newabout
dental implants
dental crown PFM
dental veneers

MEDICAL TRAVEL ADVISOR

The five  most important things  you need to know before you travel.

Testimonials

FAQs: Parent Questions

Q: How Much Does Orthodontic Treatment Cost?

A: It matters where you live and how complex your child’s case is. If you live in a rural area, where rents are low and malpractice attorneys rare, orthodontic treatment can be found for under $3,000. On the other hand, if you live in an expensive city with lots of malpractice lawyers, the fee for orthodontic treatment could be $7,000, more for a complex case.

Q: Why is orthodontic treatment so costly?

A: Actually, orthodontic treatment is not so expensive when compared with other personal services. During the course of a normal orthodontic treatment, your child will visit the orthodontist about 100 times. If the treatment costs $3000-$7000, then the cost works out to be $30-$70 per visit. That is a little more than the cost of going to a beauty parlor, but less than the cost of going to a car repair shop. A visit to a lawyer costs much more than a visit to the orthodontist.

Orthodontics only seems expensive because the Orthodontist tells you what the lifetime costs of straightening your children’s teeth will be. The total bill is less than the total amount you have to pay for the lifetime maintenance and repairs on your car. Aren’t your children’s teeth as important as your car?

Q: Orthodontic treatment is still costly, is it worth the cost?

A:  Yes! Think about the cost of not getting braces. It is hard to see into the future, to tell how the lack of orthodontic treatment will affect your child. Certainly, a child who needs orthodontic treatment and does not get the treatment will have problems with their teeth for years to come; so much so that many adult patients are now going back for orthodontic treatment.

The health issues go well beyond good oral hygiene. One of our employees did not undergo an orthodontic procedure called palatal expansion when he was young. Now it is too late. The roof of his mouth has moved up to partially block the air passages in his nose. The result is a breathing problem which cannot be corrected without major surgery.

Also stomach problems are very common in people who skip needed orthodontic treatment. If your child cannot chew their food right, it irritates their stomach, and produces a lifetime problem.

There also is some initial data (unverified) that orthodontic treatment can lower your childrens chance of cardiovascular disease.

We cannot predict whether your child will develop a breathing problem or a stomach problem if they do not undergo orthodontic treatment. However, lifetime orthodontic treatment costs no more than the lifetime maintenance on a car. Isn’t it worth investing as much time in maintaining your children’s teeth as you invest in maintaining your car?

Q: Can I pay for my children’s orthodontic treatment in installments?

A:  You need to talk to your orthodontist to be sure, but most orthodontists allow you to pay for your children’s treatment in installments. Usually the orthodontist will ask you to make a substantial initial payment, to cover the costs of starting up your case. Then the orthodontist will usually let you make monthly payments for the balance. The orthodontist cannot finance the entire treatment, because the orthodontist incurs considerable costs when he or she first starts a new patient and he needs to recover those initial costs. However, once you pay for those initial costs, the orthodontist will usually let you pay for the rest of the treatment in installments.

Q: How can I tell if my child needs orthodontic treatment?

A: It is usually difficult to know if your child will need orthodontic treatment until your child is 8-12 and their permanent teeth start to come in. We recommend that you bring your child in to the orthodontist when your child is 8 to evaluate whether treatment will be needed. Generally, the orthodontist will evaluate your child, and if your child needs treatment, the orthodontist will take corrective action to avoid costly and painful treatment later on.

Q: What are the early symptoms of orthodontic problems and how can I look for them?

A: Well, it is always better to consult a professional. Still, there are some warning signs that you can look for to help evaluate whether your child needs orthodontic treatment. The figure above shows what proper occlusion is like. Notice how the top teeth exactly line up with the bottom teeth, and there are no spaces or gaps. If your child teeth look perfect, your child probably will not need orthodontic treatment. On the other hand if your child’s teeth look as shown in one of the figures below, your child will need orthodontic treatment.

First ask your child to open their mouth, and let you look at their teeth. Are all of their teeth straight? Do any of the teeth slant to the side? Are there any gaps between your childs teeth? Do any of your child’s teeth overlap? If you see any signs of crooked teeth, gaps between your childs teeth or overlapping teeth, your child will need orthodontic treatment.

Next ask your child to bite down. Does the center of the front top teeth line up with the center of the front bottom teeth? Do your child’s top teeth protrude out the front of their mouth? Does your child have bucked teeth? Do the top front teeth cover more than 25% of the bottom teeth? Are any of the top teeth behind the bottom teeth? Do the teeth come together smoothly, or are there any gaps? If your childs teeth do not come together smoothly or if any of your childs teeth do not lining up properly your child will need orthodontic treatment.

Now look at the alignment of your childs jaw. Do all of the teeth come together smoothly, or does your childs jaw shift off center when your child clenches their teeth together? If you see any misalignment or shifting of your child’s jaw, your child will need orthodontic treatment.

If you see any of the above symptoms, or if you are not sure, bring your child in for orthodontic treatment. Do not wait hoping that the problems will go away.

Q: If I wait, isn’t there a chance that my child’s bite will get better on its’ own

A: We have never heard about a childs bite improving as the child ages. Just the opposite, if you wait orthodontic problems will almost always get worse. If a few teeth are crooked or crowded, the orthodontist can realign the crowded teeth them easily. However, if you do not treat the crowding right away, the crooked teeth will encroach onto your child’s other teeth and push the other teeth out of alignment too. As a result if you wait, your childs orthodontic problems will usually get worse.

