possible for treatment to take a little as 6 months. However, the “average” treatment time is longer than 12 months. If you need additional help to fix your bite with elastic rubber bands, for example, your treatment time can be reduced or extended depending on your diligence in wearing them as instructed.

How do I know if my child needs orthodontic treatment?

It is usually difficult for you to determine if treatment is necessary because there are many problems that can occur even though the front teeth look straight. In addition, many orthodontic problems that look intimidating and complex can resolve on their own. Asking your general dentist is a good reference, but we are your best resource since orthodontics is our specialty and it is all we do in our office. Schedule your child’s consultation today to find out more about how we can help!

At what age should my child see an orthodontist?

The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that your child be evaluated by age seven. This allows us to determine the best time for the treatment. Early detection of any orthodontic problems is important in order to take early corrective action and avoid more difficult treatment later. If no treatment is needed, we will continue to evaluate your child’s growth and eruption of permanent teeth yearly at no charge to you.

What is Phase One (early) treatment?

Phase One treatment, if necessary, is usually initiated on children between the ages of 7 and 10 and typically lasts between 6-12 months. The primary objective for Phase One treatment is to address significant problems to prevent them from becoming more severe and to improve self-esteem and self-image.

Do you give shots?

Shots are not necessary in orthodontic treatment.

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 a multitude of others schedule an examination themselves. You do not need a referral to be seen.

Can I schedule all of my appointments after school or work?

We have after school appointments available, however, we have found that many patients like to schedule their appointments before school or work. Our day starts at 7am! Unfortunately, we cannot promise our schedule will always all your appointments to be scheduled during these times. However, because most appointments are scheduled 6 to 12 weeks apart, many patients will miss minimal school or work due to their orthodontic treatment. We always make a sincere effort to meet your scheduling needs.

When can I remove my Invisalign® aligners?

You will remove your aligners to eat, drink liquids other than water, brush your teeth and floss your teeth. This is one of the great things about Invisalign®! It’s easier to maintain your orthodontic health when you can brush and floss your teeth like normal each day and night. There is also no chance of food becoming lodged in your braces when you choose Invisalign® treatment. For the remaining hours of the day and night (about 20 to 22 hours) your aligners will remain in your mouth.

How do I clean my Invisalign® aligners?

Each time you remove your Invisalign® aligners, you will rinse them with cool water before you place them back in. Never hot water on your aligners; they can become deformed and will no longer be effective. Use your toothbrush to gently brush your aligners while you rinse them with water. You can use retainer cleaner or denture cleaner to soak your aligners every so often if desired. Since your aligners are in your mouth all day and night, they must be cleaned persistently to prevent bacteria buildup (and bad breath).

What will happen at your initial examination appointment?

When you arrive, one of our treatment coordinators will introduce you to our office and take the necessary photographs and x-rays for Dr. Caudill or Dr. McNeight to properly understand your condition. They will discuss the concerns you have about your teeth and then complete a brief, but thorough, exam. After this, Dr. Caudill or Dr. McNeight will discuss their findings with you, inform you of your condition in great detail, and present your treatment options. They will discuss the expected treatment length and help you understand what’s to come. You will then visit with our treatment coordinator, who will discuss the cost of your personalized treatment plan and our available payment options. Our goal during your initial exam is to work with you in choosing a treatment and payment plan that makes you feel comfortable and excited about fixing your smile!

How much will Invisalign® cost? Are financing options available?

The cost of Invisalign® will depend on your individual treatment plan; there isn’t a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach when it comes to payment. During your initial examination, we will discuss the exact cost as well as our financial options. Our in-house office financing offers an initial down payment with low monthly payments, interest-free! CareCredit financing is also available with no interest if paid within the promotional period of 6 to 12 months. If you prefer to pay in full, additional discounts are given. We also offer coverage from most insurance companies. Check out our insurance options here.

How long will it take to complete Invisalign® treatment?

Treatment time depends on each patient’s specific orthodontic condition and its severity. You may wear your Invisalign® for as little as 6 months. However, the “average” treatment time with Invisalign® is around 15 months. The more diligent you are in wearing your aligners, the shorter your treatment time will be!

I don't really want braces. Am I a candidate for Invisalign?

Almost all of our patients are candidates for Invisalign. We have successfully completed Invisalign treatment on thousands of patients, many of whom were previously told by another orthodontist or dentist that they were not an Invisalign candidate! Schedule an appointment with us and tell us that you’re interested in Invisalign, and we will help you determine whether it’s the best treatment option for you.

Can Invisalign fix all orthodontic problems?

Invisalign is capable of fixing most common orthodontic problems like crowded teeth, gapped teeth, crooked teeth and malocclusions (poor bite condition: overbite, underbite, open bite, crossbite, etc). We will assess your current orthodontic condition, discuss your idea of the perfect smile, and determine whether Invisalign fits into your orthodontic treatment.

How does Invisalign work?

Invisalign straightens your teeth using a series of flexible, plastic trays made of clear, BPA-free plastic. We take digital impressions of your teeth using our iTero intraoral scanner to digitally capture the exact position of your teeth. Your clear aligners will be custom-designed to match your unique orthodontic condition. With each new set, these sturdy aligners will gradually shift your teeth into perfect alignment.

How often do I have to wear Invisalign?

Invisalign should be worn for about 20 to 22 hours a day. You will keep them in place day and night to ensure your teeth are being persistently treated. Only when you eat, brush, floss or drink liquids other than water will you remove your aligners. (Before you place your Invisalign aligners back in your mouth, rinse them with lukewarm water to prevent bacteria buildup.)

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