FAQ’s

What is the importance of seeing a Board Certified Orthodontist?
What are the chances that the "problem" Orthodontic problems typically get worse over time?
What should I expect at my first visit?
How long will treatment take?
How much will it cost?
What is Invisalign®?
Are there foods I should avoid while wearing braces?
My teeth feel sore and a little loose, is that normal?
What are some tips for teeth brushing?
Are there any advantages to early orthodontic treatment?
What are the benefits for adults to get treatment?
What are traditional braces?
What are ceramic braces?
It’s hard to floss with my braces on. Do I really need to?

 
What is the importance of seeing a Board Certified Orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dentist that has completed a post-doctoral orthodontic program at a university. The program is generally two to three years. In addition to the rigorous training to achieve a certificate in orthodontics, a board certified orthodontist has successfully undergone additional preparation and a oral and written examination related to all aspects of orthodontics and dento-facial treatment. Additionally, a board certified orthodontist has demonstrated success in patient care, providing comprehensive reports on the orthodontic treatment that have been reviewed by other Board certified Orthodontists.  Once Board Certified a practicing Orthodontist in good standing can join the College of Diplomates, American Board of Orthodontics.  The College is the “educational arm” of the Board and orthodontists who attend their meetings are given intensive training on the latest developments for patient care.  The College is a very prestigious organization that has historical ties to the great educators in orthodontics. To be a member of the College of Diplomates, an orthodontist must be a member in good standing with the American Board of Orthodontics.

 
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What are the chances that the "problem" Orthodontic problems typically get worse over time?

What is seen at the age of seven stays the same or worsens in about 90% of patients. For example, a child may have a few crowded teeth but with time, the teeth begin to overlap and crowd additional teeth, creating an even more complicated set of problems. As the face and jaw mature, it becomes more difficult to treat orthodontic problems without considering extraction of permanent teeth. It is to everyone’s advantage to treat problems early on to avoid additional treatment. can correct itself, over time?

 
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What should I expect at my first visit?

Assessments of the teeth, jaw and face are conducted. A oral hygiene grade is discussed and given which rates the patients overall oral hygiene state. A discussion of what the next step would be, based on the patient’s needs, will occur in addition to setting up a diagnostic records appointment. At your examination will want to put you at ease as well as assess your orthodontic issues. We want to encourage patient and parent interaction at the examination so that we your concerns are addressed.

 
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How long will treatment take?

Every patient’s treatment is different as they have different orthodontic problems. Length of treatment is also dependent on appointment keeping, following Dr. Guess’ instructions, the patient’s dedication to proper hygiene and proper treatment of their braces. Most patients can be finished within 18-24 months.

 
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How much will it cost?

Costs will be discussed at the examination appointment. The type of treatment needed and the length of treatment will determine the costs. Sometimes to get a good estimate Dr. Guess will want to review a panoramic x-ray of the patient. Insurance companies recognize the importance of orthodontic treatment and no longer consider it a cosmetic fix. Most plans will cover a portion of orthodontic costs. Also, with good credit, financing is available at our office.

 
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What is Invisalign® Invisalign Teen®?  

Invisalign® is a nearly invisible orthodontic technology that allows you to straighten your teeth through the use of advanced 3-D computer technology. Dr. Guess can design a treatment plan which uses a series of clear aligners to help gradually straighten your teeth. Invisalign®’s invisible properties are not the only benefits to using the system. Aligners are removable, thus allowing you to eat, brush, and floss normally. You become actively involved in your own treatment by changing your aligners. Computer simulated treatment will show your progress from aligner to aligner. How is this possible? Molds of your teeth are sent to Align Technology and transferred into 3-D computer images. Dr. Guess plans your treatment from start to finish. Based on Dr. Guess’s prescription, a series of custom-made aligners are produced. Each aligner is worn for approximately two weeks, before being replaced. Movement is gradual from aligner to aligner, making treatment more comfortable. In addition to all this, your treatment is mapped out step-by-step on the computer, allowing you to view your predicted tooth movement from start to finish.  

For teenagers there is a similar product called Invisalign Teen.  Make sure you ask Dr. Guess and his staff about Invisalign Teen when you visit his office. 

 
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Are there foods I should avoid while wearing braces?

As you may have heard from friends or siblings there are certain things you should refrain from eating while you are in braces. For the first few days your teeth and mouth may be sore so you will probably want to stick to soft easy to chew and swallow types of foods. In general sticky/chewy, hard/crunchy, or foods you have to bite into with your front teeth should be avoided for the duration of your orthodontic treatment.

The obvious reasons for avoiding these types of foods are that they can be damaging to your braces or orthodontic appliances. Hard and crunchy foods can dislodge brackets, and bend or break wires. Chewy, sticky foods can stick to brackets and bands causing them to become loose. Even some of the healthiest snacks can damage braces. Apples, carrots, and celery should be cut up into small bites and chewed with your back teeth, to avoid breaking the front brackets or bending arch wires. Popcorn is attributed to a multitude of problems concerning braces. Husks can become lodged under the bracket into the tissue, in hard to reach areas, creating uncomfortable irritations to your gums. Un-popped kernels are extremely hard and can break not only brackets and wires but possibly, teeth.