Further, as your child gets older, orthodontic treatment becomes more painful. As you child ages, fibers grow in to anchor your child’s teeth to your childs jaw. It takes more force to move the fibers as your child ages so treatment is more painful. Also the bones in the roof of their mouth harden as your child ages, which makes treatment more difficult.

If you avoid needed treatment when your children are teens, the children will usually need more painful treatment later in life. Isn’t it better to take care of the problem when it is first discovered rather than waiting until the problem gets worse?

Q: What are the consequences of my child not getting needed orthodontic treatment?

A: It is hard to see into the future, to tell how the lack of orthodontic treatment will affect your child. Certainly, a child who needs orthodontic treatment but does not get it will have problems with the teeth for years to come; so much so that many adult patients are now going back for orthodontic treatment. The difficulties with not getting needed orthodontic treatment include:

  • Teeth that wear unevenly leading to weak enamel and tooth loss.
  • Teeth that are difficult to clean, leading to gum problems and eventual tooth loss
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Periodontal (Gum) problems as you child gets older

The health issues go well beyond good oral hygiene. One of our employees did not undergo an orthodontic procedure called palatal expansion when he was young. Now it is too late. The roof of his mouth has moved up to partially block the air passages in his nose. The result is a breathing problem which cannot be corrected without major surgery.

Another employee has painful sores on their tongue. Again, that is because they did not get orthodontic treatment when they were young, and now their teeth do not come together straight, and they bite their tongue.

Also, chewing is the first step in digestion. If your children cannot chew their food properly, their digestive system will not work as well. Stomach problems are very common in people who skip needed orthodontic treatment since if your child cannot chew their food right, it irritates their stomach, and produces a lifetime problem.

Now we cannot predict which of these problems your child will have if he or she does not get orthodontic treatment. Still, orthodontic treatment is so easy that it is not worth taking a chance. Besides, your child will look wonderful after they get orthodontic treatment.

Besides, orthodontic treatment can make your child’s smile look wonderful and improve their self esteem. Wouldn’t you like your child to have great self esteem?

Q: If poor orthodontia causes so many health problems, why didn’t evolution/natural selection eliminate orthodontic problems?

A: According to Alex Duncan of the Anthropology Department at the University of Texas, “with very few exceptions, fossil hominids (cave men) had nearly perfect bites.”

Malocclusion (overbites and underbites) developed mainly over the last 10,000 years. As peoples diets improved, people got bigger. The average height of an adult male increased from 4 ft (1.3M) 10,000 years ago to about 5 1/2 feet (1.9M) today. Human mouths and human teeth did not grow at the same rate. In many cases your childs teeth will be larger than your childs mouth. If so, your child will need orthodontic treatment.

It has been estimated that in modern man, about 70% of the general population needs orthodontic treatment.

Q: If orthodontic problems are caused by my childs teeth being too big for their mouth, will my child grow out of it?

A: Unfortunately  your child’s permanent teeth do not grow in all at once. As your child’s mouth grows, more permanent teeth grow in too. The additional teeth take up all of the extra space created when your child grows.

If you wait orthodontic problems will almost always get worse and your child will have to endure more painful treatment to correct the problem.

Q: At what age should my children start orthodontic treatment?

A: There are two parts to orthodontic treatment, interceptive orthodontic treatment and Class I (i.e regular) orthodontic treatment. Interceptive orthodontic treatment should be done at around age 8. Class I orthodontic treatment should start at age 12.

Q: What is interceptive orthodontic treatment and is it necessary?

A: The objective of interceptive orthodontic treatment is to make room in your child’s mouth for your child’s permanent teeth. Your orthodontist may expand your child’s palate, and try to start to correct overbites and underbites. As noted aboveorthodontic problems arise because human teeth do not grow at the same rate as human mouths. Your children’s mouth will be growing a lot between ages 8 and 12. It is important to make sure that there is room for your children’s permanent teeth.

Q: How long does interceptive orthodontic treatment take?

A: It varies a lot according to the complexity of the case. Interceptive orthodontic treatment can take anywhere from 3 to 14 months.

Q: Can’t I wait on interceptive orthodontic treatment until my child is older than 8?

A: We do not recommend waiting. If your child gets interceptive orthodontic treatment when they are 8, and their palates are growing rapidly, the treatment will be uncomfortable, but not tremendously painful. By time the child is 12, the bones in the top of the child’s mouth will have hardened, so palatial expansion will be more painful. If you wait until your child is 20 to do palatal expansion, your child will need major surgery to correct a palatal problem.

I do not want to imply that the pain will be unbearable if you wait until your child is 12, but it is better to do the interceptive treatment when your child is 8.

Q: What steps are involved in full orthodontic treatment?

A: The objective of full orthodontic treatment is to correct your child’s bite, and to make sure that their teeth are in proper alignment.

First there are a series of appointments where the orthodontist examines your child’s mouth and figures out what is needed.

Next the orthodontist installs braces in your child’s mouth.  Your child will usually keep their braces in for two to two and a half years. During that time, the orthodontist’s assistant will “tighten” your child braces every three to five weeks.  The orthodontist may tell your child to wear a facebow during that time.

