with Dr. Phan

More than just straight teeth...

Today's orthodontic care is appropriate for children, adolescents and adults. Please contact our office to see if we can help you with your smile.

Do braces hurt?

Generally, braces do not hurt. After certain visits, teeth may be sore for a few days. In these situations, over the counter pain medications, such as Advil or Tylenol, will ease the discomfort. Many patients do not feel any soreness at all!

How long will treatment be?

Treatment time obviously depends on each patient's specific orthodontic problem. In general, treatment times range from 6 to 30 months, while the typical time frame a person is in braces is approximately 22 months.

Do you offer clear braces?

We understand that sometimes you want an esthetic alternative and offer ceramic braces as well as Invisalign. Keep in mind that clear braces and Invisalign may not be applicable to your situation, but please feel free to set up a consultation to learn more about esthetic orthodontic treatment.

When is the best time to see an orthodontist?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur by the time your child is 7 years old. Most children receive orthodontic treatment around their adolescent growth spurt. However, it is important to recognize certain tooth and jaw discrepencies before it's too late. At 7 years old we may be able to correct an underbite, stop thumb-sucking effects, reduce the likelihood of fracturing protruded front teeth, eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech problems and also guide the growth of the jaw and regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches. Early treatment may simplify later orthodontic treatment and/or prevent surgery or the need for tooth extractions.

Why do some people need jaw surgery?

Orthognathic surgery (also known as surgical orthodontics) is the method of treatment when braces alone cannot correct your specific skeletal problem. Due to a severe underlying skeletal discrepancy, simple orthodontics cannot accomplish what is needed for fixing your bite and facial esthetics for long-term dental health. Usually, orthognathic surgery cannot be performed until growth has ceased (typically 16 for girls and 18 for boys), and a thorough evaluation of your growth and development will truly determine when jaw growth is completed. Sometimes orthognathic surgery can be eliminated by growth modifications with early treatment, but for adults that is not an option.

What does it mean to be a board certified orthodontist, or Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics?

The word "Diplomate" is often written in error as "Diplomat". The final "E" is significant in that it implies the highest plateau of attainment in education, evaluation, excellence, and ethics. It is the intention of the Board that the Diplomate exemplify these standards. The American Board of Orthodontics is the only orthodontic specialty board recognized by the American Dental Assocation and sponsored by the American Association of Orthodontists. To become a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics one must pass a thorough Written Examination covering all areas of information on which an orthodontist should be knowledgeable. In addition the orthodontist must present treated cases to be evaluated by expert examiners of the Board during a Clinical Examination.

How do I take care of my braces and keep my teeth clean during treatment?

It is extremely important to avoid damaging your teeth and braces during treatment, so the list of foods below should give you an idea on what to be careful with. Keep in mind that this list includes the foods to avoid and those that are similar. So, don't try to be sneaky and eat Snickers simply because it wasn't listed or explicitly mentioned.

  • Hard foods such as pizza crust, hard rolls, pretzels bagels, nuts, chips, and raw carrots can break, damage or knock off your wires and brackets. Things like  Doritos and tacos can form a hard ball on your braces, making it hard to remove.
  • Tough meats such as Beef Jerky and Slim Jims can loosen your wires and brackets.
  • Sticky foods such as gum, licorice, Sugar Daddies, Tootsie Rolls, caramels, jelly beans and Starburst can pull off the brackets as well get caught between the brackets and wires causing a gooey mess as well as tooth decay.
  • Chewing on pens and pencils as well as nail biting should be avoided because of the damage they cause.
  • Chewing ice is one of the easiest ways to damage your braces – so avoid it

In addition to taking care of your braces, we expect every patient to have clean teeth. That is why every orthodontic patient who starts comprehensive treatment receives a comprehensive Oral-B Embrace It hygiene kit, which includes an Oral-B Professional Series electric toothbrush.

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