“Our goal is to exceed your expectations every single day.”

– The Crescent Moon Team

– Parts of Braces –

Bands are the rings of metal that fit around the molars and sometimes premolars. Bands come in a wide range of sizes in order to provide the tightest fitting bands for every patient. The bands are sealed in position using dental cement that contains fluoride to prevent any decalcification during treatment.

The brackets hold the archwire against each tooth. Each bracket contains a slot for the archwire.  Brackets may be attached directly to each tooth or to a band.

The main wires or archwires, are shaped specifically to fit around the arch into the bracket slots. Teeth move from the pressure that is applied by the braces. That pressure comes from the archwire, which guides the direction of the movement.

An elastic is the tiny rubber ring that ties the archwire into the bracket.

Hooks are small attachments on the brackets used to attach elastics (rubber bands).

The coil spring fits between brackets and over the archwire.

Basics

Is it required that my family dentist schedule my appointment with the orthodontist?

No, it is not. Many of our patients are referred by their family dentist, yet many other patients take the initiative to schedule an examination themselves.

At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic screening at age 7. By this age, several permanent teeth in most children have erupted, allowing us to effectively evaluate your orthodontic condition.

Will my teeth straighten out as they grow?

No, they will not. 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.

How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?

If you or your child can potentially benefit from orthodontic treatment, simply call our office, send us an e-mail or fill out our appointment request form online. We will be happy to schedule an appointment for you. When you call to schedule your appointment, our front office staff will request some basic information from you.

What will happen at the initial examination appointment?

Upon arriving, each patient and parent will be seen by the staff and doctor who will acclimate you to our office and prepare for the initial exam. We will take the necessary photographs and X-rays to allow us to make a proper diagnosis. The doctor will then complete a brief, but thorough, exam.

To read more about your first visit, see our First Visit Page.

What will I learn from the initial examination?

There are five essential questions that we will cover during the initial examination:

  • Is there an orthodontic problem, and if so, what is it?
  • What must be done to correct the problem?
  • Will any teeth need to be removed?
  • How long will the treatment take to complete?
  • How much will the treatment cost?

Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?

Removing teeth is sometimes required to achieve the best orthodontic result. 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 orthodontic treatment.

How long will it take to complete treatment?

Treatment time obviously depends on each patient’s specific orthodontic problem. In general, treatment times range from 12 to 30 months. The “average” time frame a person is in braces is approximately 22 months.

How much will braces cost? Are financing options available? How does my insurance work?

It is impossible to give an exact cost for treatment until we have examined you. We will cover the exact cost and financial options during the initial examination. We have many financing options available to accommodate your needs, and we will review these with you. We will also review your insurance policy and help to maximize your benefit and file your claims.

How often will I have appointments?

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

Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?

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

Can I drop my child off for an appointment?

Yes. We understand 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, so we ask that parents check in with their patient manager before dropping off their child.

Do braces hurt?

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!”

Can I return to school the day I receive my braces?

Yes. There is no reason to miss school because of an orthodontic appointment.

Do you give shots?

No. Shots are not necessary in orthodontic treatment.

Do you use recycled braces?

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

Can I still play sports?

Yes. We recommend a mouth guard for all sports.

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

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

Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?

Yes. Once treatment begins, we will explain the complete instructions and provide a comprehensive list of foods to avoid. Some of those foods include: ice, hard candy, raw vegetables 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 instructions.

How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?

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 and may also provide a prescription for a special fluoride, if necessary.

What is an emergency appointment? How are those handled?

If your braces are causing extreme pain or if something breaks, you should call our office. In most cases, we can address these issues over the telephone. If you require an emergency appointment, we will set aside time for you.

Can orthodontic correction occur while a child has baby teeth?

Yes. Some orthodontic problems are significant enough to require early intervention. However, if a patient is not yet ready for treatment, we will follow that patient’s growth and development until the time is right for treatment to begin.

What is Phase One (early) treatment?

Phase One treatment, if necessary, is usually initiated on children between the ages of 7 and 10. Phase One treatment lasts about 12-21 months. The primary objective for Phase One treatment is to address significant problems to prevent them from becoming more severe and to improve self-esteem and self-image.

Will my child need full braces if he/she has Phase One treatment?

It is best to assume that your child will need full braces even after Phase One treatment. The period following Phase One treatment is called the “resting period,” during which growth and tooth eruption are closely monitored. Throughout this period, parents and patients will be kept informed of future treatment recommendations.

Will my child need an expander?

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

Is it too late to have braces if I am already an adult?

A surprising percentage of our patients are adults. In fact, 25 percent of all orthodontic patients are adults. Health, happiness and self-esteem are vitally important to adults. No patient is “too old” to wear braces!

Can I wear braces even though I have crowns and missing teeth?

