Frequently Asked Questions

1. What age should I bring my child in to see the orthodontist?

The American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) recommends to see an orthodontist no later than 7 years of age.  The orthodontist will check to make sure there are not any problems that need to be treated early with phase I orthodontics.  If there are not any problems, then your child will be monitored every 6 months until all of the permanent teeth have erupted.

2. What problems are corrected with Phase I Orthodontics?

  • Crossbites in the front or back
  • Significantly crowded teeth
  • Significantly spaced teeth
  • Thumb or finger sucking habit that is affecting the eruption of the permanent teeth and jaw growth
  • Risk of trauma to the permanent front teeth
  • Risk of permanent canines not having room to come in correctly
  • Permanent molars that are resorbing the primary molar roots

3. What is the most common age for children to get braces?

The most common age for children to get full upper and lower braces is between 12 and 13 years of age when all of the primary teeth have been lost and the permanent teeth have come in.  We have many orthodontic patients that are older teenagers and adults as well.

4. How do you become an orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dentist who has specialized in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics.  An orthodontist has graduated from high school, 4 years of college, 4 years of dental school, and an additional 3 years of orthodontic residency.

5. What do the initials DDS and MS mean after the orthodontist's name?

DDS stands for Doctor of Dental Surgery.  The DDS is earned when a person graduates from dental school.  MS stands for Masters of Science.  The MS and a certificate in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics is earned when a person graduates from an accredited orthodontic residency.

6. Is everyone a candidate for Invisalign?

Everyone is not a candidate for Invisalign.  Invisalign has come a long way since the beginning of clear aligner therapy, however there are still limitations.  People with minor rotations, minor crowding, and minor bite discrepancies are the best candidates.  People with large rotations, significant spaces or crowding, and significant bite discrepancies are better treated with ceramic (clear) braces.

7. Is a free orthodontic consult truly free?

Our orthodontic consults are completely free.  We will take photos, a panoramic x-ray, and usually a cephalometric x-ray to review after the orthodontist performs your exam.  We will then answer any questions you may have and review the fee estimate and the in-office interest fee payment plan we offer for orthodontic treatment.  If the consult is for your child, many times they are not completely ready for braces.  So, we will inform you of what to watch for and schedule a 6 month recall until they are ready for braces.

8. Do metal braces set off the metal detector at the airport?

To our knowledge, metal braces will not set off the metal detector at the airport.