Then your orthodontist will remove your child’s braces and give him or her a retainer.  Your child will need to wear the retainer 24 hours a day for a year, then a few nights a week until they stop growing (when they are 24).

Q: How long does full orthodontic treatment take?

A: Generally, full orthodontic treatment takes about two or two and a half years for a typical case. It will take longer with a complicated case or if your child does not follow the orthodontist’s instructions.

Q: How should I go about making the first appointment?

A: We suggest that you make an initial phone call to the orthodontist before you make an appointment to make sure that the orthodontist’s treatment philosophy agrees with your desires.

Q: What are some of the questions that I should ask on the phone?

A: First ask the orthodontist’s assistant about the techniques the orthodontist uses and the orthodontist’s general treatment philosophy. Some orthodontists try to make the treatment as short and painless as possible. Others try to make the treatment as inexpensive as possible. The orthodontist’s assistant may not be able to tell you about the orthodontist’s treatment philosophy but you should ask.

You will need to decide whether the orthodontist’s treatment philosophy is right for your children.

Ask the orthodontist’s assistant about the materials they use in their office. Some orthodontists take materials out of one patients mouth and “recycle”them into another patients mouth! The safety and reliability of this procedure is still unclear. Therefore we recommend that you make sure that your orthodontist does not attach any materials to your child’s mouth that has been in another person’s mouth first.

Ask the orthodontist’s assistant about the sterilization procedures used in the orthodontist’s office. Make sure that the orthodontist uses an autoclave or dry heat sterilizer on all of his instruments.  Also make sure that everyone in the office who works on your child wears gloves and changes the gloves (and not just wash them) before each patient. If they do not use fresh gloves, find another orthodontic office.

Ask the assistant about x-rays. A quality orthodontist will do three sets of x-rays: cephalometric x-rays, panographic x-rays and bitewing x-rays. Those x-rays are needed to make sure that the treatment proceeds smoothly, and there are no complications. Be sure that the orthodontist takes the approproiate x-rays to make sure there are no unexpected complications with your child’s treatment.

Ask the orthodontist’s assistant whether the orthodontist offers treatment options. Generally, the best orthodontists will offer braces in a variety of colors to suit your child’s taste. Ligatures and wax are available in a variety of colors, flavors, and styles. All of these options will make the orthodontic treatment much less stressful for your children and much easier on you.

Q: Don’t all dentists sterilize everything?

A: Unfortunately no. There are still a few dentists will put on a pair of gloves in the morning and never change the gloves no matter how many mouths touch the gloves. We recomend that you avoid dentists who do not take precautions to make sure that they do not spread infections to your child.

Q: What can I expect on the initial visits to the orthodontist?

A: Generally, it takes four visits to the orthodontist for your child to start their treatment. On your first visit orthodontist’s assistant will take a medical history. The orthodontist will then examine your child, and start to explain the orthodontic process.

Next your child will come in for what is called a RECORDS APPOINTMENT. The orthodontist’s staff will take xrays and photographs of your child, and make impressions (castings) of his mouth. However, the idea of the records appointment is to gather as much information about your child’s bite as possible.

Once the records appointment is done, the orthodontist will be able to design a treatment plan. The orthodontist will build a model of your child’s mouth and study the case. He will then draw on his knowledge and training to design a treatment plan.

Once the orthodontist determines what is needed, the orthodontist will then do a “consultation” with you to discuss his/her treatment approach and his/her fees.

The initial exam and consultation are usually FREE. The records appointment typically costs $200-$400

Q: Is there anything I should do before the consultation?

A: Most parents find the consultation visit rather overwhelming. Here is the orthodontist using all of these complicated words, such as Class II Malocclusion, Mandibular Protraction …, and he is asking for $3,000-$7,000 for your child’s treatment. You want to do the best for your child, but how can you tell?

We recommend that you do some reading about orthodontics before you come to the consultation appointment. You should also talk to your friends to see what their experiences have been. Also, ask your friends how much they paid. It will help the shock when the orthodontist tells you that your child’s treatment will cost $3,000 to $7,000.

The one thing to recognize is that most adolescents really do need orthodontic treatment. Human growth patterns were designed back in the days of the cave men, when nutrition was terrible. Today, most children’s teeth are too big for their mouth, and so orthodontics is needed in 70%-90% of all teenagers.

Q: What questions should I ask the orthodontist at the consultation?

A: First ask the orthodontist about the techniques he uses and his general treatment philosophy. Some orthodontists try to make the treatment as short and painless as possible. Others try to make the treatment as inexpensive as possible. Ask the orthodontist about his treatment philosophy. You will need to decide whether the orthodontist’s treatment philosophy is right for your children.

Ask the orthodontist about his sterilization procedures. Make sure that he uses an autoclave or dry heat sterilizer on all of his instruments. The orthodontist may tell you about how they use a “gluteraldehyde” solution instead. If so try another orthodontist. Also make sure that everyone in the office changes their gloves (and not just wash them) before they work on your child.

Ask the orthodontist about his treatment options. Generally, the best orthodontists will offer braces in a variety of colors to suit your child’s taste. Ligatures and wax are available in a variety of colors, flavors, and styles. All of these options will make the orthodontic treatment much less stressful for your children and much easier on you.