Regardless of whether you have braces or not, ice is never safe to chew! The best way to prevent damage is to be attentive to what you are eating, taking small bites and chewing carefully with your back teeth. Although breakage of orthodontic braces or appliances is sometimes unavoidable, patients who consistently need to be seen for repairs delay their treatment and may be subject to additional fees.

 
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My teeth feel sore and a little loose, is that normal?

A common occurrence in the first time orthodontic patient is soreness or tenderness of the teeth after bracket and wire placement. This will usually occur a few hours after your initial appointment. The forces from the wires and brackets create the much needed pressure on your teeth to allow them to move and straighten. This may make it difficult to eat and talk but discomfort should start to subside within a few days. Exactly when the discomfort will dissipate is impossible to predict and differs for each patient. If needed, rinse with warm salt water a few times daily, or in severe cases Tylenol or whatever you normally take for pain, can be used for relief.

Initially the braces may feel rough against the cheeks, lips and tongue. You may place wax around the bracket until the irritation disappears, or the mouth becomes used to the braces. Eventually once you get used to the braces and proper tooth alignment occurs, this will no longer be a concern. If you happen to need more wax than what we have provided at your initial visit we can furnish you with more at your next visit, or check with your local drug store for wax or silicon ear plugs.

It may come as a surprise to some but there will come a time when your teeth feel loose. That is because they are. This is nothing to worry about though, it is a normal process. The teeth must first loosen in their bone sockets so they can be moved. This will occur several times over the course of treatment. Once active movement has ceased the teeth will become rigid again in their new corrected positions.

 
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What are some tips for teeth brushing?

Using a soft toothbrush start from one side of the mouth and work your way around to the other using small circular motions. Angle the toothbrush to reach above and below the brackets, also brushing directly over the brackets. Be sure to brush the tongue side and biting surfaces of the teeth as well. Repeat all steps on the opposite arch. Using a floss threader, maneuver floss under wire in between teeth and gently floss in an up-and-down motion. Repeat for each tooth.

 
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Are there any advantages to early orthodontic treatment?

The general consensus is that children have an orthodontic consultation by the age of seven. The permanent first molars and incisors have usually erupted by this time and the child can be evaluated for any overbites, cross bites, or crowding that may be present. Early orthopedic intervention guides growth and development, and may prevent serious problems that may require jaw surgery.
Advantages of early orthodontic treatment:
Reducing treatment time
Increase self-esteem early
Shorten/improve second phase of treatment
Possibly eliminate the need for future jaw surgery
Avoid permanent tooth extraction
Correct abnormal speech or swallowing problems
Alleviate thumb sucking habits
Although early treatment can be a great preventative measure, it is never too late to improve your smile.

 
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What are the benefits for adults to get treatment?

The obvious reason many adults pursue orthodontic treatment is for improved aesthetics. There are, however, numerous incentives for improving one’s smile later in life.
Improve overall functionality
Eliminate uneven wear or grinding of teeth
Reduce symptoms of Temporal Mandibular Joint Disorder (TMJD)
Allow access for better oral hygiene
Reduce/stop breakdown or loss of teeth and bone that supports the teeth
Re-establish space of previously extracted or missing teeth for future bridges or implants
Improve self image with a beautiful smile
Numerous advancements in technology now make it possible to treat even the most conservative of patients. From Invisalign® to traditional braces, you are sure to find something to suit your lifestyle and budget while still giving you a great smile!

Orthodontic treatment at later stages in life can dramatically improve your personal appearance and self-esteem. Improving the health of your teeth and gums is equally important. Crooked teeth and a bad bite can contribute to gum and bone loss, tooth decay, abnormal wear of the tooth enamel and surfaces, headaches and jaw joint (TMJ/TMD) pain.

A large percentage of our patients are adults, and they agree that it’s never too late to improve their greatest asset – their smile.

 
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What are traditional braces?

Beyond their traditional color, the only thing traditional about these braces is that you can see them. Contemporary braces are made of super strong metal alloys derived from the space program. Their strength allows them to be the smallest of all braces and therefore the most comfortable. Their density makes them ultra slippery so teeth move faster than they ever have before. Today’s braces, in combination with other high tech materials mean fewer office visits to complete treatment.

 
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What are ceramic braces?

Ceramic braces utilize less noticeable brackets for patients concerned about aesthetic appearances. Ceramic brackets are translucent, so they blend in with your natural tooth color. This means that unlike traditional stainless steel braces, with ceramic braces your smile will not look ‘metallic.’ In addition, ceramic brackets are designed so that they won’t stain or discolor over long periods of time. Dr. Guess can let you know if you are a candidate for ceramic braces.

 
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It’s hard to floss with my braces on. Do I really need to?

If ever there was a time to be diligent about your oral hygiene, that time is now! While the benefits of braces are numerous and far outweigh any possible cons, they do require you to become very thorough in your brushing and flossing habits. Foods can become stuck around brackets and remain on the teeth for long periods of time, increasing your risk of cavities. Poor brushing and flossing can lead to decalcifications (white marks on the teeth), which can be permanent and are not aesthetically pleasing on a nice straight smile. It is recommended to brush and rinse after every meal and floss daily to maintain a healthy environment for the best possible outcome. Immediately following your first appointment, one of Dr. Guess’ registered dental assistants will demonstrate proper brushing and flossing and instruct you on maintaining an adequate diet while in orthodontic treatment.

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