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frequently asked questions

Below is a list of frequently asked questions regarding orthodontics and the various forms of treatments. If you have a question that is not addressed below, please feel free to contact us.

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General FAQs

  • A more attractive smile
  • Better function of the teeth
  • Increase in self-confidence
  • Reduced appearance-consciousness during critical development years
  • Increased ability to clean the teeth
  • Improved force distribution and wear patterns of the teeth
  • Better long-term health of teeth and gums
  • More favorable positions for your permanent teeth
  • Reduced risk of injury to protruding front teeth
  • Aid in optimizing other dental treatment
  • Upper-front teeth protrude excessively over the lower teeth, or are bucked
  • Upper-front teeth cover the majority of the lower teeth when biting together (deep bite)
  • Upper-front teeth are behind or inside the lower-front teeth (underbite)
  • The upper and lower-front teeth do not touch when biting together (open bite)
  • Crowded or overlapped teeth
  • The center of the upper and lower teeth do not line up
  • Finger or thumb-sucking habits which continue after six or seven years old
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Teeth wearing unevenly or excessively
  • The lower jaw shifts to one side or the other when biting together
  • Spaces between the teeth
No, it is not. Many of our patients are referred by their family dentist, yet many other patients take the initiative to schedule an orthodontic examination themselves.
Yes, you should continue to see your general dentist every six months for cleanings and dental checkups even while you have braces.
Orthodontic treatment can be started at almost any age. Many orthodontic problems are easier to correct if detected at an early age before jaw growth has slowed. Early treatment may mean that a patient can avoid surgery and more serious complications. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child first visit an orthodontist by age seven or earlier if a problem is detected by parents, the family dentist or the child’s physician.
Braces use steady gentle pressure to gradually move teeth into their proper positions. The brackets that are placed on your teeth and the arch wire that connects them are the main components. When the arch wire is placed into the brackets, it tries to return to its original shape. As it does so, it applies pressure to move your teeth to their new, more ideal positions.
Treatment times vary on a case-by-case basis, but the average time is from one to two years. Actual treatment time can be affected by 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.
Phase I, or early interceptive treatment, is limited orthodontic treatment (i.e. expander or partial braces) before all of the permanent teeth have erupted. Such treatment can occur between the ages of six and ten. This treatment is sometimes recommended to make more space for developing teeth, correction of cross bites, overbites, under bites, or harmful oral habits and sometimes to reduce spacing. Phase II treatment is also called comprehensive treatment, because it involves full braces when all of the permanent teeth have erupted, usually between the ages of eleven and thirteen.
It is best to assume that your child will need full braces even after Phase One treatment. The period following Phase One treatment is called the “growth and developmental phase” during which growth and tooth eruption are closely monitored. Throughout this period, parents and patients will be kept informed of future treatment recommendations.
Teeth, and sometimes entire facial structures, are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment. It is important that the treatment be appropriate and properly completed. Dr. Szymanowski has extensive and specialized training that enables him to provide professional, personalized treatments.

Early Treatment FAQs

Early treatment is the easiest way to ensure a confident smile for your child for years to come. If you are considering braces for your child, visit our Early Treatment page, which addresses many of the questions you may have.

Early Treatment FAQ

Braces FAQs

Have questions or concerns about braces? Our orthodonists answer some of the more common questions they receieve from patients and parents of patients.

Braces FAQ

Invisalign FAQs

Invisalign is not as well known as braces to many of our patients. Because of this, we often receive questions about how long to wear it, what is treatment like, and more. We answer those questions at the link below.

Invisalign FAQ

Invisalign Teen FAQs

Are you thinking about Invisalign Teen as an alternative to braces for your child? We're glad you are considering all options. At the link below, you can find common questions that parents have regarding the differences.

Invisalign Teen FAQ

Braces for Adults FAQs

Braces are for people of all ages. No matter your age, you want to have a confident, straight smile. Our orthodonists respond to some common questions they receieve about braces for adults.

Braces for Adults FAQ

Retention FAQs

After completing timely and financial investments in braces or Invisalign, you should not let those investments go to waste. This is why wearing your retainer is so important. Do you have questions about retention? We have answers.

Retention FAQ