Yes. A tooth with a crown will move just like a tooth with a simple filling. When teeth are missing, orthodontic treatment will aid in the alignment of the remaining teeth.

Why should I choose an orthodontic specialist?

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

Introduction

Now that you have your braces in place, it is just as important to maintain a good oral hygiene regimen throughout the length of your treatment as it was before. Braces, wires, bands and retainers can all trap food particles and make it difficult to brush or floss away plaque. Careful brushing and flossing, preferably after every meal and snack, is the best way to prevent plaque build up, tooth decay, and gum disease. Learn more about how to continue a proper oral hygiene routine while in braces.

Brushing

Start with the outside of the teeth, with the brush at a straight angle. Use circular, vibrating motions. Clean the area between the gums and braces by angling the brush down (up for the lower jaw). Keep moving in a small, circular motion. Clean the rest of the outside of the teeth by angling the brush up (down for the lower jaw). Carefully brush the chewing surface of both upper and lower jaw. Finish by brushing the inside of the teeth.

Flossing

Floss at least once a day. The floss needs to be pulled under the archwire. A floss threader facilitates this. Start by pulling the floss through the threader. Push the end of the floss threader under the archwire and pull the floss through. Pull the floss up between the teeth and gently move it up and down the side of both teeth. Remember to move it all the way under the gums. Pull the floss out and use a different section of it for the next tooth.

Rinsing

When you are finished brushing and flossing, rinse your mouth carefully with water or an antiseptic dental rinse. An antiseptic dental rinse can help minor gum inflammations and irritations from orthodontic appliances. Also used to cleanse canker sores, minor wounds, and other mouth and gum irritations, this mouth rinse removes debris, enabling natural healing to occur.

Interdental

A Proxabrush is an interdental (between the teeth) toothbrush that you may use to clean underneath and around your wires and braces. Use the Proxabrush gently to avoid damaging your wires. The Proxabrush will help you to clean your braces while maintaining healthy teeth and gums.

Antibacterial Mouthwash

Peroxyl, a hydrogen peroxide antiseptic mouth rinse, will reduce inflammation to your gums and cheeks. Peroxyl helps to prevent infection and decrease irritation that may develop from your braces. Rinse your mouth with two teaspoons of Peroxyl (half a capful) for one minute and then spit it out. You may use Peroxyl up to four times daily following your schedule for brushing: after meals (or after school) and before bed. Just like using peroxide for a scrape on your skin, Peroxyl helps the inside of your mouth heal. Peroxyl can be used for general irritation caused by your braces or for canker sores, cheek bites and other minor temporary injuries to the gums.

Topical Fluoride

Phos-Flur is a sodium fluoride gel that helps prevent tooth decay while you are wearing braces by killing bacteria and replacing minerals in tooth enamel that have been exposed to harmful acids. The use of Phos-Flur does not replace daily brushing and flossing but should be done following your daily schedule at bedtime. Place a small strip of Phos-Flur on a toothbrush and apply it to your teeth for one minute and spit it out. You may not eat or drink for 30 minutes after you use Phos-Flur. It is important for the active ingredient to stay on your teeth for 30 minutes, so do not wash it away by eating or drinking.

Cleaning Your Removable Appliance

Brush your removable appliance every day as a part of your regular brushing and flossing schedule. Because food particles and plaque can accumulate on your appliance just as they do on your teeth, soak the appliance daily. Dissolve a Polident, Efferdent or other denture-cleaning tablet in a glass of tap water at room temperature and soak your appliance once every day. Your appliance will taste better, and you will prevent plaque and bacterial accumulation.

The First Week and Care

Your teeth may be a little sore for the first week in braces, so we recommend sticking to a soft food diet until the discomfort subsides. While in braces, you can still eat just about anything although there are a few exceptions.

 

You should avoid hard foods, such as ice and pizza crust, as well as sticky foods, including liquorice and caramels. These foods can damage wires and brackets. It is also important to minimize foods high in sugar content, like ice cream and cookies, and reduce sugary drinks to once a day.

 

For most situations, common sense will tell you what to avoid. Hard foods, sticky foods and foods high in sugar must be avoided. Hard foods can break or damage wires and brackets. Sticky foods can get caught between brackets and wires. Minimize sugary foods; they cause tooth decay and related problems. Nail biting, pencil and pen chewing and chewing on foreign objects should be avoided.

