Frequently Asked Questions
How long will treatment take?
Your time in orthodontic treatment will vary depending on your specific case. Very simple cases can take as little 6-12 months, most mild cases vary from 12-18 months, moderate cases (the majority of our patients) average 18-24 months, and more severe problems can take 24+ months. Treatment times vary depending on the unique conditions of each patient as well as the hygiene and compliance during treatment.
Read more about Orthodontics from the American Association of Orthodontists.
With advancements in technology, why can’t my teeth straighten faster?
It takes about 6 weeks for the bone in our jaws to remodel around your teeth as they move to their new position – and about 6 more months for the gums to remodel around the new position of the bone/teeth – so nature will always dictate how fast we can move your teeth. Which is why regardless of any new technology, orthodontics requires slow & continuous movement for the health & stability of your teeth as they move to create your new beautiful smile.
When should I bring my child in for their first visit?
Generally for the first orthodontic exam we say that “7-8 is great and 9 is fine.” Most kids won’t need braces at this age. We evaluate that your child’s facial & dental development is within a normal range and not causing any problems. We generally start most of our patients around the age of 10-13 – when all the baby (primary) teeth have been lost. This is variable depending on the pattern and rate of growth & development of each child, which is why an initial exam is important to ensure that normal dental & skeletal development is not hindered.
Read more from the American Association of Orthodontics.
Some problems to watch out for in your child (from the AAO website) . Click on the image to enlarge and read.
My child already had treatment when he/she was younger (ages 7-9), why are braces necessary again?
In certain select cases, Phase I treatment (typically around the age of 7-9) will be recommended to address developmental problems of the jaws or teeth (even before the baby teeth have all been lost), in order to treat and prevent problems (best treated early) that could lead to a more severe malocclusion during adolescence. Most children who receive Phase I treatment, will need Phase II treatment during adolescence.
More likely if growth and development of your child’s teeth and jaws are within a normal range, they will simply receive a check-up by your orthodontist about every 6 months, until they are ready for full treatment around the age of 11-13.
Read more about Phase I and II Orthodontics from the American Association of Orthodontists.
Can I get Invisalign?
Depending on your specific case, we may offer Invisalign as an option. During your initial consultation Dr. Yoon will discuss with you the pros and cons of standard braces vs. Invisalign as it applies to your specific case.
Do braces hurt?
Generally braces make your teeth sensitive for a few days – this can be relieved as needed with an over-the-counter pain reliever. Our metal braces are smaller and smoother (low profile) to minimize discomfort & treatment time.
What can I eat or drink during treatment?
We recommend a diet that avoids foods that are excessively hard, sticky, chewy or high in refined sugars. A healthy whole foods diet is recommended. Hard or crunchy foods such as carrots and apples can be enjoyed once cut into slices and chewed on the back teeth (rather than bitten into – which can break brackets).
How soon can I get started?
After your initial consultation, we’ll verify with your general dentist that you’ve had a check-up and cleaning within 6 months. We can get started as soon as we receive clearance from your general dentist, and verify that there are no other dental or medical problems that we need to address prior to getting started.
How long will my appointments take?
Your initial consultation will generally take about 45 minutes. Your records visit will be about 45 minutes- 1 hour. After Dr. Yoon reviews your orthodontic records & creates your individual treatment plan, our office will call you to schedule your 1-1.5 hour start visit (usually banding & bonding the braces, or delivering any appliances). Every month we’ll see you for your orthodontic adjustments which take anywhere from 15-30 minutes.
Do you take insurance?
Yes. Please contact our office to verify that we accept your insurance – or alternately offer you an in-office discount if you aren’t covered under your current plan. Read more here.