Ask the orthodontist about the brackets he plans to use. The orthodontists choice of bracket will determine how long your child’s treatment will take, and how comfortable your child will be during treatment.

Some orthodontists’ particularly the old fashioned ones, will not want talk to you about the brackets the orthodontist plans to use. Sometimes, the orthodontist will need to use a special bracket because of something special about your child’s case. However, other times the orthodontist will have some latitude to choose one of several different brackets designs. If so, you may be able to have some input into which bracket your orthodontist chooses.

One key choice is whether to use a low profile or a high profile bracket. Generally, low profile brackets are less irritating to your children’s lips than high profile brackets but they are newer, and some orthodontists never learned how to use them. The orthodontist also has a choice whether to use cast brackets, machined brackets, or MIM brackets. Generally, cast brackets are more comfortable than MIM or machined brackets, but they cost slightly more.

No one cannot tell you what is right for your child, without looking at your case. However, as a parent, you need to be comfortable with the orthodontist’s choice of brackets and whether the choice is right for your child.

Q: Should I pay extra for designer braces, colored ligatures and brackets, flavored rubber bands, etc?

A: Sure those things cost a little more. However, think about how much less stressful it will be for you if your child has something to look forward to when he or she visits the orthodontist.

Just as a general guideline, modern, low profile braces cost the orthodontist about the same as old fashioned braces. Composite Orthocosmetic(tm) braces, Outrageous Braces ™ and Gold Designer Braces(tm) cost your orthodontist $50 to $100 more than old clunky braces. Sapphire Designer braces(tm) cost $100-$200 more than the clunky ones. Most orthodontist mark up the prices slightly, since designer braces sometimes take slightly longer to put on. Still, the cost is a minor fraction of the cost of orthodontic treatment.

Q: What are the other treatment options that I should consider?

A: This is a difficult question to answer because only your orthodontist has examined your child’s mouth and knows what is required. We generally recommend that you trust your orthodontist and discuss all treatment options with him or her.

Still, there are things that you should consider when your children get braces. Braces have changed considerably since when you and I were young. There are Designer Braces ™ in gold and sapphire to add a touch of class. Even Outrageous Braces ™ in bright purple,pink, green and black for a decidedly outrageous look. Your child can add sparkles in their school colors.

As a parent you will have to decide whether you want your children to have plain old fashioned braces or something modern and stylish. We make both kinds, but recommend the stylish braces whenever possible.

Q: Should I pay extra for designer braces, colored ligatures and brackets, flavored rubber bands, etc?

A: Sure those things cost a little more. However, think about how much less stressful it will be for you if your child has something to look forward to when he or she visits the orthodontist.

Just as a general guideline, modern, low profile braces cost the orthodontist about the same as old fashioned braces. Composite Orthocosmetic(tm) braces, Outrageous Braces ™ and Gold Designer Braces(tm) cost your orthodontist $50 to $100 more than old clunky braces. Sapphire Designer braces(tm) cost $100-$200 more than the clunky ones. Most orthodontist mark up the prices slightly, since designer braces sometimes take slightly longer to put on. Still, the cost is a minor fraction of the cost of orthodontic treatment.

Q: Should I seek a second opinion?

A: Many parents want to seek a second opinion as reassurance that they are doing the best for their child. Many orthodontists do encourage their patients to seek a second opinion. However, it is often difficult to find a quality orthodontist to do the second opinion. Further, if you do find someone, it is often very expensive to get the second opinion.

One resource that is often overlooked is the child’s general dentist. Most general dentists have not been trained to do orthodontia. However, they can look over the case, and see if the orthodontist’s recommendations are reasonable.

Dental Schools also offer second opinions at nominal rates if you can provide x-rays and impressions. Contacting a dental school is also a way to confirm your orthodontist’s treatment plan.

We recommend that if a parent wants a second opinion, they discuss their concerns with their child’s orthodontist. If the orthodontist cannot allay the parents concerns, the parents should ask the orthodontist to allow the parent to borrow their child’s study models and x-rays, so they can show them to another dentist for confirmation of the treatment plan.

Q: What are extraction and non-extraction therapy, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of each?

A: Extraction therapy is a technique where some teeth are removed to make room for the other teeth in your child’s mouth. This is in contrast to non-extraction therapy where one expands a patients’ jaw and shave down some teeth to make everything fit.

Years ago, everyone got extraction therapy. Now, most orthodontists use non-extraction therapy with most adolescent patients. Instead, a gadget called a palatal expander is used to expand the adolescent’s jaw. Adult patients are still treated via extraction therapy; however, because once someone stops growing, it takes major surgery to expand someone’s jaw.

Q: What are lingual braces, and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

A: Lingual braces are a technique where braces are mounted behind a patients teeth. They were used years ago, before the advent of stylish or orthocosmetic(tm) braces. Now lingual braces are rarely used.

Occasionally an orthodontist can be convinced to use lingual braces when the patient insists that the braces absolutely cannot show. Generally, lingual braces are much more uncomfortable than standard braces. The orthodontic treatment is much more painful, and the treatment takes almost twice as long as with standard braces. Many people have trouble talking with lingual braces.

