Frequently Asked Questions:

1.       Does my child need to see an orthodontist?
The following are indications that an orthodontic problem may be present:

  • Unusual facial profile
  • Thumb or finger sucking
  • Overlapping and crowded teeth
  • Missing teeth
  • Over-bite
  • Under-bite
  • Spaced teeth
  • Protrusion of upper front teeth
  • Mouth breathing

These are just a few of the early indications that orthodontic problems may exist.

2.       When should my child see an orthodontist?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that age 7 is an appropriate time for a child’s first examination by an orthodontic specialist.  If you or your family dentist suspects an orthodontic problem before age 7, an orthodontic specialist should be contacted for an earlier evaluation.

3.       Isn’t seven years of age too early?
Not really.  Early diagnosis and treatment by the orthodontist can help tooth eruption, guide facial growth, eliminate habits that can interfere with proper function and, therefore, prevent more serious problems from occurring.  Also, by lessening the problems, later orthodontic treatment may be reduced, made easier, and, in some cases, more economical.

4.       How will my child benefit from straight teeth?
Properly aligned teeth are much easier to care for and clean.  Correction of the bite not only helps improve chewing but also plays an important role in reducing future wear of the teeth and stress on the supporting bone and jaw joints.  Orthodontic care may also improve an individual’s self-image.

5.       How long does orthodontic treatment take?
Every orthodontic problem is different, but most treatments require 18-24 months.  Some treatment times are longer.  Treatment times depend on complexity, patient cooperation, and other factors.

6.       What kind of braces do you use?
We offer metal braces and clear braces.  Some treatment can be accomplished with removable retainers.  Dr. Manuel will discuss your options at your treatment consult.

7.       Am I too old for braces?
Patients who have teeth and healthy supporting structures are never too old for braces.  They can spend the rest of their lives with an attractive smile if they so choose.  Age is not a factor.

8.       Why do people choose to have braces during adulthood?
Many adults are receiving orthodontic care that was not available to them as children.  They realize that improving the health of their mouths and the attractiveness of their smiles and facial appearance can result in changes for the better in their personal, social, and professional lives.  Some adults need braces as an adjunct to other dental procedures.  Technical advances have also had an impact on adult therapy.

9.       Should I continue to see my family dentist while in braces?
Definitely!  It is very important to continue your regular dental check-ups to prevent and detect dental decay, as well as to monitor the health of supporting structures.  Periodic professional care by your dentist will help maintain overall dental health and prevent dental disease.

10.   What happens if I have a problem with my braces after hours or on a weekend?
Orthodontic emergencies do not occur often, but if you have a problem, we respond quickly.  For your peace of mind, the doctor’s cell phone number is provided to all patients.  We make every effort to be available when you need us.


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