Avoid Sticky Foods

  • Gum (sugar-free or regular)
  • Licorice
  • Sugar Daddies
  • Toffee
  • Tootsie Rolls
  • Caramels
  • Starburst

Avoid Hard Foods

  • Ice
  • Nuts
  • Hard taco shells
  • French bread crust/rolls
  • Corn on the cob
  • Apples and carrots (unless cut into small pieces)
  • Bagels
  • Chips
  • Jolly Ranchers
  • Pizza crust
  • Uncooked carrots (unless cut)

Minimize Sugary Foods

  • Cake
  • Ice Cream
  • Cookies
  • Pie
  • Candy

Once a Day Foods

  • Soda (regular or diet)
  • Sweetened tea
  • Gatorade
  • Kool-Aid
  • Drinks with sugar
Emergencies and Troubleshooting

There are very few true orthodontic emergencies. Most problems can be remedied at home. However, if you have a situation that you cannot resolve on your own, call us as soon as possible, so we can fit you in for a minor repair appointment. In the meantime, this feature can help resolve minor problems you may encounter during your orthodontic treatment.

Emergencies

Call our office as soon as possible if you break or loosen any of your appliances. Please do not come directly to the office – by calling us, you will allow us to create a time to see you. Even if you have a regular appointment scheduled, call us immediately to notify us if you need an appliance repaired.

Loose Parts

Call our office immediately for advice if a bracket or wire is loosened. The bracket may need to be re-fitted as soon as possible. You may have a situation that requires cutting a wire or sliding a bracket off a wire at night or over the weekend. If you need to cut a wire in case of emergency, you may use fingernail clippers that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol. Please call our office the next business day, so that we may schedule an appointment for you.

Wire Irritations

Sometimes discomfort caused by a wire on your braces can be resolved by moving the wire away from the irritated area with a cotton swab or eraser. If the wire will not move, try covering the end of it with a small piece of cotton or a small amount of wax. If the wire is painful, you can cut it with nail clippers or scissors that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol. If you cannot resolve the wire irritation, call our office for an appointment.

Lost Parts

Most patients lose a separator during their treatment. Do not worry about losing a separator, but call our office to see if it needs to be replaced.

Discomfort

During the first week after your braces are in place and routine adjustments are complete, you will likely feel some pain, soreness or discomfort. You may take acetaminophen or other non-aspirin pain relievers while you adjust to your new braces. A warm wash cloth or heating pad may reduce the soreness in your jaws.

– Glossary –

Archwire

A wire engaged in orthodontic attachments, affixed to the crowns of two or more teeth and capable of causing or guiding tooth movement.

Band (orthodontic)

A thin metal ring, usually stainless steel, which serves to secure orthodontic attachments to a tooth. The band, with orthodontic attachments welded or soldered to it, is closely adapted to fit the contours of the tooth and then cemented into place.

Bracket

An orthodontic attachment that is secured to a tooth (either by bonding or banding) for the purpose of engaging an archwire. Brackets can be fabricated from metal, ceramic or plastic.

Ceramic Brackets

Crystalline, alumina, tooth-shade or clear synthetic sapphire brackets that are aesthetically more attractive than conventional metal attachments.

Crowding

Dental malalignment caused by inadequate space for the teeth.

Debanding

The removal of cemented orthodontic bands.

Elastics (rubber bands)

Used to move teeth in prescribed directions (commonly connected to molar band and upper ball hook). Found in numerous colors for better appearance.

Gingiva

The tissue that surrounds the teeth, consisting of a fibrous tissue that is continuous with the periodontal ligament and mucosal covering.

Headgear

Generic term for extraoral traction (attached around the back side of the head) for growth modification, tooth movement and anchorage.

Herbst Appliance

Fixed or removable appliance designed commonly for overbite problems and more.

Imaging

The process of acquiring representations of structures in either two or three dimensions.

Lingual

Of or pertaining to the tongue. A term used to describe surfaces and directions toward the tongue.

Lingual Appliances

Orthodontic appliances fixed to the lingual surface of the teeth.

Maxillary

Of or pertaining to the upper jaw. May be used to describe teeth, dental restorations, orthodontic appliances or facial structures.

Orthodontist

A dental specialist who has completed an advanced post-doctoral course, accredited by the American Dental Association, of at least two academic years in the special area of orthodontics.

Orthognathic Surgery

Surgery to alter relationships of teeth and/or supporting bones, usually accomplished in conjunction with orthodontic therapy.

Overbite

Vertical overlapping of upper teeth over lower teeth, usually measured perpendicular to the occlusal plane.

Radiograph

A permanent image, performed digitally in our office, produced by ionizing radiation. Sometimes called an X-ray after the most common source of image-producing radiation.

Retainer

Any orthodontic appliance, fixed or removable, used to maintain the position of the teeth following corrective treatment.

Retention

The passive treatment period following active orthodontic correction during which retaining appliances may be used.

Straight Wire Appliance

A variation of the edgewise appliance in which brackets are angulated to minimize multiple archwire bends. Brackets and molar tubes have specific orientation in three planes of space.

– Appointment Requests –