Today, most orthodontists refuse to put on lingual braces except in special cases where the lingual braces are needed clinically. However, occasionally, the orthodontist must use lingual braces because of some special aspects of the treatment. If so, we reccomend that the patient follows the orthodontists advice.

Q: What is having braces like for my child?

A: Generally, most patients do not find braces to be any big deal. Patients mouth’s are usually sore for the first week after they get braces. Also, their mouth’s are sore when the braces are tightened. However, with modern braces, most children get so used to the braces, that the children do not notice the braces, except when the braces are being tightened or if the child is hit in the mouth.

Peer pressure is sometimes a problem, especially if your child gets old fashioned, clunky braces. However, stylish braces(tm) are now available, and most children feel good about them.

Certainly, it is much easier for your child to get braces when they are twelve than to go through life with buck teeth.

Q: My son/daughter does not want to get braces because they are afraid that the braces will make him/her look like a geek. Any ideas?

A: This is hard because some teens are so worried about their appearance. One thing to try is to point out is that most people who need orthodontic treatment look like a geek even before they get braces. How would you like to go through life with buck teeth and a jaw that is too big or too small? If your child is really concerned about their appearance, then braces will really help them. Your smile is the most striking feature on your face, and at the end of orthodontic treatment you child’s smile will look fabulous. Doesn’t your child want to look fabulous?

The other thing is that braces have changed a lot since the days when we had braces. Braces now come in a series of styles and colors. There are orthocosmetic ™ braces which blend in so they barely can be seen. Designer braces ™ in gold and sapphire to add a touch of class. Even Outrageous Braces ™ in bright purple, pink, green and black for a decidedly outrageous look. Your child can add sparkles(tm) in their school colors.

Q: Do Braces Hurt?

A: Braces have changed a lot in the last 20 years so they are a lot less painful than they were 20 years ago. At present, we do not know how to avoid the pain when the braces are first put in, or when the braces are being tightened. However, modern, cast, low profile brackets are designed to minimize your children’s pain between visits to the orthodontist. Most children experience some soreness during their first week in braces and occasional pain when their braces are being tightened. However, after the first week, most children hardly notice the braces at all.

Q: What happens if my child’s braces continue to hurt?

A: Talk to your orthodontist. Some patients continue to complain for the sake of complaining. However, if your child continues to hurt, it could be a sign of the start of a problem. If your child is allergicto something in their braces, their gums would be inflamed and sore. Your orthodontist can check for this. Your childs mouth will also be sore if he or she is not thoroughly brushing their teeth. Again, your orthodontist can help.

If your child hurts, be sure to tell your orthodontist. He or she can help.

Q: Should my children do anything special during their first week in braces?

We generally recommend that patients be especially careful about what they eat during the first week after getting braces. Usually, patients are advised to only eat softer foods and to be very careful with their mouth.

Q: Will braces cause sores in my child’s mouth?

A: Initially, there will be some sores on your child’s lips. If you rinse the sores in warm salt water, the sores will heal within a week or two. Thereafter there will be an occasional sore when, for example your child gets into a fight. However, the sores should heal rather quickly.

If your child’s lips get too sore during the first week, you can put wax on the braces to prevent the braces from rubbing and hurting your child’s lips.

Q: How long do the braces take to put on?

A: Depending on the case, two to two and a half hours.

Q: Will it hurt to put the braces on?

A: Not usually. The orthodontist is usually just attaching the braces to your child’s teeth. The pain comes later, when the braces first begin to rub up against your child’s lips.

Q: What holds the braces on?

A: Not usually. The orthodontist is usually just attaching the braces to your child’s teeth. The pain comes later, when the braces first begin to rub up against your child’s lips.

Q: Can my child still chew gum with braces?

A: Gum is usually not recommended. The gum can get caught on the braces and pull the braces off. Also the sugar in the gum can get trapped behind the braces and cause cavities.

Q: My son/daughter does not want to get braces because they are afraid that the braces will prevent them from participating in sports. Any suggestions?

A: Years ago people who wore braces were advised to avoid sports. However, in 1981 people started using orthodontic mouthguards. The mouthguards have allowed patients to continue to participate in sports while they have braces. Therefore, there is nothing for your child to fear.

Q: My child plays the trumpet. Will his ability to play be affected by orthodontic treatment?

A: Be sure to mention your child’s musical abilities to the orthodontist. The orthodontist will install something called “lip protector” which will make it possible for your child to still play musical instruments. We have had reports of entire bands having orthodontia with no problems.

Q: Are there other foods that my child should avoid?

A: We generally recommend that your child avoid hard sticky, gooey or crunchy foods. Caramel and taffy can stick on your child’s braces. Crunchy foods like carrots and apples and hard rolls can occasionally knock off a bracket.

Q: What happens if a bracket comes off?

A: The orthodontist will attach another bracket. However, every time the orthodontist has to replace a bracket, it delays the orthodontic treatment.

Q: What happens if my child swallows a bracket?

A: It is usually NOT a serious problem if your child swallows a bracket. Bracket are usually made of a medical grade stainless steel which should not have any adverse effects on your child if the bracket is swallowed. The bracket just passes through your child’s digestive system and leaves in your child’s feces.

Inhaling a bracket is a different matter however. If your child inhales a bracket, and the bracket gets into your child’s lungs, it could cause a problem. Therefore, the orthodontist will normally ask an MD to use a bronchoscope to remove the bracket.

