Frequently Asked Questions
What's the difference between a general dentist and an orthodontist?
Orthodontics is a specific area of dentistry that specializes in diagnosing, preventing and treating dental and facial issues, the most common of which is the straightening of crooked teeth. An orthodontist has an additional 2-3 years of training after completion of Dental School.
At what age should my child see an orthodontist?
It is best that an orthodontist see a child by 8 years of age to determine if early orthodontic treatment is necessary. Dr. Alder suggests that children with severe problems should be evaluated at 5-6 years of age in order to provide proper care way in advance.
Do braces hurt?
The placement of bands and brackets on the teeth does not hurt. Once the braces are placed and connected with the archwires you may experience soreness that can last for several days.
How long do I have to wear braces?
Treatment times vary on a case-by-case basis, but the average time is from 3 to 30 months. Actual treatment time can be affected by the rate of growth and severity of the correction necessary. Treatment length is also dependent upon patient compliance. Maintaining good oral hygiene and keeping regular appointments are important in keeping treatment time on schedule.
Is it required that I have a referral to come for an initial consult for braces?
No, you may schedule an appointment when you feel the time is right however; many patients will be given a referral from their regular family dentist, both are acceptable. We always communicate with your family dentist in order to inform them as to the prescribed orthodontic treatment for their patient.
Is orthodontic treatment more than just cosmetic?
Yes. While esthetics are an important part of why people choose orthodontics treatment, it is about more than just confidence in your smile. Straight teeth and normal bites help to prevent tooth chipping and abnormal tooth wear and mouth development which can lead to speech impediments. It also makes it easier to brush and floss effectively. A beautiful smile is a healthy smile.
Can I go to school after braces are placed?
Yes! You can go to school right after your appointment. You may want to eat shortly after your appointment before you experience any discomfort.
Can I still play sports?
Absolutely! There is no reason why you shouldn't play sports. Remember to wear a mouth guard designed for athletes with braces to prevent damaging them and better protect your mouth.
Am I too old for orthodontic treatment?
There is no age limit for receiving orthodontic care. However, just like with anyone receiving orthodontic treatment, the teeth and gums must be strong and healthy before care can begin, so some work with your general dentist may be required prior to starting a treatment plan.
Can I wear braces even if I have crowns?
Absolutely! Having a crown will not affect your orthodontic treatment as a tooth with a crown will respond the same as any other tooth.
What are the primary benefits of Invisalign®/ClearCorrect®?
This system uses aligners that are clear, so people around you won't notice that you're even wearing braces! They are perfect for day-to-day interactions, and are easily removable. This allows you to eat and drink what you want, when you want. It also means that you will have the ability to continue with proper oral care, such as brushing and flossing every night.
How long does treatment take when using clear aligners?
The amount of time for treatment differs from patient to patient, and depends on the severity of each individual case. Though when using Invisalign® or ClearCorrect®, treatment is generally around 12-18 months for adults. Treatment duration for teen patients vary and will be determined by Dr. Alder.
What happens after I am finished with my Invisalign®/ClearCorrect® treatment?
When a patient is finished with their clear aligner treatment, what happens next varies. Some patients may need to use a positioner (or retainer) to help maintain their new smile. Dr. Alder will discuss your options with you once your treatment has been completed.