Common Questions About Orthodontic Treatment

McIntosh Orthodontics understands the importance of a great smile. We also know that orthodontic treatment can be overwhelming at first. You may be wondering how to schedule an exam, how much braces will cost, or if Invisalign is right for you.

We want our patients to feel prepared and informed — every step of the way. Get answers to the most common questions below.

Generally, braces do not “hurt.” After certain visits, teeth may be sore for a few days. In these situations, pain medications such as Advil or Tylenol will ease the discomfort. However, after most visits, patients do not feel any soreness at all. We often remind our patients, it does not have to hurt to work! Click the video above to hear more from Dr. McIntosh.

No, teeth will not straighten over time. The space available for the front teeth does not increase as you grow. In most people, after the permanent molars erupt, the space available for the front teeth decreases with age.

When your child receives their first orthodontic screening around 7 years old, your orthodontist can discuss whether treatment is necessary at that time. If your child’s condition doesn’t require braces or treatment right away, they are generally monitored periodically over the next few years. Once more teeth come in, treatment specifics can be discussed. Learn more about early treatment from the video above

Removing teeth is sometimes required to achieve the best orthodontic results. Straight teeth and a balanced facial profile are the goal of orthodontics. However, because new technology has provided advanced orthodontic procedures, removing teeth is not always necessary for braces. Less than 20% of our patients need to have teeth extracted.

Yes you absolutely can. A tooth with a crown will move just like a tooth with a simple filling. When teeth are missing, orthodontic treatment will help alignment of the remaining teeth. Watch the video above from Dr. McIntosh for more details on this topic.

Treatment time depends on each patient’s specific orthodontic problem. In general, treatment time lasts from 18 to 24 months. Check out Dr. McIntosh’s video for more information on treatment length.

It is difficult to give an exact cost for treatment until we have examined your condition thoroughly. Our team will cover the exact cost and financial options during your initial examination. We have several financing options available to accommodate your needs and we’re happy to review these with you. We will also review your insurance policy and help to maximize your benefits and file your claims. Please contact our staff with any questions about paying for braces.

Appointments are scheduled according to each patient’s needs. Most patients in treatment will be seen every 6 to 10 weeks. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly.

Unfortunately, we cannot schedule all appointments for students during after-school hours. However, because most appointments are scheduled 6 to 10 weeks apart, most patients will miss a minimal amount of school due to appointments. We will, however, make a sincere effort to meet your scheduling needs.

Yes. Our staff understands your busy schedule, and we are happy to help you make the most of your time. On some occasions, we may request to speak with a parent when they return. We ask that parents check in with the front desk personnel before dropping off their child.

Yes. There is no reason you cannot return to school the same day to show off your new braces! Our office is happy to provide a school note upon request.

No, shots are not necessary in orthodontics.

Absolutely not! It is our belief that each patient should be provided with their own braces to achieve the best orthodontic result possible.

Yes, but we recommend using a mouth guard for all sports.

Yes! Regular checkups with your family dentist are very important while in braces. Your family dentist will determine the intervals between cleaning appointments while you are in braces.

Yes. Once treatment begins, we will explain with complete instructions and provide a comprehensive list of foods to avoid. Some of those foods include: ice, hard candy and all sticky foods (i.e. caramel and taffy). You can avoid most emergency appointments to repair broken or damaged braces by carefully following our food instructions

Patients should brush their teeth at least four times each day – after each meal and before going to bed. We will show each patient how to floss their teeth with braces. We may also provide a prescription for a special fluoride if necessary.

At the completion of the initial examination, we will determine whether a patient needs an expander.

No patient is“too old”to wear braces! In fact, 50 percent of our orthodontic patients are adults. Health, happiness and self-esteem are vitally important to adults. Our practice is geared towards seeing patients of all ages, especially adults.

Teeth, and sometimes entire facial structures, are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment. It is important that the treatment is appropriate and completed properly by a trained professional. Orthodontic specialists have extensive and specialized training that allows them to provide their patients with professional, personalized treatments.

Dr. McIntosh has been practicing orthodontics since 1991. At our practice, orthodontic treatment for you and your family is more than just a job to our team of professionals. With the McIntosh Difference, patients can expect:
  • Short wait times
  • Accommodating schedules
  • Ongoing education
  • Ongoing staff training
  • The latest orthodontic technology and software

Many adult patients are concerned about how braces or Invisalign will affect their work. They may be wondering if braces will impact their speech, or if their clients will be busy looking at their teeth instead of listening to what they’re saying. In Dr. McIntosh’s years of experience, braces and Invisalign are very easy, and will not affect your ability work.

Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment that uses virtually invisible aligners. They are made of a thermoplastic material uniquely developed for the Invisalign treatment plan, look similar to teeth-whitening trays. A series of Invisalign aligners are custom-made for you, to move your teeth in the sequence determined by your doctor.

Over the course of treatment, you will be supplied with a series of aligners. Each aligner will make slight adjustments to tooth position, a process that is mapped out in advance by your doctor, specifically for your situation. When the aligners are placed on the teeth, they cause the teeth to gradually shift from their current position. After approximately two weeks, you will begin using the next set of aligners, which will continue the teeth straightening process.

Because Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible, no one may even notice that you’re wearing them, making Invisalign a seamless fit with your lifestyle. They are also removable so you have the flexibility to remove your aligners to eat and drink what you want during the treatment. You can also remove the aligners to brush and floss as you normally would, for fresh breath and good oral hygiene. There are no metal brackets or wires that could cause irritation to your mouth, an advantage over traditional braces. You’ll likely spend less time in the doctor’s chair and you can see your virtual results and treatment plan before starting. Instead of imagining how much better it can be, you’ll be able to see it for yourself.

Orthodontists find Invisalign aligners are most effective when worn full-time except for when eating, brushing. and flossing.

The duration of your treatment depends on the severity of your case and can only be determined by Dr. McIntosh; however, the average case takes about 12 months for adults. The length of time necessary for a teen patient may vary and can be determined during your appointment at McIntosh Orthodontics.

Call our office to discuss next step.  We may need to reorder the lost aligner or proceed to the next aligner.