Q: Why cannot the orthodontist attach the braces strongly enough that the braces cannot come off during eating?

A: The orthodontist needs to remove your child’s braces at the end of the orthodontic treatment. If the orthodontist attaches your braces too firmly, the braces will not come off again at the end of your child’s orthodontic treatment.

Q: Are there any other activities that my child should avoid when they have braces?

A: We advise against patients participating in activities where there will be many blows to a patient’s mouth. Sports like boxing and wrestling should be avoided. Fighting should also be avoided. Your child should wear an orthodontic mouthguard whenever they participate in any sporting activity.

Q: How often should my child brush their teeth when my child has braces?

A: We recommend that your child continue to brush and floss their teeth after every meal and before they go to bed. Brushing and flossing is especially important when your children have braces because food can get caught in the braces and cause cavities. Many orthodontists also recommend that your child brush with a fluoride gel in a further attempt to avoid cavities.

Q: How do I convince my child to brush their teeth when the child has braces?

A: This is hard because teenagers are so rebellious. However, if they do not brush their teeth, food will get caught in their braces and their breath will smell awful. One parent said that she started calling her son Mr Yuch Mouth. It was amazing how fast her son started to brush his teeth.

Q: I have noticed that some children have rubber bands in their braces. What do the rubber bands do?

A: The rubber bands are used to move teeth forward or back in your child’s mouth. For example, they could be used to move your child’s lower teeth forward or back, to move a tooth that is far our of alignment, or to close a space in your child’s mouth. The rubber bands are often used in the final stages of the orthodontic treatment

Q: How often should my child change their rubber bands?

A: Orthodontic rubber bands break after they have been chewed a few times. Usually, the rubber bands snap when the child opens their mouth, with painful results. The only way to avoid the pain is for your child to change their rubber bands frequently. We recommend that orthodontic patients take off their rubber bands before each meal and put in new ones after they are done eating. It also is helpful for your child to change the rubber bands before the child goes to bed.

Q: What happens if my child leaves off their rubber bands?

A: The orthodontic treatment will take up to a year longer and be more painful.

Q: What happens if my child swallows a rubber band?

A: Orthodontic rubber bands are made of a medical grade latex rubber which is similar to the grade of rubber used in medical implants. The rubber is thought to be safe for human consumption. If your child swallows an orthodontic rubber band, the rubber band just passes through your child’s digestive system and leaves in your child’s feces.

Your child will get indigestion, and may have a bad allergic reaction if the child swallows a bag of rubber bands. Please make sure that your child does not eat a bag of rubber bands.

Q: What does a retainer do?

A: The objective of a retainer is to keep your child’s teeth in perfect alignment after braces are removed?

Q: Why is a retainer needed? Do teeth move after orthodontic treatment?

A: Usually, when braces are first removed, your child’s teeth will all be in perfect alignment, but your child’s gums, bones, etc will not have completely shifted into their new positions. The retainer holds your child’s teeth in position until their gums, bones etc settle in to their new positions.

Also, your child is still growing after your child’s braces are removed. Sometimes, your child’s mouth will grow unevenly. If so a retainer can be used to make sure the child’s teeth stay in perfect alignment as your child grows.

Q: I notice that some braces have little colored rings around the brackets. What do the colored rings do?

A: The colored rings are called ligating modules. They hold the wires into the brackets.

Q: What happens if my child does not use the retainer?

A: If your child does not wear a retainer, your child’s gums and bones will not fully settle into their new positions. Eventually, the incorrectly shaped bones will push your child’s teeth causing the teeth to out of perfect alignment.

Q: How long should my child use a retainer?

A: Generally, patients are advised to keep wearing a retainer 24 hours a day for at least a year after their braces are removed. Then it is recommended that a child continue to wear a retainer a few nights a week until your child stops growing at age 24.

Q: What happens if my child swallows a ligating module?

A: Orthodontic ligating modules are made of medical grade polyurethane which is similar to the grade of polyurethane used in medical implants. The polyurethane is thought to be safe for human consumption. If your child swallows a ligating module, the ligating using just passes through your child’s digestive system and leaves in your child’s feces.

Q: Is there any chance that the sharp edges at the ends of the braces will hurt the insides of my child’s cheeks?

A: This is a hard question. In the beginning part of orthodontic treatment, your child’s teeth will move a lot. Sometimes the end of the wire will stick out past the end of the tube, and create a sharp edge. We recommend that you ask the orthodontist to trim the sharp edge before the edge cuts your child.

Q: What is the purpose of a facebow?

A: A facebow is used to push your child’s molars distally (back) creating room for the teeth in the front of your child’s mouth.

Q: How does my child use a facebow?

A: Generally, your child should wear the facebow for about 12 hours a day. The face bow should be inserted into the two holes on the buccal tubes at the back of your child’s mouth. The facebow should then be connected to the breakaways, and on to the neckpad or other headgear. We also recommend a facebow safety strap.

Q: Are there any dangers with a facebow?

A: A facebow uses headgear to provide the force needed to move your child’s jaw. There is so called high pull headgear, which has straps over the top of a child’s head, and around his neck, and cervical headgear which only have straps around a child’s neck.

