Frequently Asked Orthodontic Questions

Got a question? We have the answer! Listed below are a series of questions that we frequently receive in regards to a variety of services, and procedures. From topics such as how we approach treatment, braces, early age orthodontic treatment, adult orthodontics, to Invisalign treatments and products. If you have any other questions and concerns about any of your upcoming dental work, we would love to hear from you! Please feel free to contact our office or ask any of us during your next visit.

How Do I Get Started?

The first steps first. CONTACT US . With your initial inquiry we can set you up for a FREE initial exam. Simply, call and set the appointment and complete a  Health History form. Your Health History Form will help us better serve your dental needs, as we can specify detailed and appropriate recommendations. This form aids in ensuring the best care for you throughout the course of your treatment.

What Should I Expect During My First Orthodontic Appointment?

Our team believes that each person’s needs and expectations about orthodontics can be different. Because of these differences, it is imperative that each patient is treated based on their specific circumstance. This is why we take great pride in making sure that you have a customized treatment that you deserve.

Upon arrival for your first visit. You will be greeted by a Treatment Coordinator. She will show you around our office, and review your health history. In addition to these two things she will ask you about your main concerns about your smile. This can help us customize the right treatment that meets not only your needs, but also your desires. We will take digital photos and a digital panoramic X-ray before Dr. Robinson and Dr. Ries conduct a thorough examination to determine the basic nature of your problem.

If treatment is recommended, we will be glad to:

  • Discuss your individual needs
  • Explain your treatment options
  • Provide you with a written treatment plan and treatment timeline estimate
  • Inform you of the available fee and payment options and help you with your insurance
  • Answer any other questions you may have

We look forward to improving your beautiful smile!

I know Orthodontics Can Be Expensive, What Options Do I Have For Payment Plans?

The smile of your life is more affordable than you might think. Although fees vary according to the complexity and time involved in each individual case, a personalized payment plan can be arranged with no interest or carrying charge. When you have your initial complimentary consultation, our Treatment Coordinators will discuss and assist you with the options listed below. They will work with you to select the option works best with your monthly budget.

  • If full payment is made at the onset of treatment, we will offer a discount. If you have insurance, we will offer a discount for full payment of your portion of the fee that will not be covered by insurance.
  • We will work with you to establish a customized payment schedule that extends over the course of your treatment.
  • For your convenience, we accept payment by Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover card.
  • Third-party financing options also are available

I’ve Got Orthodontic Insurance, What’s Next?

Prior to your first appointment we will be more than happy to call your insurance company to verify the coverage you have available. We accept assignment of benefits from Delta Insurance Company directly. For all other insurance companies, we will assist you by filing your claim and any necessary paperwork. We will also handle your insurance questions on your behalf so that you will receive your benefit.

Records Visit

On your second visit, we will perform a variety of diagnostic studies to help determine the best course of treatment. Your “records visit” typically includes a panoramic radiograph, a cephalometric radiograph, facial and dental photographs, and impressions that are used to fabricate plaster study models. If you are an Invisalign or Insignia braces patient, you are in for a treat. Instead of impressions, your treatment will commence with a 3D scan using the iTero or Lythos scanner. The doctors use these records to create your customized treatment plan and to track progress as your teeth move during the course of treatment.

Regular Orthodontic Appointments

The appointment during which you get your braces usually takes one to two hours. Once you’re wearing them, you’ll see us on a regular schedule, every four to twelve weeks for adjustments.These regular appointments typically last about 40 minutes. At each regular visit, you’ll receive a “grade” for oral hygiene and elastic wear, this way you can keep track of your progress. Making sure you have good oral hygiene and proper elastic wear is important in improving your beautiful smile! Dr. Robinson, Dr. Ries, and their awesome staff will help you by carefully explaining everything. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions! They’d love to answer them for you.

These regular appointments are important in maintaining your treatment routine, and keeping up with the overall progress of getting your beautiful smile to where you want it. Our office blocks out times during after school hours to help accommodate students for when they are scheduling their regular appointments. These short appointments can be scheduled for after school so that we can minimize the time students are missing class. We typically schedule longer procedures and treatments for the middle of the day to accommodate the students. If a written school excuses is needed, we would love to help you out with that as well.

