FAQ

  1. Why should I choose an orthodontic specialist?
  2. Is it required that my family dentist schedule my appointment with the orthodontist?
  3. At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?
  4. Will my teeth straighten out as they grow?
  5. How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?
  6. What will happen at the initial examination appointment?
  7. Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?
  8. How long will it take to complete treatment?
  9. How much will braces cost? Are financing options available? How does my insurance work?
  10. How often will my child have appointments?
  11. Can I schedule all of my child’s appointments after school?
  12. Can I drop my child off when the appointment is a long one?
  13. Do braces hurt?
  14. Can my child return to school the day he or she receives braces?
  15. Do you give shots?
  16. Do you use recycled braces?
  17. Can my child still play sports?
  18. Does my child need to see our family dentist while in braces?
  19. Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?
  20. How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?
  21. What is an emergency appointment? How are those handled?
  22. Can orthodontic correction occur while a child has baby teeth?
  23. What is Phase One (early) Treatment?
  24. Will my child need full braces if he/she has Phase One treatment?
  25. Will my child need an expander?
  26. Is it too late to have braces if I am already an adult?
  27. Can I wear braces even though I have crowns and missing teeth?

1. 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.

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2. 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.

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3. 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.

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4. 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.

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5. 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 or send us an e-mail. 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.

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6. What will happen at the initial examination appointment?

Upon arriving, you will be acclimated to our office. The doctor will complete a thorough, visual examination. Sometimes a panoramic X-ray is needed to see below the gum line.

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

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7. Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?

Dr. Sanford prefers to take the conservative approach. Removing teeth is sometimes required to achieve the best orthodontic result. Straight teeth, proper bite and a balanced facial profile are the goals of orthodontics... removing teeth is not always necessary. We will work closely with your dentist to ensure your best result.

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8. How long will it take to complete treatment?

Treatment time obviously depends on each patient's specific orthodontic problem. The "average" time frame a child is in braces is approximately 21-24 months, but can occasionally be as little as 12 months or as long as 30 months.

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

Our office treats each patient as an individual. As a result, we will provide you with a personalized treatment plan and a precise fee for your case. This policy allows each patient to pay exclusively for the personal care needed rather than a generalized fee. We will cover this as well as the many financial options during the treatment conference. We try to be flexible in payment plans. Above all, we put our patients' needs at the top of our priority list; always feel free to discuss any issues that may come up.

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10. How often will my child have appointments?

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

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11. Can I schedule all of my child’s appointments after school?

All appointments up to 15 minutes may be scheduled at any time.  Because we need to see as many children as possible after school, longer appointments which are often more detailed are scheduled in the morning until 2:30 pm.

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12. Can I drop my child off when the appointment is a long one?

Yes. We understand your busy schedule, and we are happy to help you make the most of your time. We do ask every patient to make their next appointment before leaving our office, so please check back in with the receptionist at the end of the appointment. Also, if you are leaving your child with us, we ask you to make sure we have your current cell phone number in the event we need to reach you.

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13. 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!”

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14. Can my child return to school the day he or she receives braces?

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

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15. Do you give shots?

No. Shots are not necessary in orthodontic treatment.

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16. 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.

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17. Can my child still play sports?

Yes. We recommend a mouth guard for all sports.

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18. Does my child need to see our family dentist while in braces?

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

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19. 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. For a complete list of these foods, visit our Brace Care page. You can avoid most emergency appointments to repair broken or damaged braces by carefully following our instructions.

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20. 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 review proper oral hygiene with each patient (and parent) in person. For a visual reminder, visit our Brushing & Flossing page.

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21. What is an emergency appointment? How are those handled?

Should your emergency occur when our office is closed, visit our Emergency Info page and follow our instructions for a quick fix to your dilemma.

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22. 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.

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23. 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 9-12 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.

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24. 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.

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25. Will my child need an expander?

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

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

We have many adult patients!   We specialize in the latest technology for adult treatment- completely undetectable braces behind the teeth.  Adult treatment can often be completed in as little as 4-6 months. (see our Adult Treatment page)

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27. 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.

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44 Old Ridgefield Rd.
Piersall Building, Suite 218
Wilton Center
Wilton, CT 06897
Phone: 203-762-2322
Fax: 203-761-9862
info@sanfordorthodontics.com

Monday - Thursday
8:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.