Many Manufacturers do not sell high pull headgear because we consider high pull headgear risky. High pull headgear has been known to snap a facebow. In rare cases, the parts from the facebow have been known to go into a child’s eye. Sometimes, high pull headgear is the only alternative to surgery, and so an orthodontist will prescribe it. Still, we recommend that parents and children be very cautious around high pull headgear. Be sure that the facebow is inserted properly. Be sure your child wears a safety strap. Be very cautious to make sure that the facebow does not come loose and hurt your child.

If your childs finds their facebow coming loose at night be sure to tell your orthodontist about it immediately. If the facebow comes loose in the middle of the night, it could cause a face or eye injury. Ask the orthodontist to adjust your child’s safety strap. The safety strap needs to be tight enough that the facebow cannot come out. Make sure your child uses the tightest hole possible. Try out the facebow to make sure that it cannot come loose and hurt your child.

Cervical headgear is less risky than high pull headgear but still not 100% safe. Children often try to bend their facebows to make them more comfortable. They can weaken the facebow as they bend it which can cause the facebow to snap. Therefore, you need to be cautious around a standard facebow. We recommend that you insist that the orthodontist give your child a facebow with breakaway modules and/or a safety strap. Ask the orthodontist’s assistant to carefully instruct you on the use of the facebow. Make sure that your child does not bend the facebow, and uses the break away modules or safety strap whenever he or she os wearing the facebow.

Q: What causes the facebow to snap?

A: Something called “metal fatigue”. When you bend a wire enough times, the wire will break. You can see this with a solid copper wire like the wires in the wall in your house. If you take a piece of solid (unstranded) copper wire and bend it several times, the wire will break. Facebows are made of a special stainless steel wire which is resistant to breakage. However, all wire will break if the wire is bent enough times.

Q: Are there any special concerns for children with many allergies.

A: There are always special concerns with an allergic child, so you will need to discuss your child’s allergies with your orthodontist. The child can be allergic to something in the orthodontist’s office, or allergic to the orthodontic materials.

There are two kinds of allergies to orthodontic products: allergies to nickel chrome and copper and allergies to latex. Allergies to nickel, chromium, or copper tend to be fairly common, but generally not very serious. Latex allergy seems to be less common but can be life threatening. Further details about latex allergy, and nickel, chrome and copper allergyare given later in this document. If you are worried about allergic reactions your orthodontist can provide your child with latex, nickel, chrome and copper free orthodontic materials.

Q: My child has Spina Bifida. Is there anything to fear?

A: Spina Bifida patients are especially vulnerable to class I latex allergy.Be sure to inform your orthodontist that your child has spina bifida before your child starts orthodontic treatment.

Q: I have heard that some orthodontists take orthodontic materials out of one patients mouth and then “recycle” the orthodontic materials to another patient’s mouth. How prevalent is “recycling” of orthodontic materials and is it dangerous?

A: Do not go to an Orthodontist that recycles any materials.

Reuse of orthodontic products is a continuing problem. It has been estimated that as many as one US orthodontist in three “recycles” some of their materials from one patients mouth to the next patients mouth. Brackets are removed from one patients mouth, sent out for cleaning and then bonded in another patients mouth.

At present there are no standards for the sterilization of brackets and no data to indicate whether “recycled” brackets are safe; a recent study of other dental materials and instruments indicates that some common sterilization procedures do not kill the AID’s virus. Further a study from the University of Iowa indicates that “recycled” brackets do not meet the manufactures original specifications. Still, there are no governmental guidelines which prevent the use of “recycled” orthodontic materials in the US.

Q: What can I do to prevent my child from getting orthodontic materials which have been previously in someone elses mouth?

A: Talk to your orthodontist about your concerns. Most orthodontists will not use “recycled” materials (materials that have already been used in a previous patient’s mouth) without your consent. Read carefully any consent forms that your orthodontist asks you to sign. If your orthodontist discloses that he uses recycled materials, he is usually not saying that he is recycling paper. Instead he is probably “recycling” orthodontic materials from one patients mouth to the next. In such a case, you need to be especially sure that your child is getting materials that are fresh and clean.

Also, be very careful with “managed care” plans. Many managed care plans are priced low assuming that the orthodontist will not have to buy any new orthodontic materials for your child. Instead, it is assumed that the orthodontist will reuse materials that he has taken out of another patient’s mouth. If you have a “managed care” dental plan, talk very carefully with the plan administrator to make sure that the plan specify that the orthodontist use only fresh materials in your child’s mouth.

If you cannot convince your plan administrator to pay for fresh materials for your child, then talk to your orthodontist about you paying for your orthodontic materials yourself. Some orthodontists will allow you to do that. As a worst case, ask your orthodontist if he would be willing to order new materials and charge them to your credit card.

Q: I have heard about allergies to nickel, chromium and copper? How common are these allergies, what are the symptoms, and how serious are they?

A: Nickel, copper and chromium allergy occurs in 1-3% of all orthodontic patients. The symptoms are generally an inflammation of the mouth, and possibly inflammation at points where metal such as a watchband comes in contact with your child’s skin.

It has been found that patients sometimes develop sensitivity to nickel, chrome or copper during the orthodontic treatments. Fortunately, a recent article, Contact Dermatitis 30(1994) 210. suggests that the effects are largely reversed when the orthodontist switches to nickel, copper or chrome free materials. If you are concerned about nickel, chrome or copper allergies, talk to your orthodontist.

