Frequently Asked Questions


1 . Does my family dentist need to refer me to see an orthodontist?

Many patients are referred by their family dentist, but many others come to see us on their own. If you are concerned about the health or appearance of your teeth and smile please contact us to schedule an appointment for a initial, complimentary examination.

2 . How do I schedule an initial examination? What will I learn from it?

It's easy. Just give us a call or email us. Our number is 305-251-9762 and our email address is

The initial examination will provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision regarding your orthodontic care. By the end of your appointment you will know:

In addition to these, the doctor can answer any other questions you may have for yourself or on behalf of your child.

3 . Can I still participate in extra-curricular activities such as sports and/or playing musical instruments while in braces?

Yes, braces will not interfere with your ability to participate in contact sports or play musical instruments, although you may experience an adjustment period. We recommended that our patients protect their smiles by wearing a mouth guard (a covering worn over the teeth) when participating in any physical extra-curricular activity.

Mouth guards are comfortable, inexpensive, and come in a variety of colors and styles. If you play a wind instrument such as a flute, we can provide you with a "lip protector" that works to cushion your lips from your braces. Let us know if you need a mouth guard or lip protector so that we can recommend a product specifically suited to your activity.

4 . Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?

Yes, regular checkups and cleanings with your family dentist are very important while in braces. Your family dentist will determine how often you should be seen for cleaning appointments and will monitor your progress in conjunction with our office.

5. What can I eat with braces?

Most foods can be enjoyed just as before you got your braces. However, you should avoid eating hard, crunchy and sticky foods as they can be very difficult to clean from braces and can even damage and break them.

Once treatment begins, our staff will give you complete instructions and a comprehensive list regarding foods to avoid. Some of those foods include: raw vegetables, hard candy, ice and all sticky foods (for example, caramel and taffy). Many emergency appointments to repair broken or damaged braces can be avoided by carefully following these instructions.

6. How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?

You should brush your teeth at least four times each day: after breakfast, after lunch (or as soon as you get home from school), after supper, and before going to bed. We will show you how to floss your teeth while in braces, and will monitor your oral hygiene throughout your orthodontic treatment.

7. Is there an age "limit" to who should get braces?

Anyone, at any age, can benefit from orthodontic treatment. No patient is "too old" to wear braces and transform their smile!

Over 25% of our patients are adults. Anyone who needs treatment is eligible to receive braces. Braces are commonly used just as often to correct a long-time bite problem that wasn't addressed in younger years, as to address developmental problems in children and teenagers.

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children see an orthodontist by age seven to evaluate dental and facial development and monitor progress. Adults are often surprised to learn how much more comfortable, effective and unobtrusive orthodontic treatment has become in the last few years.

8. Can my dentist do orthodontics?

Not all dentists are trained to provide specialized care in orthodontics. Orthodontists are dentists who complete two to three more years of comprehensive, full-time specialized university training.

So, even though orthodontists are dentists, they are very specialized in their training. General dentists and orthodontists work together to ensure their patients receive the best and most complete treatment possible.

9. Why should I consider braces?

Your smile (and oral health) is one of your most precious assets - aesthetically and medically. Orthodontic problems can affect your smile and your self-esteem and if left untreated can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, bone destruction, chewing and digestive difficulties, speech impairments, tooth loss and other dental injuries.

An orthodontic treatment can safely and effectively correct conditions such as:

Either way you look at it, an investment in your smile is an investment in your future.

10. What will braces do for me?

Straight teeth that fit together properly allow your teeth and jaw joints to work together more effectively - they are also easier for you and your dental team to keep clean. Teeth that are properly aligned also provide a good foundation for future dental work such as fillings, crowns , bridges or implants.

11. At what age should one consider orthodontic treatment?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic screening at age seven or earlier if a problem is detected by parents, the family dentist or the child's physician.

By this age, the six-year molars and several permanent teeth in most children have erupted allowing the doctors to effectively evaluate most developing orthodontic problems.

Although many orthodontic problems are easier to correct if detected at an early age before jaw growth has slowed, orthodontic treatment can be started at any age and should be started as soon as a problem is detected.

12. Will braces hurt?

In general, braces do not hurt. You may experience some discomfort the first week after getting your braces put on and immediately after the braces are tightened. In these cases, you can use aspirin, non-aspirin pain reliever or ibuprofen to ease the discomfort.

13. Why are retainers needed after orthodontic treatment?

Wearing a retainer after braces is an important step in treatment because they keep the teeth stable and in their correct position while the bones and gums adapt to the change. Without them teeth are guaranteed to shift back to their original position.You should wear a retainer exactly as instructed to ensure that the treatment improvements last your entire life.

14. How much is an initial examination?

Your initial examination is free. We consider it to be an important first step in your orthodontic health and a great opportunity to establish a relationship with you.

15. What about follow up visits and treatments? Is orthodontic care expensive?

The total cost will vary by case and complexity, but because our modern techniques often require fewer visits, you might be pleasantly surprised at how affordable orthodontic treatment can be. It is impossible to give an exact cost for treatment until the doctor has actually examined the patient. The exact cost and financial options will be discussed at the initial examination.

To help you fit this investment into your budget, we offer a variety of payment methods:

During your first visit and evaluation, we will take the time to explain all of the financial options available to you and work with you on customizing a payment plan that fits your specific needs. We accept most major insurance plans.

16.What about invisible aligners and other advanced treatment options?

Invisible aligners, mini-braces, and behind-the-teeth braces are among the many advancements in orthodontics available in recent years. In many cases we can now correct bite disorders with invisible aligners - clear plastic appliances that fit around your teeth and gently and gradually align them.

Our office is certified in both Invisalign and Incognito Lingual Braces. Invisalign uses the latest in computer imaging technology to create custom aligners that straighten your teeth. Incognito are "hidden braces" that go behind your teeth.

We will be happy to explain all of our traditional and more advanced treatment options with you.

17. How long will treatment last?

Due to the individualized nature of orthodontics, many factors go into determining the length of treatment including how much your jaw needs to change and how far your teeth must move.

In general, treatment time varies from 8 to 30 months with an average of 24 months. Braces are not an overnight "cure" but are rather used to straighten your teeth gradually, so a little patience is needed. Any discomfort you may feel will be brief, but your beautiful, healthy smile, will last your entire life!