Frequently Asked Questions

Orthodontic treatments vary so much in techniques and lengths of treatments that it is not possible to provide a meaningful approximation of costs.

Orthodontists provide an initial consultation at a relatively low fee, and often at no charge, and will provide an estimate of the cost for treatment for you or your child.

It is also your choice to attend a different orthodontist to get a second opinion about treatment and costs.

Orthodontists generally provide a payment plan option that spreads payments throughout the treatment period for your convenience. Orthodontists will also help you determine what coverage you have through insurance plans.

Orthodontic coverage is often a separate benefit in a dental insurance contract with orthodontic coverage usually at 50% up to a certain lifetime maximum. You can contact your insurance company to confirm these details and most orthodontic offices will assist you in determining these details.

Once financial arrangements with your orthodontist have been made you will be provided with a Canadian Association of Orthodontists Certified Specialist in Orthodontics Form to be submitted to your insurance carrier.  The carrier will write to you directly about your coverage. When you make a payment to your orthodontist, you will receive a receipt from that office that you will submit along with one of your Dental Claim forms to your insurance company for reimbursement directly to you.

Please note:

Orthodontic specialists do not accept assigned payment from insurance companies.

It is not necessary for the orthodontic specialist to fill in the Dental Claim Form as no dental codes are required for orthodontic coverage.

Only one “Certified Specialist in Orthodontics Standard Information Form” is necessary to predetermine benefits, and once approved, no other insurance forms are required from the orthodontic office.

Orthodontic treatment time can vary considerably depending on the nature of the malocclusion and the individual diagnosis and treatment plan.

In general, early interceptive treatment for 7 to 9 year old’s will take approximately 8 to 12 months. Typical full braces or Invisalign for adolescents might take from 12 to 24 months with additional time required if there is an impacted tooth.

Typical full braces or Invisalign for adults might take from 12 to 24 months depending on the nature of the malocclusion. Please note that these times are approximate only and could be shorter in cases of very minor treatment and could be longer when other complicating factors are present.

When braces are first placed on the teeth there is a light force pushing on the teeth that can make the teeth ache after a few hours. This discomfort usually only lasts two or three days and then things settle down. It is advisable to eat soft foods for these first few days until the discomfort has settled down.

It is also a good idea to use a non-prescription pain reliever for these first few days such as Advil that you might normally use for a headache. Similar discomfort will likely occur following each adjustment when the archwire is changed or reshaped, so the same advice is recommended following adjustments. It should be noted that similar discomfort occurs with Invisalign (clear aligner) treatment as well and the same advice holds for this type of treatment.

Braces can also cause some abrasion to the inside surfaces of the lips and cheeks, which can cause some discomfort. An archwire can shift or turn and cause a wire poke into the lips or cheeks when can cause discomfort. The use of protective wax on the braces in sensitive areas or at pokey wires can be very helpful. Please check the section of this website about emergencies for more information.

Accelerated orthodontic treatment techniques including vibration and laser pulse techniques have been reported to reduce the discomfort of orthodontic pressure on teeth. Ask your orthodontist if these techniques might be advisable for your treatment.

Avoid chewy and hard foods that can bend your brackets or snap your wires.

During the time between the damage to the braces and the appointment to fix it, your appliance is not pulling your teeth in the correct directions, which means your treatment time is slowing.

Cut your food into bite-sized pieces.

Cut your food into manageable portions that help you avoid taking a big bite into something crunchy. If you are going to eat crunchy foods such as apples or carrots, slice them up and cook them enough to soften them before eating. While healthy foods may not accelerate the treatment process, avoiding broken brackets will.

Use your elastics properly.

It can be tempting to leave your elastics off just a little bit longer after you remove them to eat or brush your teeth. However, elastics can only be effective when you are wearing them. The time they spend out of your mouth is time the treatment process loses.

Keep your appointments.

The more appointments you miss, the longer your treatment will take. This doesn’t mean that you should further stress about an appointment missed because of an emergency — but habitual cancellations can lengthen the time in braces.

Keep your teeth clean.

Clean and healthy teeth and gums respond better to movement than those plagued by plaque and tartar. Following your orthodontist’s instructions for your dental hygiene is an important factor in the speed of your treatment.

Don’t clench your jaw.

Teeth clenching and grinding can affect the way the teeth move during treatment. Unfortunately, oftentimes people with the habit have a hard time controlling it — especially during sleep. If you clench or grind frequently, inform your orthodontist.

Your treatment is created specifically for your needs, and currently not all cases can be sped up, regardless of the type of procedure. If you are worried about the length of your treatment, don’t give up the idea of correcting your smile.

It is good to be aware of what is available as well as all the outcomes. Talk to your orthodontist about options to speed it up. For questions about speeding up the length of your own treatment or that of your child’s, call Orthodontic Associates at one of its nine convenient locations around Baltimore. We look forward to making you smile.

Serious orthodontic emergencies rarely happen, but in case of urgent issues, contact your treatment provider.

We listed non-urgent orthodontic issues below and how you can address them.

Cheek, Lip and Tongue Tenderness

The inside of your mouth is made of soft surfaces which may take a while to adjust to the hard parts of your braces. If you are experiencing irritation of your tongue, lips or the insides of your cheeks from your braces, applying orthodontic wax may provide relief. In case the irritation persists, you can try rinsing your mouth with warm salt water as described in the previous section.

Soreness caused from braces and appliances

It is typical and perfectly normal for your teeth to be sore and a bit uncomfortable for the first 3-5 days after getting your braces on. We recommend taking a pain reliever, like you would for a headache, for the first couple days as needed. It is common for your mouth to take up to a couple weeks to “toughen up” and become used to your new braces. To relieve the pain of canker sores, irritations and raw spots that may begin to form inside your mouth, you can dissolve one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water, swish and gargle this solution for just a couple of minutes (do not swallow the saltwater). In the meantime, orthodontic wax can be used to lessen the rubbing and irritations the new braces may cause.

Loose Teeth

Don’t be alarmed if your teeth feel loose at first. This is necessary so they can shift to their new proper positions. Once your teeth are in their final position, the bone will hold your teeth securely again. This is why your retainer is so important!

Loose Wires and Bands

Inconveniences during orthodontic treatment can happen, such as wires, bands, brackets or an elastic band coming loose. Please contact our Beaumont Orthodontic team as soon as possible so that we can arrange to check and repair your appliance in a timely manner. Be sure to save any parts and pieces that come off and bring it to the office with you.

So that you don’t go too long experiencing any possible discomfort, we may instruct you to help yourself with some temporary fixes. A loose wire can be tucked back in or out of the way using the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil.

A ball of wax, a wet cotton ball or a small piece of sugar free gum placed over the loose or broken wire can temporarily relieve the discomfort.

Do-it-yourself orthodontics is something you might come across when surfing the internet.

A few enterprising people have found a way to partially mimic clear aligner treatment without the help of a dentist or orthodontist.

Please think carefully before embarking on such a project. Without full diagnostic records including radiographs, photographs, models of the teeth and a full clinical examination as provided by a dentist or orthodontist, a proper diagnosis cannot be made and a safe and appropriate treatment plan cannot be set.

You could cause yourself harm in the process of attempting do-it-yourself orthodontics.

These options may include simple alignment of the front teeth, providing of course that is possible and does not pose any dental health risks.

The Alberta Society of Orthodontists (ASO) always recommends you see an Orthodontist in-person, as such things as x-rays and a clinical oral exam can complement a personal discussion to present the treatment options that exist.

Previous statements on this page regarding specific Direct-to-Consumer Aligner companies have been retracted at the request of the company involved.

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