Q: I have heard about latex allergy? How common is it, and do I have anything to fear?

A: There are two kinds of latex allergies, a so called class IV allergy, which is not very serious, and a so called class I allergy, which can be life threatening. The class VI allergy causes a slight inflammation of the patients mouth, but it goes away after the latex is removed. Class IV latex allergy is fairly common, affecting perhaps 1% of the orthodontic patients.

The Class I allergy is much more insidious. Class I latex allergy is quite similar to penicillin allergy. A person might be exposed to latex and have no symptoms for years. Then the person might break out in a rash. Thereafter, the patient is permanently sensitive to latex. He or she might break into hives when exposed to a rubber glove or a condom. We have even heard of a case develop a severe case of latex allergy where a patient cannot walk into a hospital or doctors office without having a severe anaphylactic reaction.

The estimates of how common Class I latex allergies are varies considerably. We have seen estimates as high as a class I latex reaction in one a thousand patients, with about one in 40,000 have a life threatening reaction. Other workers have given much lower estimates. Some orthodontists have reported that they have never seen a case of class I latex allergy in 20 years of practice. Our best estimate is that latex allergy is very rare in orthodontic patients. However, there is a slim possibility that your child will have a class I allergic reaction to the latex in orthodontic rubber bands.

Q: What are the symptoms of Class I latex allergy

A: There can be several different symptoms. Some patients with class I latex allergy develop hives and/or swelling in their face and hands perhaps 20 to 50 minutes after being exposed to latex. Other patients have difficulty breathing. Occasionally, there are no visible symptoms. IF YOUR CHILD BREAKS OUT INTO HIVES SOON AFTER CHANGING THEIR ORTHODONTIC RUBBER BANDS, OR IF THE CHILD DEVELOPS SWELLING IN THEIR HANDS OR FACE, OR IF THE CHILD HAS DIFFICULTY BREATHING, TAKE THE CHILD DIRECTLY TO AN URGENT CARE FACILITY OR A HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOM. DO NOT WAIT HOPING THAT THE SYMPTOMS WILL GO AWAY.

Q: What can I do to avoid latex allergy?

A: Ask your orthodontist to use only Latex free materials.

Q: Are there any concerns about sterilization of orthodontic materials?

A: Orthodontic materials can be sterilized in dry heat sterilizers, autoclaves, or a solution called “glutaraldehyde”. A recent study shows that when used properly, dry heat sterilizers and autoclaves kill all known infectious agents. However, the glutaraldehyde solution does not always kill the Aids virus. The chances of your child catching Aids in the orthodontist’s office are slim. Still, we recommend that you make sure that your orthodontist is using a dry heat sterilizer or autoclave on all of the orthodontist’s instruments and orthodontic materials.

You do also have to be concerned whether the orthodontist is following the correct infection control protocols. The orthodontist should change gloves before examining every patient. The orthodontist’s assistant should change their gloves too. Washing gloves is not good enough.

Q: Is there any chance that my child will develop a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problem from orthodontic treatment?

A: Yes and No. One of the first steps in standard orthodontic treatment is to take x-rays of your child’s temporomandibular joint (the joint where your child’s jaw connects to their skull) to screen for TMJ problems. If the initial screen does not reveal any weaknesses, then the orthodontist will proceed as normal. If any weaknesses are seen in the TMJ screening, the orthodontist will modify his treatment plan to make sure that no damage is done to your child’s temporomandibular joint.

I am not aware of a single example where a TMJ problem developed during orthodontic treatment after all of the proper TMJ screening was done.

Unfortunately, some insurance companies and managed care plans are now refusing to pay for TMJ screening as part of orthodontic treatment. If the orthodontist does not do the TMJ screening, there is a small chance that your child will develop a TMJ problem during orthodontic treatment.

Q: It seems like my child is getting a lot of x-rays during their treatment. Are all of those xrays needed?

A: Well, we think so. You orthodontist does xrays to make sure that his treatment plan is going to work properly and that you child will not develop any jaw or gum problems later on. The panoromic x-ray and the cepaholometric x-rays allow to look for weaknesses in the jaw or any shallow roots, so that you child can avoid a painful TMJ problem or other difficulty later on. The bitewing xrays look for caries (cavaties). If you child has a cavity under his or her braces, the cavity will grow during orthodontic treatment, and your child may get a tooth ache.

We would never have our treatment done by an orthodontist who does not do the xrays. It is just looking for trouble to avoid them.

Q: Is there anything which can be done to minimize the x-ray exposure?

A: People sell xray shields to help minimize the xray exposure. The precision xray shield attaches to the orthodontists xray machine, and collimates the xrays so the xrays shine on on your childs teeth gums and cheeks and not elsewhere on their face. If you are concerned about this, talk to your orthodontist about using a xray shield.

[kml_flashembed publishmethod=”static” fversion=”8.0.0″ movie=”http://beverlyhills.ph/swf/appointment-btn.swf” width=”170″ height=”95″ targetclass=”flashmovie” play=”true” loop=”true” quality=”best”]

[/kml_flashembed]

cosmetic surgery philippines
specials
freedental exam with panoramic xray tower banner
watch our vidoes