FAQ

Here are some of the most common questions we hear from our patients. If you’ve got any other questions, please feel free to contact us, or speak to one of our treatment coordinators at your no-cost, no obligation initial consultation.

  • Q: How often will my appointments be?

  • A: You will average four to eight weeks between visits. Depending on your case, at the beginning of treatment, you might need to be seen more or less often. As you near the end of your treatment, visits will tend to become more frequent.
  • Q: How long does the average visit last?

  • A: Most visits are 15–45 minutes in length. Appointments that require the application of braces can be longer. The initial banding—when your braces are first applied—usually takes 1.5 hours.
  • Q: How long will I need to undergo treatment?

  • A: Your treatment really consists of two parts — wearing braces and wearing your retainer. Fortunately, new technologies have reduced the average time wearing braces to 24–30 months from start to finish.Your time in braces will depend on the specifics of your case: Complicating factors can extend treatment time, and simple cases can take less time. Non-compliance and missed appointments can also lengthen treatment time.The second part of treatment means simply wearing your retainer. You will come back for periodic follow up visits to assure that the beautiful result achieved with braces becomes permanent.
  • Q: What is the average cost of treatment?

  • A: The cost for basic treatment starts at $3,800, and we have many flexible payment options available. No money is due at the time of your initial visit, which is complimentary. With our most popular payment plan, once you begin treatment your low down payment is due, followed by monthly payments as low as $77/mo. This does not include tax or special appliances. There may also be additional charges in cases requiring surgery or involving other special circumstances. Find out more about our pricing here.
  • Q: Is orthodontic treatment painful?

  • A: You may experience some soreness for the first few days after braces are adjusted. You may also be uncomfortable when new appliances are placed in your mouth, but most patients adapt well and experience little discomfort. Simple over-the-counter pain medication is usually all that is needed. In addition, we provide soft wax to place on your braces to minimize mouth irritations. Warm, salty water is also a good home remedy for oral discomfort.
  • Q: What happens at a typical visit?

  • A: Procedures will vary from visit to visit. Many visits are for routine adjustment of your braces and last only 15–30 minutes. Learn more about what to expect during specific phases of your treatment.
  • Q: Does SmileLife accept insurance?

  • A: As part of our effort to make treatment affordable for all, we accept most major dental insurance, as well as TRICARE. On your initial visit, we will verify your coverage and determine how much of the cost of treatment will be your responsibility. On subsequent visits, we will file your claims and apply your insurance payments to your account.
  • Q: What happens after I get my braces off?

  • A: After your braces are removed, you will begin a two-year retention program. At this time, you will be fitted with retainers, and final records will be taken and reviewed. During the retention program, you’ll have periodic follow up visits to assure that the beautiful result achieved with braces becomes permanent.
  • Q: At what age should my child see an orthodontist?

  • A: More than ever, orthodontic treatment is understood to be an important part of a comprehensive dental-care program. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that your child see an orthodontist by age 7. This doesn’t necessarily mean your child should begin treatment by this age, merely that an orthodontist should begin periodically reviewing your child’s physical development, so that treatment can begin when it is likely to be most effective. If we determine that your child is not yet ready for braces, we will continue to monitor his or her progress on an ongoing basis, at no charge.In some cases, interceptive or preventive procedures can minimize severe orthodontic problems prior to full orthodontic treatment. Examples of such pre-treatment include tongue fence appliances to correct thumb sucking and correction of a crossbite that, if left untreated, might result in breaking and an anterior tooth. This type of pre-treatment can prevent injury to teeth and decrease the difficulty and cost of future active orthodontic treatment.
  • Q: What colors are available for ties?

  • A: The alastic ties that go on your braces come in just about every color imaginable. Customizing ties with different colors is one way to make treatment a more fun and positive experience for kids, and maybe even adults, too. One of our team members will explain your options to you.
  • Q: What happens if I miss or cancel an appointment?

  • A: If you call and notify our office 24 hours prior to your appointment, there is no charge and we will reschedule you. There is a $25 charge for broken appointments when patients are a “no show” or do not call 24 hours in advance. Continually missing and rescheduling appointments may add to the expense of your treatment, compromise your results, and extend your treatment time. It’s also important to keep in mind is some insurance will not cover treatment that exceeds a specified period of time. Missed appointments are one of the main reasons for extended treatment times.
  • Q: What if I have an emergency with my braces?

  • A: If an emergency arises involving discomfort during office hours, call us as soon as possible. We have time set aside in our schedule so that we can see you immediately in such circumstances. If an emergency arises after office hours, call our office and our after-hours recording will give you an emergency contact number. If an emergency is serious or life threatening, call 911 immediately, or go to your nearest emergency room.
  • Q: How do I get started?

  • A: Call the office nearest you during office hours or fill out our appointment request form to set up your no-cost initial, no-obligation exam. When you arrive, a treatment coordinator will meet with you to let you know what to expect and our orthodontist will provide your consultation. In many cases, treatment can begin on the first visit.
  • Q: Will I still need to see my dentist during my orthodontic treatment?

  • A: Yes, you will see both your dentist and your orthodontist during treatment. Your orthodontist is a specialist in the use of braces and other dental appliances to improve the health and appearance of your smile. He or she will work closely with your dentist to ensure that you receive comprehensive and coordinated care. During treatment, you will continue to see your regular dentist for check ups, cleanings, and any necessary restorative dental work.
  • Q: Do I need a referral from my dentist to see an orthodontist?

  • A: Many of our patients are referred to us by their dentist, but you don’t need a referral to see us. Either way, we will work closely with your dentist to ensure you receive coordinated and comprehensive care. If you’re concerned about the health or appearance of your smile, call us or fill out our appointment request form to schedule your no-cost, no obligation examination.
  • Q: What food should I avoid while I wear braces?

  • A: The good news is you can continue to eat most foods during treatment. However, you will want to avoid hard, sticky, or chewy foods, such as hard candies, taffy, peanut brittle, chewing gum, or beef jerky. These can be difficult to clean from around your braces and can loosen, break, or bend brackets, bands, and arch wires. We also recommend you cut foods into bite size pieces rather than biting into, say an apple, with your front teeth. Ask your orthodontist if you’re not sure about a particular food.
  • Q: Will I have to wear a retainer after my braces are removed?

  • A: After your braces have been removed, you should wear a retainer to keep them in place. Without a retainer, over time, your teeth may have a tendency to shift back to their original positions. Fortunately, wearing your retainer is easy and painless. Many find it most convenient to wear theirs at home and when they sleep. Some retainers can even be put in permanently.
  • Q: Can I still play sports with braces?

  • A: Wearing braces doesn’t have to slow you down and you can mostly go about your usual routine. In the case of sports, because braces can become damaged, you will want to wear a mouth guard when there’s a possibility of impact with balls and other players.
  • Q: How will I brush my teeth once I have braces?

  • A: Brushing with braces is very similar to brushing without, but with special attention paid to the removing food that my be stuck between the braces and buildup surrounding the brackets.

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