Is It OK To Cancel My Appointment?

If you are unable to make an appointment, don’t fret. We can re schedule. However, we do appreciate it if you let us know immediately. Appointments can be made four to twelve weeks in advance. Please note that it can be very difficult to keep up with our planned progress for your treatment if appointments are missed, so please only reschedule your appointments during emergencies.

What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics (also referred to as dentofacial orthopedics) is a specialized form of dentistry, focusing on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities.

Who is an orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has received two to three years of additional training and experience. Your orthodontist is able to straighten teeth, correct misaligned jaw structure, and improve the function of your smile.

What’s the best age to visit the orthodontist?

Everyone of all ages are welcome and encouraged to visit the orthodontist. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first visit around the age of seven, however orthodontic treatment isn’t just for Children and Teens. One in every five orthodontic patients are over the age of 21. So anytime, any age is a great time to visit the orthodontist. We love helping you look and feel better about your smile no matter the age.

How can I take care of my teeth if I’m wearing braces or a retainer?

  • ALWAYS remember to brush your teeth after every meal and floss at least once a day.
  • Make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride and ask your orthodontist or family dentist if you need a fluoride rinse. This will help prevent cavities!
  • If you take out your retainer to eat, brush your teeth, floss, and remember to keep it safe in its container so that it does not get lost or broken.
  • Keep your retainer clean, too, by brushing it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste. You may also soak it in denture cleaner as instructed by your orthodontist. Do not put your retainer in boiling water or in the dishwasher.
  • During your treatment, try to avoid foods with a lot of sugar (sugar increases the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth, causing more plaque and possibly cavities).
  • Avoid sticky and chewy foods (caramel, chewing gum, gummy bears), hard foods (hard candy, nuts, ice cubes) or any foods that could possibly get stuck in your braces (corn on the cob, soft bagels, ribs, taffy, etc).
  • Be sure to schedule your routine checkups with your family dentist. It is recommended that you continue to visit the dentist every six months.

What are braces?

Braces are used by your orthodontist to help you improve the look and feel of your smile. There are several different types of braces to choose from, including:

  • Damon Clear braces
  • Damon braces
  • Insignia braces
  • Invisible braces
  • Invisalign

If I get braces, how long do I have to wear them?

The amount of time spent in braces varies depending on the individual patient, because every smile responds differently to treatment. Treatment times can take anywhere between six and 30 months; however, most standard treatments take about 22 months.

Do braces hurt?

Braces do not often hurt; however, you may feel a small amount of discomfort for a couple days as your teeth, gums, cheeks, and mouth gets used to your new braces.

Do I need to brush my teeth more often if I have braces?

With braces, you should brush your teeth at least three times a day to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy and clean. Brushing regularly will help remove any food that may be caught between the braces. You should also floss daily to get in between your braces where your brush isn’t able to reach. Your orthodontist can show you how to properly brush and floss once your braces are placed.

If I have braces, do I still need dental checkups every six months?

Absolutely! Patients receiving orthodontic treatment are advised to see their dentist regularly. With braces this becomes imperative, because food can get caught in places within the braces that the regular toothbrush cannot reach. This can cause bacteria to build up and cause cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease…not fun. Luckily, your dentist will work closely with your orthodontics to make sure that your teeth stay clean and healthy during the course of wearing your braces.

Will my braces interfere with my school activities like sports, playing and instrument, or singing?

Playing an instrument or a contact sport may require some adjustment when you first get your braces, but wearing braces will not stop you from participating in any of your school activities. If you play a contact sport, it is recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your braces or appliance.

How do I schedule my next appointment?

Simply call our office! We would gladly help you schedule your next appointment at your convenience. If you are a new patient or have been referred to our practice, please let us know and we will provide you with all the information that you need.



 I LOVE these people! I’m an adult wearing the actual braces, not Invisalign, and they’ve done a great job! They’re always able to work around my schedule and they’ve been wonderful about all the crazy things that has happened since getting them put on (getting hit in the mouth, getting married, being in weddings, etc). I would definitely recommend them to anyone getting orthodontic work and if my kids have my messed up teeth, I’ll be taking them there too!

~ Kelli Hathman